Deep questions can be scary – you know the ones: “Who am I?”, “Why am I here?”, and “Where are my keys?” – but they’re also really important, especially when you’re building a brand. If your brand lacks clarity or personality, finding customers is sort of like tracking down that tiny container of mints in your enormous handbag: challenging, to say the least.
But what if you could fill that bag to the brim with mints, simply by defining your brand purpose?
Spoiler alert: it’s possible, and not nearly as difficult as you might think. All you need is a set of the right questions…so we’ve gone ahead and done the heavy lifting for you!
What do you do?
This question seems deceptively basic, but it’s actually one of the most important things you could mull over (while doing other, genuinely basic tasks): what do you really do? Within that question lies a collection of deeper questions about unique selling propositions and marketing jargon, but your first goal should be to distill your offering into a single sentence.
That sentence should contain information about the problem you’re solving, the people you’re solving it for, and the promise you’re making; for example, “I sell business courses that help stay-at-home mums create an income online.” The single, well-considered answer to this question will make all of the other answers SOOO much easier to nail down, so don’t be afraid to book a little quality Thinking Time into your diary (or into ours) – the payoff will far outweigh the pain of sacrificing a precious half-hour of Doing Nothing.
What do consumers want?
Sometimes it seems like all the marketing surveys in the world couldn’t answer this question, but it’s a super important one for your notes. Beneath their stylish membership websites and impressive service offerings, all brands have one common purpose: to make money. No matter how brilliant your brand is, you won’t have much luck selling them to your target market if you can’t solve any of their problems.
So how do you find out what consumers want?
Simple: ask them. Send out surveys, talk to people in your target market, arrange focus groups – just make like Ryan Gosling, and listen to your potential customers at every turn.
It’s also important to be mindful of how your brand aligns with what consumers expect to see. As the world becomes increasingly #woke, doing the wrong thing could hurt your public image (#thingsPRpeoplesay) and your bank account, so unless you’re looking for a boycott or a hashtag campaign against your brand, don’t dismiss the value of Corporate Social Responsibility. Instead, heed the words of author Simon Sinek: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Feeling inspired? Pass Go and collect $200 towards the next step.
What does your big picture look like?
We all have dreams, right? We want to do great things, meet amazing people, and maybe even spend a little less time watching trashy TV, and all of those things contribute to our “big picture” goal. The problem is, when you’re right in the thick of the brand-building process, it can be tempting to ignore the big picture and run the risk of ending up with a Picasso when you were going for a da Vinci. You need a high-level goal to keep your brand on track, and answering this question honestly will bring you several steps closer to doing just that. Your answer might come in the form of the change you want to make in the world, the philanthropic organisations you plan on donating to, or even just the type of work you want to do on a daily basis – whatever gets your creative juices flowing.
How will you make it happen?
Being able to define your purpose is great, but you know what’s even better? Being SURE that your definition is something you can work towards. Once you have an inkling of what your purpose might be, the next step is to go doggedly in whatever direction it leads you. This way, you’ll discover fairly quickly whether your first thought is a good fit, and you’ll establish a reputation as a Brand Of Action. Your next steps towards developing a purposeful brand might be as simple as rethinking your to-do list (note: this may require a few ruthless cuts to things like checking emails and staring at walls) to enhance your time management – the laundry will wait, promise.
Now, it’s time to draw on the answers to these questions and fashion yourself a mind-blowing mission statement. What you do for your customers, employees, and heck, even the world – THAT’S your purpose, and if you can sum it up in a mission statement that doesn’t make you roll your eyes, call that one small step for man and one giant leap for a more purposeful existence.
Your mission statement should set you apart by capturing what you (and only you) can do for your customers, employees, and the global community. Crafting something well-thought-out might sound damn near impossible, but you’ll know it when you read it. It won’t sound corny, contrived, or ill-constructed – it will sound like the kind of mantra that makes purpose seem more attainable.
There you have it! You are on your way to doing something with purpose, even if right now you’re still sitting at your dining table or on the way to the office, gripping your morning coffee as though it’s a lifebuoy.
Are you ready to turn your newly-crafted mission into action? Finish that coffee and click here to say hello!
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