Are you who and where you want to be?
This may sound like a question from someone struggling with a mid-life crisis. It isn’t. (Though that’s a natural question to ask facing the back half of the hill). The question relates to your brand strategy. The answer reveals how well it represents you, your team and your efforts.
Am I who I want to be?
So often, one of the hardest tasks my clients face is articulating their vision, mission and differentiation. As you look at yours, think about a few key points:
- How are we unique in the industry?
- What changes are we really making?
- How do we live out our core values?
- How do we live out our story every day?
Nobody wants to be milk. If what you tell people you are is limited to what you do, they’ll see you as little more than a commodity. Be special. Don’t be milk.
Am I where I want to be?
Progress takes risk. Risk is scary. But without them, you’re destined to stay where you are. (That may be okay – there’s an elegant simplicity to lifestyle companies. But be sure you’re owning it, if that’s the brand you are.) If you’re inclined to see your brand as a game-changer, and you’re not backing it up with action, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Dream big, then do what it takes. (At the risk of being trite, think Nike – Just do it.) Then do it again. And again. Until you get to where you want to be. Chances are, every time you land there, you’ll be ready to set out again. Ask yourself:
- Do we have the audience we want?
- Are we actually competing with the brands we think we are or want to be?
- Will where we are now help us reach our strategic goal in two years? Five?
- Good gracious, do we have a strategic goal?
As summer closes, it’s a great time to take minute and think about these questions. They’re not pressing questions, to be sure. They’re not navel-gazey either. This is a simple exercise that can help you make sure the story you put in the world is the brand you are living out every day. Put your answers on paper and revisit them from time to time. You might be pleased to find that you’re continually becoming who – and where – you always wanted to be.
Need some objective outsider help with the effort? Get in touch. We’ll help you get there.