Your strategies are only as strong as your vision. If your vision is weak, complicated, or vague, your strategies will be so as well. Having a vision plagued with these characteristics aid only in creating disinterest and confusion for your audience. Here are three tips for creating a clear and compelling vision from which all of your corporate, brand and marketing strategies should flow.
Envision your company 50 years from now. Articulate in 2-3 words what your brand means to consumers.
Every leader wants to build a legacy. If you own a business or lead one, you are likely to want the world to view you based on certain values or characteristics. You probably want to be remembered for the work you are doing now. Now think for a moment. You may even be able state in a few words how you want to be remembered when your time at your company ends. Think about your business in this way. Think of the things you want your audience to remember or value about your business. Ask yourself, “In what way has this brand touched the lives of others?” Think about what would be communicated through word of mouth in that future, and how it impacts how people connect with your brand through the end of time.
In this same frame of mind, define what it is you offer consumers.
This does not mean be specific about what actual product you provide. In fact, this can be very limiting if your selling environment ever changes. You do, however, need to be specific about what need you are fulfilling for consumers. Are you a cosmetics company that “celebrates and enhances natural beauty”? Are you a restaurant that offers patrons “connections” with friends and family? Are you a footwear company that “supports” athletes who challenge themselves both mentally and physically? You get the point. Be clear about what it is you are providing. Through this lens, those who see your vision will understand it, internalize it and repeat it to others.
Identify the audience that should receive your brand message.
In this step you must also be specific. Are you a brand that will work to touch all by honing in on one aspect of human emotion or need? Or, have you developed an organization with the sole purpose of assisting those with certain challenges or needs? Do you seek to cater to all genders or only women? Do you want to somehow change the world or just your neighborhood? You will need to speak clearly here. The goal is that those who encounter your vision will connect to it.
When you provide clarity with your vision your entire audience can use it to make better decisions about what to do with your brand. Your teams can develop clear strategies that directly relate to the goals dictated by your vision. And, consumers can make better connections.