Mar 28, 2013

Goals Shape Brands

Goals shape brands. They become the guiding purpose of a business, and provide a lightning rod to organize people, create energy and make decisions.

Consider some of the goals of top brands:

Google: “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”

Microsoft: “A computer on every desk and in every home.”

Amazon: “Every book, ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds.”

These are more than lofty mission statements. They are clear, measurable goals that frame the companies’ ambitions around their customers.

Strategy is a choice

Roger Martin wrote, “Strategy is about making specific choices to win in the marketplace.” To make choices you need direction.

A lot of organizations make choices in isolation. They react to a competitive threat, new opportunities, or situations that arise in their business. Each decision on its own may not have significant ramifications for the brand, but when they are all put together they shape it.

Sticky brands are purposeful. They don’t form accidentally. They form out of a choice by the management team to work towards a specific goal.

The collective decisions an organization makes demonstrates if it’s working towards a goal. Without clear direction it’s impossible for management and employees to make cohesive choices that support the growth of a sticky brand.

Frame the goal around your customers

Peter Drucker said, “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”

Lofty mission and vision statements “to change the world,” “be an industry leader,” or “do great work” don’t provide direction. Effective goals are tied to the customer.

Google has set a goal to organize all the world’s data. This clearly fits their business model wrapped around advertising. Nike isn’t a shoe company or a clothing company, they’re focused on athletes.

To drive strategy and brand building, the goal has to focus the organization on who it’s serving. A sticky brand is always about winning customers, getting them to come back again-and-again, and have them tell their friends about their amazing experiences.

What’s driving your brand?

What is your company’s goal? How is it shaping your brand?

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