The most important activity for any leader is to cast a vision for their organization! This vivid picture of what the future will look like when the organization has achieved its ultimate purpose must be so compelling that your staff will bet their careers on your organization and your customers will be inspired to do business with you.
The effectiveness of your vision statement can make or break your organization. It can be the biggest factor driving differentiation for your organization in the marketplace or it can reduce you to just another commodity, slugging it out in the trenches for the lowest priced sale.
A few weeks ago I introduced a tool called the Business Compass. This tool provides the means of visually communicating your organization’s vision, mission, values, brand promise, leadership behaviors and strategic and operational priorities. I have previously blogged about vision, mission, values and strategic and operational priorities but what about Brand Promise?
Brand Promise is simply what the company promises to the people who interact with it. Companies that are able to follow through on their brand promise, create real brand value with their customers. This brand value can be measured in a number of different ways (see the Forbes article “Worlds Most Valuable Brands – Behind the Numbers” for one example) but essentially it comes down to how well known and respected the organization is and how much revenue this notoriety brings in. Forbes also rates the Valuable Brands with Apple, Microsoft and Coca-Cola right at the top of the list for last year.
The important thing to remember is that a brand isn’t what you say it is unless your corporate actions, services and products align with the brand promise. The litmus test for this is to ask your customers. They are the ultimate judge for a brand. Ask your customers what your organization means to them and you will get a excellent picture of what your brand is outside the walls of your organization.