You know it’s crucial when agreeing to a business deal.
Keeps you motivated when setting and working towards goals.
Even assures you don’t forget the milk because it’s right there on the grocery list.
Yet, amazingly, the members of so many
successful family businesses haven’t ever put their heads together, put pen to paper, and put down a tight definition of exactly what their position is the marketing place and—most importantly— in their customers’ minds.
A well-articulated statement that clearly conveys what their brand means to their customers.
The expectations it creates. The promise it delivers. The place it has in their lives.
Think past the mission statement
This isn’t about you. Its about them. The most important people in your lives after each other . . . your customer.
This isn’t about your collective desire to ‘exceed expectations’ or ‘become a world-class company' or (STATE YOUR FAVORITE PLATITUDE HERE), it’s about what, exactly, that really means and why, exactly, your customer will care.
It’ll take some frank and truthful discussion about your strengths and weaknesses and the way you are currently perceived in the marketplace. And that will take plenty of input from non-family members of your company, those who will have to also ‘live the brand.’
Everybody in your company should be included. And then some.
Getting out there and getting the honest and insightful feedback from your customers is essential. As well as ask pointed questions, you can later share with them the brand statement you’ve crafted to gain their feedback and get a sense of whether you’re being true to yourself and relevant to them. Embellishing is to be avoided at all costs. The ‘relevant reality’ is your goal—discovering the potent truth about what you truly offer and how it uniquely meets your customer’s core need.
Remember. Brands aren’t made. They’re not even born. They’re revealed.
The power of the written word
When you write down your brand essence and clearly articulate your value statement, you’re not just committing yourselves to paper. You’re committing your company to a path, a belief, a purpose, a promise, a truth.
The value of doing so is endless.
Your employees will be unified and inspired by a common sense of purpose and identity. It’s the best way to help them make a powerful emotional connection to the products and services you sell. And encourage them to ‘live’ the brand.
You’ll have a guide to refer to when making future business decisions and enacting a powerful marketing plan. The value of every dollar and every minute spent on marketing initiatives will be enhanced. Because they will all be cohesive, consistence, working towards a common purpose.
With a solid focus and a respected brand, you’ll attract better employees, be invited into more sales situations, and—ultimately—increase your margin on each sale.
You’ll have an asset that is one of the most valuable you can own: an admired brand.
So get out some paper. Get your people together. Get going. And get it in writing!