WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE!
It takes a team to achieve success and thrive in today’s busy world, and the Barrel O'Monkeyz team is filled with All Stars! Every so often, I like to highlight a member of the Barrel O'Monkeyz extended family, and since goals and strategy are so important to monkeyz nation, I thought I’d introduce you to one of our favorite monkeyz, Pam Reyes.
Pam is a business and marketing strategist for high performing individuals and organizations. She has more than 20 years of experience in global leadership roles for Fortune 500 companies leading, coaching, and influencing cross-functional teams and getting buy-in from stakeholders for a wide range of organizational challenges and strategies. She is known for her ability to simplify complex ideas and initiatives through effective communication, making them easier to understand, manage, and deliver.
One of her specialties is the all important first step that individuals and organizations must engage in before launching (or re-launching) their brands . . . and that’s what brings Pam to the pages of our blog this week as this is a topic of particular interest to me and to Monkeyz readers: crafting the vision of your company as it relates to branding. The vision of your company is critically important and is based on why you exist: your purpose, cause or belief—why you do what you do. A clear vision is your blueprint for all branding. It feeds everything from your identity to key messaging, marketing content, visuals, graphics, and logo.
KNOW WHY YOU’RE IN BUSINESS
In Pam’s experience, she’s encountered many organizations and individuals who are simply going through the motions of being in business. They don’t necessarily know why they’re in business (other than to hopefully make a profit), nor do they know what inspires their clients/customers to buy their products or services. It is the why that drives buying behavior because emotion drives decisions. People buy why you do things, not what you do.
According to Pam, businesses that find themselves in this sort of predicament have failed to articulate a vision. They haven’t taken the time to figure out why they do what they do and what they stand for. These kinds of businesses are more about doing and executing in the moment versus setting themselves up for long-term success.
“One example of a company that’s done it right is Apple,” she explains. “Apple’s vision is they believe in thinking differently and challenging the status quo. How they do it is with simple-to-use products that are beautifully designed. Apple understands they are much more than just a computer company or a smart phone company. They are all about changing the way people communicate, consume information, and are entertained by integrating technology with satisfying user experiences. That’s ‘why’ they’re in business, and that’s how they are set up to enjoy long-term success. Their products and services may change but their ‘why’ won’t.”
DON’T MISS THAT FIRST STEP: IT’S A DOOZY
When it comes to branding, many companies fail to articulate their vision by first taking a step back and defining why they are doing what they are doing, and why their target customers choose to buy from them.
Pam’s advice is for individuals and organizations to start crafting the vision of their brand by first asking the right questions:
- Why am I/we doing what I/we’re doing?
- What do I/we stand for?
- What do I/we believe in . . . and why? Was it born out of frustration (some pain point I/we wanted to overcome), some life-purpose, or some long-held belief?
Being in business to make a profit is a goal, not a vision. “Profit,” Pam says, “is a by-product of a vision. When your vision is really clear it is so much easier to gain alignment and attract people with the same values, vision, and needs to your brand, which leads to success and ultimately to profit.”
VISION COMES FROM THE HEART
A company’s vision needs to be simple—something that can be articulated clearly and concisely to various audiences and stakeholders internally and externally. But simple does not mean easy. Identifying and crafting the right vision for your brand takes thought.
To start, ask yourself:
- What life, experiences (career, school, or business) have influenced me most?
- What excites me? Why do I get up in the morning?
- What angers me?
- What’s near and dear?
- What challenges have I overcome?
- What am I willing to take a stand for?
Then look for the themes that tend to run through your life and your stories. Note how each influences the ‘why’ of why you are in business.
Most importantly, Pam suggests, “The vision for a brand needs to come from the heart . . . yours and your stakeholders, including your target buyers.”
Why is this important for your brand?
“All things being equal, people tend to make their purchase decisions based on emotion,” she explains. “Companies that compete on price and features only don’t have brands, they’re commodities, and it’s very tough to compete on features, function, and price alone and be successful for very long. The most successful brands are those that connect to their customers on an emotional level. That’s what differentiates them from their competitors and builds loyalty with stakeholders, both internal and external.”
BENEFITS OF SEEING 20/20
When your company vision is clear, the benefits are enormous.
According to Pam:
- Customers will align with not only the product or service you sell, but to your organization and the talent that went into building your brand, generating extreme loyalty, referrals, and repeat business.
- When internal stakeholders (your employees) are clear as to the ‘why’ you’re in business, those who want what the company wants tend to stick around. They will give you their blood, sweat and tears, and they’ll be happier and more productive.
- Companies that demonstrate clear vision have an easier time attracting and retaining outside talent that’s aligned with company values and culture.
- Having a clear vision also makes it easier to seize upon the right opportunities as they come along. “Organizations and individuals that know what they are marching toward, simply need to ask if an opportunity adds to their vision or detracts from it,” Pam explains. “Having a clear vision makes such decision-making easy.”
MAKING IT SO
While crafting a vision can be complicated, “it doesn’t have to take a long time to figure out,” Pam says. “It needs to be a thoughtful process. Organizations must be willing to dig into their back story to understand what makes them or their companies who/what they are today.”
Sometimes she can accomplish this in one sit down conversation with an individual over a short period of time, while at other times the process is more complex, involving multiple stakeholders and multiple half- or full-day sessions with follow-on engagements to maintain momentum.
Regardless of the approach, “my role is to help individuals and organizations get out of their own ways so they can articulate a clear vision and achieve the results they desire.”
TAKE THE NEXT STEP
Let Barrel O’ Monkeyz provide a free assessment of your current online presence and/or inbound marketing strategy to help you answer the question, “Is my brand set-up for success?”
You can also check out Barrel O’Monkeyz white papers on a range of topics, from inbound marketing and website development, to digital marketing, brand development, and design. Each white paper is full of ideas and steps you need to take to turn your ideas into reality.