Brand Preview 2017: Part 1 – Focus

2016 has been a year of uncertainty. 2017 offers more of the same. In this atmosphere of uncertainty we wanted to take a look at the two key brand issues you need to consider in the next 12 months. This first post explains how developing your focus will give you a competitive advantage in 2017.

When there’s uncertainty around you, your ability to focus can be vital. In 2017 it will be time to focus on your strengths, and your brand provides a really practical framework to help you do that.

In a challenging environment it’s tempting to look at your competitors, and what they’re doing, and try to do it better. But at times like this it’s your strengths, not your competitors strengths, that you should focus on. Focus is important because it helps you to be more efficient. When you are focused on your goal it’s easy to identify what you need to do next to reach it. You can establish where and when you should invest your time, money and energy, to make the biggest impact.

To understand what’s important for your organization you need to start by thinking about your ‘purpose’. What is it that drives you? Can you capture that in a sentence? It’s not easy, but if you can it provides a powerful reference point. These are some examples of organizations that have done that.

Shelter is a charity that works to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness and bad housing.

Rolls Royce aerospace
Our aim is to provide the finest, most technologically advanced power systems.

To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.

If you have a goal, but you haven’t got a purpose, you should take some time to think about yours. A clearly defined purpose is the fuel that drives your brand. Whatever your ambitions for your business, your ability to translate your purpose in to some tangible activity will determine your success. It’s a fantastic tool for motivating your team and helping them to understand their role in the success of your organization.

Your purpose is also a fantastic tool for motivating your customers – if you can communicate it clearly. It helps your customers to understand what makes you different, which is the first step to nurturing customer loyalty. It enables you to move away from being seen as ‘just’ a product or service and begins to build a much stronger relationship.

It gives you the opportunity to build a relationship that’s not based on price or convenience. You can build a relationship that’s based on your strengths – your skills, your experience, your heritage – whatever it is that makes you different – and better – than the competition.

So if you want to get the best out of 2017… focus.

To chat about finding focus in your organisation, or defining your purpose, drop Jonathan an email.


Photo: Flickr – Bo Nielsen © Creative Commons