What do you offer that is of utmost value to those you hope to engage? Here’s a hint. It’s not what you do (your product, program, etc.). And it’s not how you do it (your service, delivery, etc.) Rather, it is why you do what you do.
The problem is that too many organizations begin to design or redesign their offerings before having clarity on why they do what they do — or what they stand for. As a result, a couple of things tend to happen.
Here is the harsh truth about your brand and the vast majority of brands that populate our world. Nobody wants to hear about you. They don’t want to hear about your products or services. They don’t want to hear about your features or how you function. They don’t want to hear about any of it. Because they have busy lives. And with those busy lives comes a constant stream of challenges they need to deal with. So asking them to take a moment and listen to you talk about you just isn’t going to go well.
So what do they…
A brand is defined by everything an organization says and does. It is how the organization shows up in the world. As such, the brand creates a perception. A perception of what people can expect from the organization.
This is inescapable for every brand. Even if a brand doesn’t set out on the path to do the things that lead to a desired perception. In other words, people will form a perception whether the brand likes it or not.
I have worked with organizations that complained that the brand got a bad rap for no good reason. Inevitably, there is…
Bringing purpose into your brand story is one of the most potent things you can do to strengthen your brand. I have helped a number of brands do this over the years. Throughout that time, I have seen select brands accelerate the process. It happens when they follow a simple piece of advice I give. It’s advice that you can use to do the same. Here it is:
Clarify your personal brand before you attempt to do the same with your organization.
Sometimes, you have people on your team who will just hurry through the process of clarifying the organization’s…
When asked what makes our brands special, the natural tendency is to immediately think of something unique we believe we have. Maybe it is a prized feature. Or maybe the way we deliver what we do. Or maybe it’s a bold focus on a very specific niche.
These are all valid elements of who you are as a brand. But no matter how unicorn-like you think they make you, they are not what makes you special. And in fact, focusing too much on telling everyone about these elements keeps many brands from discovering that thing that makes them irresistible.
Spending the time to get your purpose statement right can be one of the best investments you make for your brand. After all, this will create the dynamic core that will make all your messages and actions more powerful.
After years of helping organizations clarify and craft purpose statements, I have identified three factors that significantly increase the potency of purpose statements.
There is not a lot of guidance out there on how to structure a purpose statement. Through my work, I have developed a proven method that utilizes three key questions.
I was watching a video from a brand that highlighted its newly updated program. In the video, the on-camera person stopped to tell us the brand’s purpose. Then, she went back to telling us about the updates to the program. I caught myself thinking about the purpose she shared and not really listening to the message about the updates. I recall thinking that it was a nice message that sounded sincere. And I remember that I really wasn’t sure what it had to do with the updated program. …
I had a bank client that wanted to explore the larger purpose they could embrace. We discussed the profound impact the bank could have in the lives of those they serve. We made good progress in clarifying that purpose. There was real desire in making a difference. But desire is only one part of the equation. The other part is courage. The courage to do the things to live that purpose. That’s where the wheels fell off for the bank. It happened when the discussion turned to overdraft fees.
People hate overdraft fees. But they end up paying them because…
A post from Fast Company introduced me to the Danish word ‘samfundssind’ which the post went on to define as “…to consider the needs of society above your own.”
The idea of samfundssind was used by the Danish to exhort the population to comply with the preventative guidelines during the pandemic. The result was low rates of infections and deaths in Denmark.
From the Fast Company Post:
“And research shows that — regardless of their gender or age — Danes are more concerned about infecting others than getting infected themselves.”
It’s interesting that the Danes were able to achieve such…
I’ve known brands that seem to be in a constant state of awe that they have such incredible customers. They are fun and energizing to work with.
Truth be told, the reason they have such incredible customers is because of that very awe that they have. Customers sense that. Call it feeling appreciated or feeling loved. It creates this magnetism that draws in customers and holds them. Embraces them.
There have been a number of studies that reveal the benefits of practicing gratitude. This finding in a Fast Company post was particularly enlightening
“Grateful individuals may also be naturally prone…
Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail.