If you asked an employee, a customer, and a community member to share what they think your brand’s purpose is, would they all say the same thing? Could they clearly state what you do, why you do it, and how you help others?
We see and hear thousands of marketing messages every day from different brands. While our brains are wired to tune out anything we find irrelevant or confusing, the messages (and the brands) we remember are the clear, concise, helpful ones.
If your mission and communications aren’t clear, your customers will conserve calories and move on to a competitor whose message is easier to digest. But when you clarify your brand — in other words, to get clear about your “why” — employees and customers will understand your company’s purpose. Better yet, when you clearly and consistently share how your business helps people, you’ll empower others to champion your brand. This can lead to more interested prospects, more happy customers, and more sales.
You can clarify your brand (and grow your business) by asking yourself four key questions.
1. What’s the purpose (or the “why”) of my business?
Many people respond to the question “What do you do?” with their profession: lawyer, electrician, shop owner, and so on. But that answer isn’t necessarily interesting to their listeners, nor does it explain why they do what they do.
The human brain is wired to find ways to survive and thrive. That’s why we tend to discard anything that doesn’t help us solve a problem or make our lives better. We’re also inclined to forget information that’s boring, unclear, or both.
You’ll better engage employees, prospects, and customers by starting with “why” — in other words, by sharing your company’s mission and purpose. To clarify your brand, take time to reflect on the following:
- Why did you start your business?
- What are you passionate about, and how does your organization embody that passion?
- Who are you serving with your work? How do their lives improve when they choose your products or services?
When you’re able to answer these questions, you’ll be more prepared to communicate what you do, why you do it, and how you help others. And sharing your purpose isn’t just more interesting than simply stating your profession. It’s also valuable information for anyone who’s passionate about the same cause or dealing with a problem you can help them solve.
2. How do my employees fit into our mission?
If your employees don’t feel like they’re making a difference, or they’re struggling to grasp their role in your business, they’ll probably feel confused or even unsatisfied on the job. This can lead to producing lower quality work, communicating the wrong message to customers, or misunderstanding the overall mission.
That’s why it’s critical to clarify your brand and ensure everyone’s on the same page with your company’s purpose. As a business leader, you know why you do what you do, but your employees may not be as clear on exactly what the organization’s mission is.
But when everyone on your team knows your business’s “why,” they’ll start to see how they fit into the bigger picture. And once your employees understand their individual and collective roles, they’re more likely to:
- Champion your brand as one with a mission they’re happy to get behind.
- Show customers how your business can support them.
- Be satisfied and productive at work.
- Stay loyal to your brand.
3. What business goals are we heading toward?
What does your dream business look like, and what will it take to get there? Once you and your employees are on the same page about your mission, you’ll want to determine where your company is right now and what your goals are for the short- and long-term future. These goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.
For example, let’s say you’re a photographer who shoots 20 weddings per year but wants to serve more clients and earn more to support your family. Your mission (or your “why”) might be to bring couples joy with quality photos. “I want more clients” is a pretty vague objective, but a SMART goal for growing your business could look something like this: “I want to sign five additional couples (for a total of 25 weddings per year) by the end of the quarter.” This goal is:
- Specific (five more couples, 25 total weddings)
- Measurable (five and 25)
- Achievable (if you already have 20 weddings booked, with strategic marketing, you could reach five more couples who need a wedding photographer)
- Relevant (more couples means not only additional income, but more people you’re serving with quality photos and a positive experience)
- Timely (you’ve set a deadline of the quarter’s end)
And just as you’ve invited your team to join in your mission, you can include your employees in brainstorming ways to clarify your brand and set SMART goals. They might propose solutions you hadn’t thought of for attracting new customers, building brand loyalty, or expanding services. Putting your heads together — and allowing unique voices to contribute ideas — is a great way to determine goals that your entire team understands and is excited to strive for.
4. Is my communication clear and consistent?
It takes time to clarify your brand, determine your exact audience, and share that mission with your employees and customers. Don’t let all that hard work go to waste by not communicating clearly and often!
If you’re not sure how to share your mission in a clear and repeatable way, you can start by outlining key message points for your company. These guiding statements are easier to remember than a long list of core values — and more specific than a vague mission statement. Having a set of message points will let you clarify your brand with employees, who can in turn help you communicate effectively with customers.
And you should be so excited about your brand’s mission that you talk about it as often as possible with potential new hires, current employees, customers, and community members. You’ll also want to share those key message points on your website, in social media ads, and in any other marketing communications. Repeating your “why” will remind others why you do what you do — and how they can play a role in building your brand.
By defining your purpose, helping employees understand how they fit into your big picture, and communicating consistently, you can clarify your brand and head toward SMART goals for your business. You’ll be amazed at how much more engaged your team, customers, and community members will be when they know why you do what you do — and how they can join in your mission!
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Treefrog Marketing is an agency focused on small business and located in Lafayette, Indiana. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO, and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.