A recent study featured in the Harvard Business Review showed that many companies have been fooling themselves into believing that customer engagement is king – that the more we interact with consumers the stronger the relationship they have with them. In a recent study of over 7000 people (conducted by Karen Freeman, Patrick Spenner and Anna Bird), only 23% of consumers actually wanted that.
Interaction wasn’t what they wanted. Instead, the key to having a relationship with a company was when they shared the same higher purpose and values with a company.
It’s when your company values, beliefs, vision and mission connect with the souls of your customers. It’s when it touches their hearts and they say, “Hell yeah, that’s me.”
Quite often, when many small business owners think about branding, they think about a new look and feel for their website or a new logo. Sure, that’s part of it, but the real key is the overall experience. And the starting point for that experience is your beliefs, values, mission and vision. Everything else from your logo to your colours, to the voice you use in your copy, to the way you serve customers and the way they experience you, stems from that.
Your vision statement includes your beliefs. Your beliefs are statements of your company values and are a public way of declaring your expected outcomes. They’re precise and they’re practical. They reflect the soul, the knowledge and the philosophy of your business and act as a guide for decision making. They also give customers an idea what to expect when they interact with your company.
To give you an idea, here’s Harley Davidson’s…
“Harley-Davidson is an action-oriented, international company, a leader in its commitment to continuously improve [its] mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders (customers, suppliers, employees,shareholders, Government, and society). Harley-Davidson believes the key to success is to balance stakeholders’ interests through the empowerment of all employees to focus on value-added activities.”
Then there’s your mission statement …
Your mission statement is an extrapolation of your belief statements. It’s future-focused and focuses on a single common purpose. It’s specific to your company. And – most importantly, it’s short – no more than one or two sentences.
Here’s Harley Davidson’s mission statement …
We fulfill dreams through the experiences of motorcycling, by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public an expanding line of motorcycles, branded products and services in selected market segments.
Mmm … fulfill dreams through experiences of motorcycling … how cool is that!
That’s the key … in a visioning session or branding workshop the key is to really connect with the reason why you started the business in the first place. Connect with how your product or service really touches the hearts or transforms your customers’ lives in some way.
Here are some important questions to consider:
- What are your values and beliefs?
- What vision do you have for your business?
- What’s your mission?
- Based on this information, how do you want customers to feel when they interact with your brand?
- What brand personality and attributes will give them that experience and at the same time encompass your values, beliefs and mission?
- How can you communicate your vision, mission, personality and attributes to give your customers that kind of experience eg. logo, colours, copy, customer service initiatives etc.
Kristina Mills is a highly regarded direct response copywriter, marketing strategist, entrepreneur and success strategist having worked with and produced great results for some of Australia's most inspirational entrepreneurs, speakers, event companies, professional services firms, property companies, and internet entrepreneurs. She is the author of Invisible Genius Vol1 and 2, Freelance Copywriting Fast Track Course, Direct Mail Mastery, Web Copy Mastery, Invisible Genius Vol.1 and 2, Mortgage Broker Letters that Sell, Real Estate Letters that Sell, How to Create a Sales Explosion With Every Ad and Letter Your Write. To find out more about how Kristina can help you live your potential, arrange a free 15 minute phone chat.