Who are we? Why are we here? Where are we going? What do we stand for?
No, we’re not having an existential crisis (we hope). These are the kind of deep, slightly uncomfortable questions every business founder needs to find definitive, succinct responses to. But this profound Q&A is a step that many choose to skip when starting out. And we completely get why.
This kind of digging drives a stake of fear into the heart of most founders (yep, we’ve been there too) because it’s really bloody challenging. Despite seeming relatively simple and straightforward, it’s extraordinarily tough to find the right words to clarify and convey the purpose of your life’s work.
Every founder is imploding with passion, commitment, and product/service knowledge for their business, of course, but the brutal truth is, most founders cannot effectively articulate why their beloved businesses exist.
And, really, when you think about it—why should they be able to? The majority of founders are busy doing what they do best, running the show, keeping a million balls aloft. Founders are blessed with many talents, but writing perfectly articulated statements is usually not one of them.
So while we sympathise—and we really do—we still can’t emphasise enough how important it is to wind your business back to basics for a moment, to the grass roots who, why, what and where, in order to secure your future track. You see, defining your business, your product, your message and your goals helps to establish a base camp, a northern star and a destination. In short, you’ll always know where you’re going and you’ll never get lost again.
The fancy name for this process is brand foundation. Don’t let it distract you. It’s really just a term to describe the process whereby you invest a bit of time, cash and thought into nutting out (with our help) all the micro details of your business’s identity. Its ethos. Its tone of voice. Its intent. Its core truth. Its aspirations. Its position in the market. Its attributes. Its personality. (That kind of thing).
The brand foundation that is created then informs all future communication, design and marketing decisions within your business going forward. It’s an internal document that keeps your focus strong, your priorities in view, your staff on track and your end goal clear.
And it truly pays off. Every last cent, every bit of discomfort.
We’ll simplify the flow-on effect of this as much as we can. Think of our old mates, the Three Little Pigs. The two that build their houses using straw and wood ended up in serious trouble. The pig with the concrete footings survived and thrived. Solid foundations count. You cannot build an empire on shaky ground.
When you don’t define your business, and why it exists, your brand becomes a bit of a jumbled mess. It will reflect the lack of clarity and vision from deep within. Messages will become inconsistent. Staff will feel confused. This results in a number of pretty negative outcomes. At worst, you may inadvertently damage your business’s image; at best you’ll impact on its effectiveness.
A lack of brand foundation can also mean many short-sighted decisions are made that ultimately end in your business following the masses, rather than leading the pack. Let’s face it, if you don’t know what your message is, you’ll be more inclined to reflect one that already exists. While this may seem easier, cheaper, more comfortable or even safer at the time, your chances of being a successful industry leader will plummet.
Most corporate organisations are big on brand foundations. They prepare giant, overwhelming documents, teeming with marketing jargon that many of us in the non-corporate world tune out from after three lines.
What we like to do with our brand foundations is comprise everything into a single A4 page (sometimes two, if we’re feeling generous). A tight as a drum, purposeful piece of vital information, kept super simple and succinct so everyone can understand it. It will leave everyone with complete clarity—and zero confusion.
Your business will soon reap the benefits, with things like more efficient and confident decision-making, more motivated staff, a strong market position and the ability to react quickly to opportunities that may arise, while future collaborators will be able to stay firmly on brand.
We’re ready to talk as soon as you’re ready to pour the concrete.