Have you ever needed to explain your brand and business in a few words, only to stumble and provide an incomplete story? If you're running a business, you're hyper-focused on delighting customers and generating returns. That doesn't leave much time for introspection or considering your brand. How do you address this topic once you decide it’s a priority?
That "who are we" question often surfaces as a result of projects like launching a new website or an important merger rather than deliberate actions. Brand values, mission, vision statements and strategies become important because you need to capture and convey your story to new audiences. You may operate internally with an understanding of these ideas, but don't make them clear to external audiences.
Our own Founder, Kevin, recently challenged the business to answer these questions. The conversation generated an interesting perspective on how he meets the challenge: How do we explain ourselves to others?
Over the years, I've been involved in several studies that talk about what lens I/we view the world through. In other words, how do you view the world? What do you see when you look out the window and how would you describe what you see vs. what someone else would see? Would it be the same or slightly different or radically different?
While trying to define our mission/vision statement, I realized that for the last 20 years, CQL operated in data. Such a simple, plain word, but that's what we do. How we do it is a different story. That started to get my wheels turning. How do you get something like data, shaped into a mission/vision that is simple, informative, inspirational and motivational?
Well, that would be like someone from the Matrix trying to explain to Neo in 5 minutes what the Matrix is and he gets it. Done, movie over, problem solved, thanks for your $20 movie ticket. But you really need to walk someone through the process of understanding that the world is made up of 1s and 0s. Think about it, since the day you were born, all your sensory inputs were collecting data. That data shapes the lens you look through and changes your outputs.
<insert explosion noises here> Yeah, right, mind blowing. So, what does CQL do? We help change the lens through which you see data.
The lens changing will ultimately help change the way you see and interact with your data and business. Helping you grow your business.
Now data may not have seemed so important to you before but this should give you pause to consider. And while you’re at it, perhaps you need some time for yourself. Gather the team and do a quick stand up. You’ll know in less than a minute if you need to invest time here or not.
As our Founder stated, every person has their own data lens and it’s up to us to make sure they’re hearing and seeing consistent messages. The consequences for failing here are organizational mis-alignment and not meeting your customer’s expectations. After all, how do you deploy successful sales and marketing initiatives if you can’t explain who you are and why customers should do business with you?Photo Credit: wwarby via Compfight cc