“Your brand is the experience that is actually delivered and communicated through every single thing you do, every day, around the clock” – Denise Lee Yohn.
Branding doesn’t sleep when you do. It’s up drinking coffee at 4:30 a.m, waiting for you to part ways with your slumber.
This is why it’s viewed as offering a crucial point of differentiation and a sustainable form of competitive advantage for business-to-business marketers. According to a business research study done by Bendixen in 2004, brands play an important role in the decision-making process of business customers.
It acts as a tool for achieving organizational consensus among the many actors involved in the
Luckily, if you really want to dramatically improve your business, the solution may be right under your nose: your unique brand. The trouble is that average companies use their brand as an outwardly facing symbol or message. Denise Lee Yohn argues that only when the brand becomes who the business is and a compass for all their decisions can they change their game.
The question now is, what are the qualities that separate all great brands from the rest? What makes them stand out to investors? Or even just their local community? They start from the inside rather than focusing on the outside.
Much like us humans, the inside reflects on the outside. Eat a diet rich in nutritious foods, and you’ll likely have glowing skin. Drink too much alcohol and smoke a pack a day, and you’ll probably have the opposite.
How does a business reflect on the outside, what they internally value? By setting an appropriate tone.
To set a tone, you must understand and apply the business mission, vision, and values. Your vision and mission are authentic, powerful statements that you passionately believe in. They work together. They help connect your team members and keep your company strategically aligned. Some businesses combine them into one purpose statement.
Vision Statements: The Whole Puzzle
So, what is a vision statement? A vision statement is your nonmonetary aspiration for your business’ future. It is the higher purpose you are trying to achieve for customers, a more significant community, or the world over the long term. Most importantly, it is the WHY behind your business.
Remember that a powerful vision is future-focused, and it has to be inspiring to your entire team – when your ‘why’ is motivational enough, the ‘how’ becomes easier.
You want your team to be excited to come to work every day. Not waking up with a case of the Monday Blues because they don’t have enough motivation to complete their daily tasks. A good vision statement will unify your employees so that their co-workers feel more like a family working together toward a common goal instead of individuals doing their own thing.
Mission Statements: 99% of the Puzzle Pieces
Your mission statement, on the other hand, explains HOW you are going to achieve your vision. A clear mission statement is rooted in the present to help the vision statement bloom in the future. In essence, how are you watering that long-term vision to make sure it grows?
Mission statements tell the world, in a high-level, summarized way, how your business is achieving your vision. A clear mission statement has to be concise and communicate the company’s direction. It’s the compass for leaders in the sea of never-ending duties. It guides them to make strategic decisions.
Finally, it should serve as a litmus test for daily decisions and actions.
Values: The Missing Puzzle Piece
Your business core values are the next critical component in creating an authentic brand blueprint. So, what are business core values? They are operating philosophies or principles that are true and important to the business. They drive the culture, providing a framework of guidance for the entire company’s decisions and behaviors.
When a business understands and actually lives by their core values, they enable their employees to build trust-based relationships with one another and the customers.
Since your brand is the sum total of all your customers’ experiences with your business, then a person’s perception of your business is influenced by your values.
How does your behavior reflect your values? If, for example, you make it a point to be on time, then punctuality is likely an indicator that you honor the commitments you make. But, let’s say you frequently run late and struggle to meet deadlines. You may think you value honoring your obligations, but your behavior suggests otherwise.
You have the necessary tools at your disposal to improve your business by improving your branding. Ensuring you have a powerful mission and vision statement will ensure you keep yourself and your company motivated.
By implementing these statements along with core values, you are building the blueprint for your branding.
To determine your precise brand blueprint, please take the business brand assessment.