In this second of a three part series on start-ups, we will figure out how to communicate your mission to your targets.
The multi-device wielding Millennial generation is forcing brands to reinvent their marketing. Brands are rising up to the challenge and doing their Big data chrunching to figure out who are buying into them and who are not. They are smart enough to know that consumers don’t buy into a product, they buy into a promise and that’s what a brand has to reflect.
Before a consumer commits to buy from you, he/she needs to trust your brand. But if they don’t know what your brand stands for, your message would not be credible and your promise would be cloaked in ambiguity. The consequence? No trust. No deal.
Your Mission and Vision statement are the best means of articulating what your brand stands for in the short hand. Go with something very short, straight and sweet. Think Nike – Just Do It. Think Harley-Davidson. Think Apple. Think Starbucks.
Next study your competition. How are they pitching to your customers? Are they taking any bold stand? How are they distinguishing themselves from the run-of-the-mill? You have to do something more remarkable.
Your organization’s mission, vision, and values should be clearly defined and this should flow through to your employer branding communications. Two of the standout companies in this area are Apple and Starbucks.
Starbucks is very clear about what it stands for – and it’s not just coffee. Its mission is to: ‘To inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”
Wow! Isn’t that lofty?
Your Mission Statement must sound like your Statement of Purpose (SoP). B-schools ask their applicants to send them their SoPs for admission. It’s the most powerful screening tool used to select candidates whose goals and purpose match with that of the institute.
Mission statements must reflect the true nature of an enterprise, so while the Mission statement of a for-profit organization can talk about “Raising revenues for all stakeholders” the Mission statement for a non-for-profit organization, in contrast, must talk of social equity, sustenance and other such values in order to sound authentic.
Peppercomm, a strategic marketing, communications and public relations agency favors an entrepreneurial-style Mission statement – “Work hard, play hard” and sponsors employees’ lessons in stand-up comedy and have them perform at a New York club, while co-workers gleefully watch!. That’s certainly a novel and authentic way of employee engagement that goes pat with the agency’s Mission statement.
Likewise, Tesla Motors Mission statement, “Move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a sustainable, solar electric economy” is uniquely idealistic to what the eco-friendly company stands for.
That’s precisely the point of a Mission statement: to paint your picture and how you want to be perceived to the world.
You don’t have to be as idealistic as Tesla Motors. You just have to be what you are.
There should be a perfect match between what you are and how you are perceived in order to emerge as a strong, ethical brand. A brand your consumers can trust.
Make something awesome.
Then, spell it out in your Mission Statement as clearly and as truthfully as you can.
Above all, Be real.