Strategic statements aren’t valuable on their own. Like any tool, just having a strategy doesn’t mean much as a standalone plan — the implementation and utilization of the strategy is where all value is derived. It is the starting point by which a business grows into a brand.
If there aren’t clearly defined near term and long term strategic goals, how can you expect stakeholders, employees and candidates to align with where you’re headed? Maintaining consistency and trajectory provides comfort to employees and instills confidence in stakeholders. It’s a mechanism to measure progress and steer the organization.
By taking the time to develop, iterate and share these ideas, leaders uncover any confusion there might be with key team members.
This exercise provides the framework for a consistent path and ensures the seamless alignment of your team, in both the big picture capacity as well as day-to-day decision making.
Own your future — By defining these concepts your ethos is intentional. Left untended, your brand will be defined by others.
Your principles guide your business.
The purpose is forever — It’s the aspirational reason why your company exists. It lives beyond financial goals and doesn’t include any methods, means, or specific approaches or executions.
The values are current — Core values describe what you believe and how you behave. They’re a brand’s standards of conduct even (and especially) when things get difficult.
The mission brings purpose into focus — Your mission statement describes exactly how you’ve put your purpose into action, along with who benefits from your work. It outlines your actions in simple, clear language that’s specific to your brand.
The vision is the envisioned future — It’s a description of what the world could be like if you achieve everything you set out to do. It speaks to the impact you’ll make in the lives of your customers, not just the future state of your own company.
Once you’ve gone through the process to create and share the plan, you need to utilize it to guide your business.
Utilize your principles.
Each of these elements should be utilized to create brand guidelines. This document and these principles is where you will establish the tone, personality and voice behind your brand, in addition to the visual representation of the business.
The brand guideline will act as a rulebook for all those that need to create content for the business, from HR to outside vendors. It’s the fundamental document that will allow your business to scale and remain consistent internally and in the marketplace.
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