Too many products and services these days are so much alike that the only difference is in the kind of marketing that the company does. This is because they are forgetting their true reason for being. In this episode, Gerry Foster reminds you to ask yourself again what is it that’s going to motivate people to buy your brand and help form real loyal connections? As he shares examples of various brands that have used their uniqueness to propel to the top of the chain, he also emphasizes the importance of a vision and mission and how it can guide you in your branding.
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Purpose-Driven Brands ROCK!!
You’ve got businesses out there that rather than create a highly distinctive brand, they think the only way to beat the competition, the only way to separate themselves from the rest of the pack is through their marketing. The whole idea is to woo customers. Let’s try everything we can from online marketing. Let’s set up some funnels. Maybe we should have some gimmicks, some freebies, some sales, some fancy promotion. It’s crazy. The new opportunity that’s being missed for a new competitive advantage is your brand purpose, the reason that your brand exists. When I say your brand, your product, your service, yourself, your company, your nonprofit, why are you here? It all starts with the understanding that many successful business owners and I’m talking billionaires as well, not just the millionaires, not just the ones out there who are doing very nice seven-figure businesses. I’m going beyond that. I’m talking from Bill Gates to the late Steven Jobs to Mark Zuckerberg with Facebook and all these others who are out there rocking it with these incredible brands. All of them has said that the first thing that they had nailed down was the purpose of their brand, why were they in business for themselves? Why is that? It’s because great brands don’t sprout on their own.
If you want to have a top-shelf brand, a world-class brand and I assume you do or you wouldn’t be here. If your goal is to have an elite, lucrative and high-performance brand, you first need fertile soil. You need to think like a farmer. The farmer makes sure that there’s fertile soil that he or she can then add the minerals and the nutrients into the seeds that they’re planting so that they can have a harvest. It’s the same thing here for you. You’ve got to have your fertile soil, which is that something special. It’s your significance and your contribution to the world, to society, to your marketplace, to your community, whoever, whatever that you feel most passionate about. They are meant to provide others that you can immerse yourself in because it becomes your declaration of how your brand is going to impact society.
I’m not trying to get woo-woo right here. I’m trying to let you know that in this world, not only do people want to hear how you’re different than anyone else. They want to hear the single most important reason why someone should choose to do business with you. As you’ve been following my show, I preach all that stuff as the Brand Evangelist. What I want you first to get to realize here is that you want to have a vision and a mission statement. When I say a vision and a mission statement, I’m not talking about the typical Fortune 1000 vision and mission statement that you might find on the internet. I’m talking about the vision and mission statement that is reflecting a brand, where the vision that you are stating is you declaring a destination, a level of achievement that you wish to see happen for the people you’re serving. It’s not about your own goals or your own personal ambitions. It’s more about what is your declaration of that better and brighter future that you are saying is available through your brand that is going to call forth your wholehearted personal commitment? What is that precious value that you want your customers to receive from you? You declare it as a vision.
Your mission is more around if the vision is that future that you want to see come forth for your customers. You now want to think about your reason for being not just in that declaration, but in terms of what is it that you’re going to commit yourself on a daily basis so that you can fulfill the vision. Your vision can be very lofty. It’s okay. It’s pie in the sky. It’s shooting for the stars. However, if you don’t hit the stars, you’ll land in the next stratosphere. You could say that the vision is the mountaintop that you wish to achieve through your brand and the impact of your brand. Your mission is the path that you’re going to take to reach the top of the mountain.
It’s all about being able to connect your brand on a deeper level. What we’re finding is that there are many brands out there and there’s so much noise on the internet that consumers want to make a deeper connection with the people behind the brand, the founder, the creator, he or she, or even a team in some cases. They want to see your heart. They want to know what your character is. They want to hear what it is about your work that is evoking your heart, your spirit, your head that’s going to impact and benefit them in a manner that’s going to fuel their motivation, shape their behavior and make them want to work with you.
I want to share some with you. I’m not going to share big brands. I’m going to share a few from some small businesses that I’ve worked with. Understand how I flow because I will share big brand examples to reflect many layers of branding that will be taking place throughout all of the show. At the same time, I will share small business examples not necessarily by name but by type of business so that you can see how easy it is for each of you to replicate. As I talked about in episode number one, replicate the principles, the methods and the approaches that are used by the titans of branding. What the big boys are doing in conjunction with, in my case with the Big Brand Formula, with the best in entrepreneurial branding so that you can indeed put something out there that people are going to get excited about.
I’ll share a couple. Here’s one for a hair extensions business. She said, “My vision is for women of any hair type across Canada to celebrate their unique beauty, knowing they can get the products and services they’re looking for in any salon.” Her mission is to provide quality hair and beauty products that instantly inspire confidence in all women. Empowering you to stand up for who you are, living each day with more passion and purpose, ultimately helping you to achieve your life goals. That’s only the beginning. You will help transform the next generation of women. The vision is more for internal purposes. It’s not so much for something that you’re going to use as a marketing tool, but the mission statements that are crafted from a branding perspective can certainly be used by each of you as a “marketing tool” to help close sales. Imagine her putting that on her packaging, making that visible through her marketing materials that the women she serves get to hear what she’s about and why she’s doing what she does. That’s the kind of boldness that people are looking for. That’s the communication that gets them excited.
Brand Purpose: The mission statements that are crafted from a branding perspective can certainly be used as a marketing tool to help close sales.
Here’s another one. This was for a life coach and she said her vision is for all families to have the necessary structures in place to handle any elderly issues. Her mission is to equip families with the tools they need to handle any elderly issues or emergencies that may arise. Having access to the critical documents and information you need, all assembled in one place, following easy, small tasks on a daily basis and this we promise. You will be ready for anything mentally, emotionally and spiritually knowing your family will be taken care of.
What all of these have in common is that they’re letting the consumer know who they are, what they’re standing for, not what they do. It could be that for some of you, you’re spending way too much time telling people what it is that you do. Which means if I go to your website or if I check out any of your communication, I might see a list of the services you provide. I might see what you have inside your product. People want to know what you’re standing for, what is it that you’re going to make happen so that people want to buy your brand. What is your true reason for being? What is it that’s going to motivate people to buy your brand and help them form some real loyal connections with you?
I’ll show you one more example. This is a fun one. This is for a young man who is developing a marijuana-based barbecue sauce. He once told me, “Gerry, weed and barbecue sauce go together well.” He said his vision is to enhance an individual’s culinary experience. I said, “Just for internal purposes, but what’s your mission?” The mission we came up with was to provide a lip-smacking, finger-licking, mouth-watery barbecue sauce that will make you addicted to smoke meats. Spicy red and savory to the taste, giving you a little kick, pour it on whatever you wish. It will make your toes curl and take you even higher.
You hang out with this one. You want to make a declaration about what your work is so that you grab the attention of people by engaging them. You get them to get a real good sense of what is that preferred, better, brighter future that’s possible for them. It’s going to put you in a better position in terms of being able to separate yourself from the competition in ways other than marketing. If you want to woo people, if you want to draw people in, get them to see what makes your brand magical. What is that thing about your work, your brand, your product, your whatever that’s going to get them to sit up, take notice and want to consume it? Until next time, take care.
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