Consider this your overview of the important steps involved when creating a lasting, effective, and successful brand.
These are the first three things every entrepreneur needs to consider before moving forward with their business. Keep in mind that your brand is a representation of you and the heart of what you’re doing. Both of these things will evolve and shift over time. It’s important to revisit these items every 6 – 12 months to ensure that you’re staying true to yourself and your cause.
Step One: Define Your Core Values
The most important step in creating a brand that effectively communicates with your target market is to define your core values.
Core values are created by taking an honest look at your product, service and customer experience as well as narrowing down the defining elements of your business. Your core values are the values which are absolutely indisputable and are found in all touchpoints of your business, from the product or service you provide, to how you communicate with your customers and clients.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Does your product or service have points of differentiation from competitors? Take a look at what you’re offering in comparison to what your top competitors offer. What’s unique about your product or service that sets it apart from all other products or services in the market?
- Why should your target audience be interested in your product or service?What needs are you meeting through providing your customers and clientele this product or service? Why would a prospect choose to work with you over your competition?
- As a company, service provider or product manufacturer, what are you passionate about? Passion is a great clue into what your core values may be. Passion creates an emotional connection for your customer and transcends any marketing or advertising that you could possibly put in front of them. What are you passionate about providing, creating or offering?
Here are some action steps to help you further define your values:
- Create a list of values. Some examples include integrity, creativity, innovation, customer service, community, growth, technology, efficiency, timeliness, value, affordability, quality, philanthropy or simplicity. Take your time and list out everything that comes to mind.
- Narrow down to 3 – 4 core values. Too few values will create a flat and boring brand while too many will create a confusing and diluted message. Select the values that are absolutely indisputable and are, in your eyes, essential to the way you conduct your business.
- Refer to them frequently. Once you’ve narrowed your list down, place these values on a post-it note near your computer or desk. Be sure to reference these values every time you’re about to hire someone, partner with a vendor or create a new product or service.
Step Two: Get Clear on Your Vision or Mission
If you’re not clear on where you’re going or what you’re looking to create, you wont be able to build a solid foundation for your brand or your business. Once you’ve gotten clear on your core values, you’ll be able to craft a core message, also known widely as your mission statement. A mission statement can be internal or external facing statement which sums up the focus and direction of your business while taking into account your values, products, services and customer experience.
Here are some things to consider when crafting your mission statement:
- Who you are: Why are you in business? Based on your core values, what is the primary image of the company that you want to portray? What are your philosophies and what do you believe in?
- What you do:What solution are you providing for your ideal customer? Going above and beyond that, how do you provide this solution better than your competitors? What is unique about how you provide this solution?
- Who you do it for: Who is your ideal customer or client? What sets them apart from the millions of other consumers out there? What do you do to create an outstanding customer experience?
These are just some thought starters to get you going in the right direction.
Once you’ve taken some time to think about your answers, use the following action steps to start crafting your mission statement:
- Take your time. Mission statements take time and often require many revisions.
- Brainstorm and play with wording. Take several passes at jotting down your mission statement taking into account the factors above. Who you are, what you do and who you do it for. Mission statements can be one to two sentences in length and should be clear but concise. Once you’ve gotten a few passes down, work to polish your message and play with words that add excitement.
- Capture the essence. You don’t have to say everything in your mission statement. Aim to create a statement that captures the essence of your business and your brand.
Step Three: Create Consistency
Once you’ve created a list of core values and a compelling mission statement, it’s time to create consistency across all facets of your business. This is a great time to take an audit of your brand and look at what you’re doing in comparison to the mission you’ve just crafted. Are you in line with your values? Are there areas with room for improvement or overhaul? What can you add to your business that will further reinforce your values and set you on the path to fulfilling your vision?
If you’re ready to go from passionate individual to profitable entrepreneur, be sure to check out Your Passion-Based Business™.
Since 2010, I’ve had the honor of supporting amazing individuals like yourself in building profitable online businesses around their passions and purpose. Having worked with so many clients, I’ve perfected the process of turning passionate individuals into profitable entrepreneurs. Because this process works so well, I’ve packaged it in an easy to follow, 12-week program to help you do the same.