A Brand on a Mission
Everything about you and your company embodies its brand. This is most important for small companies, non-profits and startups where there aren’t many corporate resources to depend on for public relations and marketing activities. If you fall into one of these categories, an extremely impactful branding exercises to undertake is to write a compelling mission statement that contains a surefire value proposition. These spoken or written words that define your brand speak volumes.
Let's look at two networking scenarios.
You may have found yourself on either side of this conversation.
Or how about this one?
Which financial adviser would you prefer to do business with?
Whatever field you are in, you should never be caught by surprise when asked, “What do you do?” It happens all the time, and in the few seconds you begin to answer, the person who asked is forming an opinion about your brand.
A clearly defined mission statement will help you set achievable goals. Defining precise core competencies will set you apart from your competition. These are the overall bases for a powerful 30-second pitch.
Your Mission Statement
There are a few tactics you can use to write a great mission statement. To develop the overall content, give serious thought to the answers to:
Who is your audience?
Unless you’ve never read a marketing blog or newsletter, you know what buyer personas are. They go beyond demographics to include psychographics that explain why the persona makes a purchase . Use current customers to develop these characteristics – where appropriate, conduct interviews to learn more. Some companies name their personas in order to humanize them. With every marketing and sales communication, ask yourself or your team “Would Betty like this?” or “Is this how I should explain this to Betty?”
What are you selling?
Widgets is the wrong answer here. You are selling a solution to a problem your potential customer may or may not know they have. A good way to dig deep is using the “so what?” or “why?” exercise, such as this one:
Why should someone buy from you instead of the competition?
So, by now you know who you’re selling to and what you’re selling to them. The next and final step (perfectly described by HubSpot) is: Differentiate yourself as the preferred provider of this value. The key to a successful value proposition is to capture the customer’s motivation to buy. If the perceived benefits are greater than the perceived cost, you’re on your way to closing a sale. That is, if your benefits exceed those of your competition.
It might be worthwhile to mention here that a great value prop does not use negative marketing tactics to put down a competitor, which only gives the impression that you consider them a threat. Instead, think of the unique value that only you provide or that you provide best. Make it short and sweet. You don’t need a long explanation, just a few words about what makes You uniquely You.
Two concepts of your brand, reputation and visibility, are what makes an ordinary company exceptional. When these pieces fall into place, your brand is poised to portray you as a thought leader or influencer in your field. We’ll dedicate another article on successful influencer marketing. For now, focus on laying the groundwork as you prepare to excel.
Don’t only talk and write about what you do, also share why you do it and what it will mean to your customer. Be sure that everything you write is directed towards your target audience and is in your brand voice. Your company is not “too new” or “too small.” Brand building is ongoing, even within large corporations. Let it evolve with you and your company. And as it may shift, be aware that everything you do, say, or publish affects your reputation, so focus on your message and be prepared to deliver on its claim. Your brand is your business’s most valuable asset; always treat it as such.
Remember, Always Be Branding.
Effie & Jean