As many small business owners will attest, an entire day spent working on the company – not in it – is a rare and exciting thing indeed. This week, that day was spent thinking about our core purpose and positioning statement. It’s an exercise we do so often for our clients, and turning it inward was informative on a number of levels. We thought we’d share the process in hopes that it might help you check in with your mission and manifesto as you’re transitioning from one year into another.
Watchword Brand is finishing up a year of tremendous growth and change. This is a modest business, but a few things stand out as we stand back and take a look.
- More than doubled our client base without losing focus on our core capabilities
- “We” went from a two person team to a team of seven (and growing) content specialists
- Launched a probono arm of the company to share what we do with those who share for a living
What growth reveals about focus
Here’s one reason why those three points are worth noting. Even for a really small company, growing fast can make things ragged. We put our work to work, creating a clear, tight purpose statement that guides our decisions:
We help organizations communicate their purpose and value to the people who matter most to them so they can accomplish their goals.
…And a strong reasoning why…
Because we care about helping them accomplish their version of success as an organization and as individuals.
What do you see in those statements? Hopefully, you see a WHAT (communicate purpose and value), a FOR WHOM (the people who matter most), an external WHY (accomplish their goals), and an internal WHY (because we care). This statement is a promise to the marketplace and a foot stomp for the people living out that promise.
Can you articulate your core purpose statement and then explain why it matters?
If you can, how are they informing your strategy and work?
For us, the exercise positions Watchword as a team of expert communicators who never forget that real communication happens between people. Pretty simple. It doesn’t matter what the platform or channel or format might be. It doesn’t matter if the company is an emerging technology provider in the government space or an app-based debit card for children. It’s people talking to people. It’s what we’re committed to being best at, and what will keep us growing in the right direction to be of value to the marketplace.
It also plants a flag on the hill that we’re a brand content ‘house’ – not a brand content ‘agency.’ (Houses are more fundamentally human-centered.)
Proving the purpose
These are all pretty lofty statements. Purpose statements often are. Mission statements should be. It’s in how you prove those promises every day that determine whether they’re lofty and hollow – or if they become your differentiators in a market of service and product sameness.
We prove our promises through our behavior in three central ways – trust, talent, and tenacity.
Our first question for a team member is ‘what do you love to do most’ and the next one is ‘what do you want to learn’? We’re building culture while giving our people the freedom to do great work they want to do. It brings the best possible people to the team to support our clients. It’s the best of the gig economy and belonging all at once. We enable our people to integrate their work and lives the way that works best for them.
We have advanced degrees and decades of experience spanning literature, journalism, creative writing, PR and digital marketing, graphic design, market research, and traditional business. This is a team of practitioners and specialists doing the work they love to do most. The mix of skills acts as lenses that solve our clients’ challenges and needs in the most acumen-driven and focused manner possible.
We are endlessly curious and passionate about learning. More importantly, we merge that dedication with a change management mindset. It’s how we are able to translate even highly complex information into communication that resonates with audiences, no matter who they are / how they communicate and connect with information.
We’re good. Not big. We listen first and write well. We genuinely care and prove that out in the paid and donated work we do. Watchword is a team writers, storytellers, and strategic communicators who are raising expectations for content branding by keeping people at the center of every conversation. It’s our manifesto.
Watchword produces intelligence-driven branding and content that works efficiently across many channels to help businesses articulate who they are and what they do to the people who matter most. We listen carefully, communicate thoughtfully, respond consistently, and deliver absolutely – that is our rally cry – our watchword. What’s yours? Get in touch – we’d love to hear your story.