Too often I see companies that want to brag about their awards, their affiliations, their records, or even their media mentions. Why? Are they trying to send a message to their competition? Or do they actually think customers or clients care to know these things? Most companies will say, “It builds immediate trust” or “These things build our brand.” I beg to differ.
What’s your company’s mission? What’s your company’s purpose in this world, this market, your industry? If you answered, “To grow and make more money” then I hate to break it to you, but it’s time to close up shop. Put your business 2nd and your clients or customers 1st. Your mission should be how you’re going to best serve a client or a customer.
Compelling = Propelling:
Your company’s mission is what compels customers and/or clients to give you a try, commit to you and, even better, remain loyal to you. Once you’ve established this “service first” mission that compels the market into action it eventually propels your business up the success curve. The market (in just about every industry) will always be more concerned with what your company can do for them rather than what your company has done for itself… or what your company has achieved… or what big brands your company has ties to… or how many times your company is mentioned in the media. These accolades might help strengthen your credibility but again, put them 2nd, and put your mission 1st.
The Wal-Mart Greeter:
Wedgie Creative’s mission is to help companies grow and achieve success. One of the ways we do this is by helping companies develop their “greeter”: their website. Most companies realize (and if they don’t realize this, now’s the time to learn!) that their website will be a client’s or a customer’s first impression of their business. Well if that’s the case then you should immediately make sure that your homepage is loaded with all of your awards, TV and radio mentions, “dealerrater.com’s number one something rather 2 and ½ years running with a So-and-So’s company recommendation,” right? Absolutely not.
Imagine this: You’re rushing to Wal-Mart to buy some last minute, inexpensive running shoes because the shoes you own are busted. You’re in a rush because you have a charity walk in less than two hours. You do your I’m in a hurry power-walk through the door, only to be halted to a complete stop by the greeter. “Hi, sir. Welcome to Wal-Mart, the 2009 Green Choice Award Winner.” You try to nod, maybe smile, whatever it is you need to do to keep walking and get those shoes! But the greeter steps in front of you again to say, “Did you know that we won the Sustainability Excellence Award?” You respond, but only to end this and get to your shoes, “That’s nice. Congratulations. Where can I find the-” The greeter again cuts you off, slows you down, only to say, “Did you know that the new age of Wal-Mart was given great praise by CNBC’s Emmy Award winning anchor and reporter David Faber?” You scream, “that’s it! I’m outta here!” You can’t take it anymore. All you wanted was some shoes. Is that so much to ask? You heard they had great prices, and you wanted to see for yourself, but nope. Instead, you were bombarded at the homepage before you could click through the service options. The store put themselves first, and you second. As a result, they lost your business. Now, Wal-Mart would never have their greeters do such a thing, but the analogy makes the point. Those are actual Wal-Mart accolades that you’ve probably never heard about. Why? Those accolades are a result of their mission, not the other way around. Their mission begins with you, the client, the customer. Their mission compels you, causing you to propel them to success.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it:
So what does your “greeter” look like? Do you have the type of greeter that brags about accolades, affiliations, media mentions, and beats the company’s chest in the consumer’s face? Or do you have the type of greeter that’s friendly, easy going, and guides new, existing, or even loyal clients and customers to finding what they want? I hope it’s the latter. If not (or if you’re looking for a younger, more attractive greeter), then we should talk: firstname.lastname@example.org
Right now, I highly suggest either establishing or looking at your current mission statement. Does it serve you, or does it serve the consumer? If it doesn’t put the consumer first, it’s time to revise it immediately and develop a mission of higher purpose.