Last week I wrote about branding, what it is and why it is so important.
This week I want to focus a little more on what I think you need to start with when creating your brand. These are some of the questions I ask my clients in our initial meeting and the questionnaire I send to them and I have realized from the responses that I am getting that I am not pushing on these topics enough. Every new entrepreneur should really think about and work on these points in order to first of all understand what they want to achieve and then create a brand that is consistent and communicates exactly to their ideal customer’s needs.
You need to write your mission statement. The purpose of a mission statement is to focus and direct a business. Wether you want to communicate it to the world or not, you need to have one. You need to know it off by heard and if you have employees you need to communicate it to them very clearly so they know exactly what they are working for.
Your mission statement is the foundation to build your brand on. It does not change, so it is intended to be long lasting and a long term mission. It basically embodies the desires and intentions of your business. Why you want to build your brand, what you want to communicate, what it is you are selling or doing and for whom.
Your mission statement should be just one or maximum two sentences but it communicates the what, who, how and why.
What you do, who you help, how you help them and why you are doing it.
Here are some examples of famous mission statements:
“To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
“to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
“To be the Ultimate House of Luxury, defining style and creating desire, now and forever.”
“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.”
*If you have a body, you are an athlete.” – Nike co-founder, Bill Bowerman
“to represent the most refined qualities of Western “Art de Vivre” (The Art of Living) around the world; to be synonymous with both elegance and creativity; to blend tradition and innovation, and kindle dream and fantasy.”
“Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software an Internet offerings.”
Before you can start to build and design your brand you need to make sure you know your ideal customer, your target customer. Who do you want to sell your products or services to? Only once you know that you can build a brand that actually attracts this customer.
According to Seth Godin, here’s what defines an ideal customer:
“A customer who wants your products. A customer who has the ability to pay for the product. A customer who has the authority to purchase your product.”
If you are an existing business and have a customer base you can identify your ideal customer from there. Which customer is most engaged and happy with your service or product? Who has the means to pay for it? Once you have identified a few customers and see the similarities you can pin point your ideal customer easily.
If you are a new business and don’t have a customer base yet, then you have to study the market and identify your ideal customer. This is of course not so easy in the beginning and there is some guess work involved but it is so important to have a customer in mind when creating a brand and marketing material as you want to reach this person with your tone with the visuals you use.
To help you finding your ideal customer, create a customer profile which should answer the following questions:
Current season of life
Hobbies and Interests
What challenges do they face? What are their struggles?
Why are they NOT buying from you?
Where do they buy now?
What would their life look like if they don’t buy from you?
Once you have answered all those questions, it is much easier to create a brand that serves this ideal customer.
Think about it, if you want to build a house and you would find two companies, one of them specializes in building your type of house and the other one builds many things, hotels, high rises, resorts, theme parks etc. Who would you choose? Who would you feel most secure with?
This is just the first example that came into my mind, but it is so true for so many businesses. And customers always choose the company that is specialized in what they need. Therefore you need to switch this around and identify your ideal customer so you can serve and attract him or her in the best possible way.
You might think now that you have two ideal customers. May be because you are selling two different products. Well, although my first instinct would be to tell you to stay with one customer there is of course the possibility to serve two markets. But that means you need to create two customer profiles and then see where the similarities are and create a brand that attracts and talks to both of them.
Your vision is basically your goals for your business. Here you can dream a little bit. Where do you yourself in one year? And where in five?
What are the big things you want to have achieved until then?
Ask yourself about a few big goals for your business?
How will you expand?
Which clients do you want to work with?
How many employees would you like to have?
How much money would you like to make?
Do you want to launch any new products or services?
Do you want to do something else with your brand? Like for example help and support a cause?
You don’t need to communicate this anywhere and of course this can change over the years and you might need to adapt to changing markets but you need to have a vision, a direction for your business. This again helps yourself to stay focused and consistent. Plus it is always nice to dream, right Think and dream big! Like that you can create a brand that will also accommodate your future goals.
The difference between a vision and a mission statement
A mission statement is in the present, where you are and why you do something. However it needs to work and be applied for in the future as well.
And a vision statement is solely future based and can be adjusted when times change.
I really hope this will give you lots of food for thought and will help you build a long lasting brand!
Please let me know if you have any questions and send me an email email@example.com
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