Why are You Here and Where Do You Intend to Go?

I am sitting at the conference room table with an entrepreneurial-minded CEO for an established brand and his leadership team. I pose the question, “Where do you see your business in the next three years?” Along with a long pause and a few blank stares from around the table, the CEO breaks the silence and says, “We want to grow our business by 50 percent.” Some type of growth followed by a percentage is typically the answer I get. Very rarely do CEO’s answer with their vision of what the future looks like. While numbers are a good KPI, they alone, don’t motivate and inspire people.

In a meta-analysis of 49,928 business units across 192 organizations representing 49 different industries in 34 countries, performance management consulting firm, Gallup, found that employees who believe in their company’s intention and purpose are more likely to “create a safe environment, have higher productivity and connect with customers to the benefit of the organization.” According to this study, only about four in 10 employees are aware of their company’s mission or purpose. This lack of alignment on the why behind a brand can lead to miscommunication and misdirection on what a company makes and how it produces a good or service, which is why defining a company’s overall mission statement and creating a sense of camaraderie around this vision is the first step in building a cohesive and purposeful brand.

No matter what the situation, a successful brand understands why they are here and has a vision of where they intend to go. Here at Orange Label we help entrepreneurial-minded companies uncover their unique purpose and align on their vision for the future. This is the first step in our Orange Label Approach, called The Orange Exploration™.

As the name implies, The Orange Exploration™ is about, well, exploration, and entails a series of meetings between the client and Orange Label’s strategic team. First, we cover Core Business Objectives – What is the client’s vision for annual revenue and what steps are required to reach that goal? Which products will be pushed and why? What is the overall growth plan? This allows all parties to gain a deeper understanding of the brand’s financial goals.

Next, Orange Label asks the client about Key Marketing Objectives – At the end of the day, what qualifies success from a marketing perspective to the client? Clients may desire an increase in foot traffic, higher engagement on social media channels, a boost in brand awareness, or all of the above.

During the Marketing Limitations/Problems component, we identify any road-blocks preventing a brand from achieving their goals. Examples include budget limitations, a new competitor in the market, or a recent change in economic conditions. This exercise also requires a deep-dive into a brand’s Salient Historical Contextual Facts, which provides a granular look at a company’s history and internal processes. Lastly, we Specify Each Constituency to be Impacted, analyzing the client’s current customer base while recognizing opportunities for growth.

All of this leads into the View From The Field™, which we will go over in detail in our upcoming blog What Does Your View from the Field Look and Sound Like?, but for now, we’ll leave you with a takeaway: Discovering the purpose behind your brand is never easy. As we mentioned in our blog The Longest Way is the Shortest Way, there’s no shortcut to long-term value. Carefully analyzing every aspect of your business model and marketing strategy is the only way to develop a brand identity that drives response. It may take time but it’s worth it. Why? Because figuring out what makes your brand tick is the first step in the journey toward lasting brand success.

 

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