Supporting Your Brand Promise, Even if it Kills You!
So many of us are guilty of operating our business on the fly. Yes, the fly, not the bee. We make decisions based on what seems right in the moment. We make modifications to processes when things go haywire. What we don’t do is keep our brand promise at the center of all things like we should.
After reading, studying and implementing Mike Michalowicz’s steps in his newest book, Clockwork, I’m here to tell you that living your brand promise will create a sense of purpose and alignment within your business. How do you do that? Keep reading.
Before I even read the book Clockwork, I had spent several months branding my consulting company. Talk about a challenge, it definitely was. Luckily, I had a great branding expert, Nicole, with Hello Brand Collective as my guide. From naming my company to creating a tagline, then to deciding on an image, I was quickly overwhelmed. I was encouraged to think about what sets me apart from other consultants and what it is that I do differently. I ran through all of the cute icons in my head of what would look good as my logo. It wasn’t until I started to take a closer look at what my brand meant that I realized the bee embodied my niche more so than anything else I could think of.
“Why a BEE? They bite,” said Lennon, my 4 year old.
The Bee made the most sense because of the systems and processes that come naturally to them. They’re amazing creators, designers in their own right. They are extremely organized and their hives basically run like clockwork. When you stand back (in a bee suit) and watch, it’s amazing that they all live to fulfill the role they were made for. As a little girl I remember my grandpa Eugene having bee hives. I would always stand back and watch, eager to get my hands on some of the finished product. I also remember having such a cautious amount of respect for the creature; they were small but so mighty.
Fast forward a couple months and as I start to read Clockwork, and what’ya know, the bee is a staple in Mike’s book. The Queen Bee Role is what you hinge your company’s success on. What is the one thing you can’t do without. What is that one thing that makes your business unlike any other? Mike references bees and their parallel to systems and processes in a business. Then and there I knew that my brand embodied everything I wanted it to. I had done something right!
Mindsight Behavioral Group, my group practice, was another story.
When I started Mindsight in 2015, it was one of those “long time coming” things. I knew what would make us different but I didn’t take the time to really think through my brand, let alone my brand promise. I was so ready to turn something I had wanted for so long into a reality. I worked with a logo designer, created a business card template and used a tagline that was relevant but not spot on. Since 2015 my company has grown and evolved to the point that reading Clockwork helped me realize that our brand promise was no longer “Using knowledge to empower,” it was much more than that.
In the last blog I talked about how my office staff at Mindsight have been meeting to work through the steps in Clockwork. I am working full speed ahead towards going on that 4 week vacation (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read the book!) The first step was identifying our brand promise. The more we talked and tossed around ideas, the more clear it became that our brand promise now centers more around caring and less about using knowledge to help empower others. While both are important, without care and compassion for people, Mindsight would not exist.
Establishing a brand promise is easy right? Wrong! You get a group of ten over thinkers together and what do you get? NOTHING! It took us three weeks to decide on what we were evolving our brand promise to be. This was a decision not to be taken lightly. Not only are we fully committed to embodying this promise, we are going to be investing a substantial amount of funds into re-branding all of our content. When Mindsight says we’re re-branding, we mean it!
We spent a lot of time thinking of cute sayings, like “Where innovative minds and wellness align” from Desiree Crowley, a spouse of one of our contractors. “Uncompromising excellence” from our Human Resources Director, Laura Poynter. Trevor Pennington, our Director of Community Outreach liked, “Caring with Conversation”. While these were all excellent and looked amazing on paper, there was still something that was missing. As the days went on I started to become frustrated because this brand promise task was supposed to be simple, and I couldn’t move forward with five hundred other things because this thing was holding us up.
On the third Thursday morning meeting I had made the decision to outsource the brand promise task. Even though I didn’t want to, I just couldn’t figure it out. I was on my way to work, talking to myself out loud, saying “forget the cutesy words, don’t worry about it rhyming or looking pretty, what does Mindsight promise to everyone? From the staff to the clients?” I told myself not to overthink it and just answer those simple questions.
That’s when it hit me. I knew what our brand promise was.
I sent a text to HR right away so I wouldn’t forget and hurried on to our meeting. The team went back and forth, throwing around more ideas but the one thing that always stumped us with each idea was, what are we going to do to ensure that promise is implemented into every component of our business? Are we 1000% confident that we can represent this brand promise through and through? If not, we throw it out. We could create objections to almost every one of them, EXCEPT the one that popped into my head that morning on my drive to work.
The excited and nervousness I felt when we had decided on our brand promise was familiar. It was almost like saying “I DO”. This brand promise is one that we’re going to live by as this company continues to grow. It’s not flashy, creative, or cute. It’s real and full of purpose. It came from the heart and we can fully devote ourselves to it. This will change our business in so many ways.
“We are Mindsight. Where people feel cared for.”
Now, let the fun begin…
***What’s your brand promise? I’d love to see you post it in the comments below!