Business Transformation starts with Brand – The Heart
Business Transformation (and business start up for that matter), has to start somewhere. I believe passionately that it starts with the brand, purpose and values or as I refer to it, Heart Led Business Transformation.
My mission is to shine a light on heart led leadership and show others how to create high performing, aligned and magnetic businesses balancing heart and head. I know that you do not have to be an arsehole to achieve great results and that businesses that do not authentically connect with their customers and employees, will not survive long term.
Brand, Purpose, Values and Vision – What does it all mean?
Many people hear – purpose, values, brand position and vision and their eyes roll back in their head….
‘I am not a marketing person’,
‘I don’t get this brand stuff’,
‘I am a simple old fashioned operator – I don’t use fancy words” or last, but not least,
’I am a numbers person – this stuff is not important in my world’.
Umm, nope. The world has changed. We all have a brand, customers and clients (existing and potential) and need to understand, nurture and connect with existing and potential customers if we want them to become loyal brand advocates. Gone are the days where the functionality of a brand or business is enough. Business is competitive and customers are spoilt with choice on where to spend their money. They will gravitate to brands and businesses who clearly ‘get them’. Brands that connect to them and are aligned to their values and what they believe in.
In a previous blog, I talked about How to know when your business needs change and 5 steps to kickstart your business transformation. The 2nd tip (right after engaging the help of an expert), is to go on a fact finding mission on the reality of your business as it is right now, the good, the bad and the ugly. This soul searching needs to be honest and vulnerable and it should start with the story behind the business and the heart and soul of the brand.
Not sure where to start?
I facilitate strategic planning sessions for many of my clients and a week or so before our first meeting, I send a series of exploratory questions to all those who will be participating in the session.
The purpose of these questions is to get participants into the right headspace (especially important if there is a cross section of functions and roles involved in the session), and to initiate deeper thinking around some key foundational brand questions. This is a really powerful stage for all businesses and means the workshop or planning session will be more productive and inclusive right from the start.
So before you read the questions, a couple of things to remember –
Don’t get too stressed if you can’t answer all these questions. They are designed to get you thinking deeply about your why, your vision and your brand.
I will help you flesh all this out so use all this as a guide, a starting point….
15 Questions to ignite your business and brand story:
1. Why did you/the founder start this business?
2. What is the difference your brand wants to make – your purpose, your ‘north star’, your legacy? (don’t overthink this one). This might be to an industry, the world, your family, society.
3. What are your values – the way you/your brand does things., How do you make decisions, decide to turn down or explores opportunities? Communicate? What is the culture of your business/brand? – Check out this powerful template (from my book Demystifying the road to Change)
4. Who is your target customer – tell me as much as possible about her/him?
5. What other brands do they buy? Where do they hang out? What do they do – for work, for play? Demographics?
6. What is their pain? Their irritation with what’s on offer currently? ie what gap are you filling?
7. Who are your competitors?
8. Where are you positioned against your competitors (through the customer’s eyes)? This positioning map template is a fantastic way to understand the competitive market, through the eyes of 2 key customer purchase filters.
9. What is your point of difference? What position in the market will you own ie what will be your stake in the ground, your one consistent, forever and always message?
10. What brand(s) do you respect in your space – why?
11. Where do you get your inspiration?
12. What motivates you?
13. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
14. In 2yrs time when you read a headline about your business/brand – what does it say (don’t overthink this one either)?
15. What are the mechanics of your business at this stage – products, services, distribution channels?
Once you have some clarity around these questions, you are ready to launch into your Business transformation process. The information, challenges, gaps and opportunities that will arise from exploring these questions is significant – it is gold!.
My business transformation process will guide you through taking all this intelligence and firstly organise it into priorities. From there I will show you how to prepare clear strategies and actions, design the right reports and structure your business and its processes to make it all happen.
If you have worked through the above questions and the simplicity of this is resonating and you want to find out more and get started:
Until next time x