Be sure your small business brand and mission has a good reason and it is communicated.
As I explained in my previous article, certainty is a thing of the past.
Companies no longer have the luxury of assuming that they can survive glitches in the market with a few last-minute tweaks. These articles explore key and interconnected elements in more detail the six Rs. They provide a great way to assess the health of your business and its areas of strength and weakness, lets focus this time on Reason.
With Good Reason
We start with reason because it underpins everything else all activities, all strategies, how stakeholders view us, employee engagement and customer loyalty. Our values and purpose should permeate the organization. Employee engagement depends on it and your reputation lives or dies because of it.
The reach of your purpose and corporate values is immense, and they have the power to deliver profitable growth or ignominious demise. Customers, employees, investors and other stakeholders will assess what you are offering and judge you accordingly.
What you stand for, as a company, has a critical impact on your fortunes. News travels fast and it may not be the news that you were hoping for. Success demands that we anticipate and stay ahead of ideas and trends. We must remain alert to what matters to customers and adapt accordingly.
It is not enough to have an idea of what we value, it is important for these values to coincide with the values that accord with those of the times.
I do not mean to suggest that we should be manipulative, since genuine beliefs are the hallmark of successful companies; rather, I am suggesting that we should evaluate the situation, reassess our values and consider what matters to people employees, customers and the world. As we acquire new ideas our perceptions and beliefs change.
We should take a big picture view: the world is changing and we should be on the same page and orient our businesses to account for new ideas, new thinking and new demands.
A companys mission is the focal point of all business activities. It is what drives motivation and commitment; it is what draws customers to your brand. While values and mission statements must be genuine, they must also be responsive to change.
After all, business is a total, all-consuming enterprise. As such, it is easy to see how important it is to have your companys values and purpose influence every other part of your business.
This focus is critical to keeping your company on track.
By focusing on your goals, and assuring the commitment of your people to them, you will be better placed to keep your company on the trajectory that will realize these goals. To maintain the course you have set, communicating these ideas to your people and securing buy-in is crucial.
This is not easy: it demands a great deal of energy and acumen, but the rewards are similarly great.
Our ambitions for our companies are rooted in our values and beliefs that direct the companys route to success. In the past, we may have focused exclusively on generating profits at all cost.
Today, we face a very different scenario: profits result from having the right values. Without the right values, companies will miss the mark and suffer accordingly.
About the author
Luis Gallardo is a global brand and marketing leader and expert in the areas of strategic brand management, brand engagement, brand expression, marketing, communications, business development, and reputation management. Former managing director of global brand & marketing at Deloitte, Luis provided leadership to Deloitte's member firm network of more than three thousand marketing and communications professionals. Author of the book: Brands & Rousers, The Holistic System to Foster High-Performing Businesses, Brands and Careers. Luis is the founder of Thap Group, a multinational consultancy focused on brand, marketing and communications strategy, and he sits on the advisory board of several high-growth organizations.