Mission Statement and Name : BRAND YOUR BUSINESS - PART 2
In Part ONE of this 6-Part mini course we talked about “What is a Brand and Why Does it Matter?”
We also talked about Tribe Building and how a good business brand can make it easier for you to “Build a Tribe”.
We also referred to the B2B Tribe Building System that the SA Chamber of Entrepreneurs (SACE) offers to local business consultant’s owners to “create a tribe of their own”. [If you click image below you should be re-directed to SACE where you can read more about this B2B Tribe Building System]. Or you can just try to click HERE.
Lastly we promised to share the Jack Daniel’s Tribe story and PART 2 of this course with you.
Let’s begin with the Jack Daniel’s Tribe story.
[This story was first published many years ago in a book called: The TRIBE CASE BOOK and it is based on a personal true account from Tom Bentley]Pour Me Another: The Jack Daniel’s Tribe Is 90 Proof
In 1976, at the tender age of twenty-two, I found an invitation card on the neck of a bottle Jack Daniel’s whiskey.
They requested the reader of the card to write to the Jack Daniel’s distillery. They wanted to know if I had any thoughts or questions about the whiskey or their distillery’s products.
Being a student and a bit of a wise guy back then, I responded with a letter to them. I said to them that not only did I enjoy consuming their whiskey in a conventional way, but that I also brushed my teeth with it, and kept a glass on my bedside table at the ready to ward off night sweats and other less congenial spirits.
This was nearly 40 years ago and since that first letter to the distillery they have sent me a flood of letters, gifts, official-looking documents, and fun stuff thanking me for using their products and being part of the “JACK D” tribe.
Tallying up the documents, I count over 100 letters, as well as a parcel of certificates, public notices (some hand-written), photographs, and items such as a plug of chewing tobacco, a buckeye, a rubbing stone, drinking glasses, a record of abominable folk songs, calendars, and much more.
In one I received a “Deed Of Ownership” to a one-inch square of property on distillery land, with the accompanying declaration that I am a Tennessee Squire in good standing.
Now there’s marketing, and then there’s MARKETING!
The reach and angle of these communications, which rarely touch upon anything that was related to selling whiskey, was amazing. Instead the letters, which might inquire as to whether I’d allow worms to be dug on my one-inch property, showed a creative and quixotic whimsy. Collectively, they limn the peaks and valleys familiar to many relationships.
The distillery invited me to join the Tennessee Squires CLUB very early on, and it certainly is a tribe, centred around the appreciation of good sipping whiskey.
I was very impressed with the letters and weird gifts. Some were truly un-commercial. Like the snapshot of rusted items found with a metal detector on my land, with the question as to whether I needed them.
That the company would continue to send letters for 40 YEARS, and many of them deeply amusing in a folksy way, is extraordinary. Needless to say, I am a Jack Daniel’s drinker.
There are better whiskeys, and I buy them too, but Jack Daniel’s will always be available in my home. They earned it!
Nice…don’t you think? Can you see how easily Jack Daniel’s build their tribe? Then answer this question – why haven’t you started building your own tribe yet? Or have you!
Lets move on to Part 2: Brand Your Business
What is a brand though?
For many of us, the word “brand” calls to mind two things: a Name and a Logo.
But the fact is; these two things are not the most important about your brand.
And neither is it the first thing you will consider when you start you own business.
So what is most important?
Yes, that would be your “Mission Statement”.
Your mission statement is the single most important part of your branding and once you’ve worked this out, everything else will fall in place.
Let’s get started:
Creating Your Mission Statement
A mission statement is simply a short sentence or two that clearly defines what you do and why you do it.
Perhaps the best way to illustrate this is to look at some of the more famous examples…
Our mission is: To refresh the world in mind, body and spirit. To inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions.
It's our goal to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything online.
Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
SA Chamber of Entrepreneurs(SACE):
It is the mission of SACE to promote entrepreneurs-ship in South Africa to benefit the country and everyone in it equally.
What do these statements all have in common?
All of them are rather grand, all of them are rather vague and all of them are inspiring.
They tend to focus on the ‘why’ and then the ‘how’ instead of the ‘what’.
Example: Let’s say that you have a company that makes socks.
Sure, you could call yourself ‘Socks PTY LTD’ and be done with it, but if you wanted to create something a bit more inspiring, then you would begin with your mission statement.
Your mission statement is not to make socks. Your mission statement is to warm people’s feet – or to keep them comfortable inside shoes.
And in doing so…what idees come up in your mind right now?
Maybe you think: “My socks will help people feel cozy and happy in their own bodies because their feet will be nice and warm in the winter’.
So you will make your company name to “Ultra Warm Socks” and your mission statement would be as follows:
To warm people’s feet and help them feel comfortable in their bodies throughout the day.
Now you have a real promise that people can get behind and associate with. You have something much more exciting, you have something far more marketable…,and you have something people may want to talk about.
A mission statement like this will motivate your staff and it can help you to envision new ideas for future products and marketing campaigns.
Can you see the difference?
So spend some time reflecting on your own brand and your own business.
- What was it that drew you to this industry in the first place?
- What is it that you find so exciting about it?
- How can you inspire others to feel the same way you do?
Use these answers to create one or two sentences for your mission statement and from there you’ll be able to start coming up with the other idees for your brand.
What if you get stuck?
Here is a nice tip: If you struggle to identify what the drive behind your business is, then try using a exercises like OKR.
OKR stands for “Objectives and Key Results”.
It is pretty simple but effective technique and companies like Google, LinkedIn and Intel use it.
All you do is you simply identify what your companies broader objectives are and then you break these down into smaller ‘key results’.
Start by defining 3-5 key objectives and then under each objective, define 3-4 measurable results.
All you have to do is play around with this OKR technique in mind and before you know it, you will have a perfect mission statement.
Choosing Your Company Name
Now that you have your mission statement, you can start thinking about your company name.
This should be something that describes what your business does but it should also evoke something more interesting and more exciting.
If you’re struggling to come up with anything, then you could try creating a mind map and adding related words to it and add things you like the sounds of.
From there you can try combining them in interesting ways, or using synonyms or portmanteaus, etc.
For instance, ‘Intel’ is related to the fact that the electronic chips the company creates give computers ‘intelligence’.
But then you have ‘Apple’ which is completely unrelated – in this case the assumption is that this would evoke the image of something fresh and clean.
Steve Jobs apparently once said it was inspired by the fact that he was on a fruitarian diet and thought the word sounded ‘fun, spirited and not intimidating’.
So don’t just think about the mechanical parts of your business, but also about your mission statement and the emotions you want to evoke.
It’s a good idea then to come up with a few names and to try surveying your friends and relatives to see which they think is best.
But remember this: you name your business for your customers – not for yourself!
Another good tip is to check whether the domain name (name of you new company) is available.
You should also think a littler about SEO.
For example; how easy would it be for someone to search and find your business online?
Calling yourself “The Pear” just wouldn’t work these days if you plan to run an international business like “Apple”.
The domain name will probably already be taken and you’d have an incredibly hard time showing up in international online searches.
The point is; in today’s digital marketing world, you need to be a little practical about your business name as well as thinking about what evokes the best feelings!
You may also want to make sure your business name (BRAND) can be registered or trademarked before you make your final decision.
Thank you for doing this mini course, next time, in Part 3, we will talk about: Creating Your Look & Promoting Your Brand.