Working with a variety of smaller clients these days, I’m reminded that most business communication strategy problems boil down to three simple questions.
- Where are you now?
Determine what your important audiences currently think of your brand. (Remember, your brand, like your reputation, isn’t what you say it is. It’s what your customers say it is.)
- Where do you want to go?
Determine what you need people to think and feel about your company and your products, so that your strategies can work and your business objectives can be met.
- What’s your plan to get there?
Decide what you are willing and able to do — in your offerings, your practices, your plans and your communications —to support your desired image.
It’s not brain surgery. But it requires time and effort that executives, small business owners and even agencies often don’t want to commit.
It’s important for company leaders to take the time and trouble to get answers, draw smart conclusions, and take action. Unless you’re selling out-of-control commodities like oil or gold, there’s no substitute for knowing where you are, where you’re going, and having a plan to get there.