Be More Emotional, Branding.
Often I see some gaps in the foundations of some businesses' messaging. I’ve found that there are some simple questions that can help to define the branding, and subsequently the direction of the business.
Branding is seen as nebulous, only able to be truly defined by someone with thin rimmed glasses who doesn’t wear shoes to work and has only eaten fruit for the past 3 months on an experimental diet. It’s much more simple than that, well, at least to start.
Review your vision statement, mission statement and core values. These three components should guide everything your business does and everything your business does, becomes your brand.
This exercise doesn’t have to take too long initially. Your vision statement can define where you want to be as a business in 10-20 years. Your mission statement can define where you want to be 5 years and your core values should define how you will conduct yourself in getting there.
So you’re saying ‘this is where we’re going and this is how we’re going to get there’.
Your vision statement should be blue sky and include your point of difference. Don’t overthink this, as counterintuitive as it sounds. This should be based on the emotional reasons you want to do what you want to do.
Because at the end of the day, your rational brain isn’t going to be the part of your brain that you access when you have to take a risk on a deal or push through a big week when you’re feeling burnt out. You should define a long term direction that speaks to your emotional commitment as this engages with a deeper level of your brain. Also, this doesn’t have to be set in stone, it should be a living document to an extent.
Mission, this is short-mid term and should be guided by the vision statement. If the vision statement is your lofty, deeply personal, driving force, then this is the more practical component. It is the ‘how’ if the vision is the ‘why’. Best not to conform too much on any of this and make it something that speaks to you, as it will hold more in your mind that way. Make it too dry and it will crumble away.
Core Values are the ‘what’ and are used to guide activities. Let’s say the vision is the destination, the mission is the route and the core values are the turns. Keep these simple and to one sentence. I’d suggest 3 and no more than 5. An easy way to generate these is to think about what you’re already good at, what you get complimented on. Because brands are usually extensions of their creators, good brands are often genuine extensions of their creators.
Be honest with yourself about what drives you emotionally, let that define how you’ll work then add what it is that you’ll do to achieve that, in terms of behaviour.