We’ve talked about the power of starting your communication with WHY you exist. We’ve talked about how communicating with that type of purpose in your organization means that you have to Change the Conversations that you are having. The content below will explain how our OVRFLO process applies those high level concepts to your business in order to bring your purpose to life in your organization.
These are the tactical steps we take to create branding and marketing tools that help you tell your purpose story. This may seem like a lot to take on, but that’s why we’re here. We typically get most of this heavy lifting done and applied to your main channels within 90-120 days.
Changing the conversation means looking yourself in the mirror and realizing that what got you where you are now may not be what gets you to where you need to go. It means being willing to acknowledge the intelligent design that drives decision making and buy-in in your team and your customers. It takes courage and faith to believe that God has a unique purpose for you and your business, and that if we build a culture and brand around it, He is going to make lives better through it, including yours.
When your WHY is meaningful to you, then you can lead others to join in fulfilling it with you. Your purpose is your focus. It’s a culture-defining anchor that must be championed from the top.
Collaboration is key
In this stage, we have conversations with you and your top decision makers to ensure that everyone is in agreement that your WHY must be clarified and focused on to move your organization forward. We review the brain science of decision making together, and how starting with WHY delivers ROI for your business. We talk about what’s at stake and decide together on the best way to work through the process in your organization.
Collaboration is critical in uncovering your company’s WHY and building a culture and brand upon it. During the WHY Sessions, your team and ours will work together to define a rough WHY statement that everyone is on board with. We also have Discovery Sessions with your team to learn more about your customers, prospects, competitors and history. These sessions typically take place on-site or at our office and can be completed in 1-2 days total if scheduling allows.
Trust the Process
The good thing is that we’ve been through this same journey ourselves. We know what it’s like to wonder how infusing purpose into your business will really connect with your people. We know what it’s like to dig deep into unfamiliar conversations and come out with something meaningful on the other side. You can do this. Your purpose is already in you. We just have to uncover it and take it from there.
“AM took all the ideas, thoughts, emotions that were in my head, combined them with our market strategy, people strategy, mission, vision, and purpose and presented them back to me like I’ve never heard before.They took all of it and translated it into this direct, powerful and beautifully illustrated story. It fused everything. It was like they introduced me to the true Colt for the first time.”
Dave Reeder, CEO
Colt Concrete & Asphalt
In this step, AM will begin applying what we learned in the WHY sessions toward refining and polishing your final WHY statement. To do this we develop what we call BIG IDEAS that sum up what we’ve uncovered together. These big ideas are what make you you. We like to narrow them down to 3 if possible. Take one away and it’s not you. Add any more and it doesn’t sound like you either. They act as a filter for all big decisions and creative expression of your WHY.
We also take the rough WHY statement that we created together from step 1 and apply our creative skills to it to condense it down to a meaningful statement that is both easy to remember and easy to say. We also create HOW and WHAT statements that help us all remember how they are different from each other and also work together in understanding how to communicate our purpose to others.
At this point, we’ll present the BIG IDEAS and the WHY/HOW/WHAT statements to your team to get feedback and approval on before moving on to the next step. The new ideas that we come up with need to feel very similar to the WHY that we came up with together in the earlier sessions. Your team needs to see that they truly are the ones who established the foundation of it, because people support what they help create.
Here’s an example of Big Ideas from a company called Audia that we took through the OVRFLO process. They are a consulting firm that creates employee engagement solutions for churches and businesses. We helped them narrow down their big ideas to:
- Engagement (WHAT)
- Execution (HOW)
- Exponential (WHY).
Employee engagement is WHAT they do and they believe it’s the key to help companies grow their culture, capacity and reach their growth objectives. They also have a strong implementation system (execution) because if the program doesn’t work then it’s not fulfilling their purpose. That is HOW they do employee engagement. Exponential refers to WHY they do what they do. They want to see their work create thriving organizations that thrive for generations, because when you thrive, they thrive (and that is the tagline we came up for them based on their WHY and Big Ideas).
All of that was built on words and data we gathered during the discovery sessions, and we distilled it into these focused concepts to establish clarity and focus.
Now that we know your unique WHY, we will also identify the target audiences that your WHY will impact most through your company. We review the demographics of your existing customer base. We want to know who you are great at reaching now, as well as who you could be reaching more effectively if your WHY was clarified and focused on even more.
We want to understand what your audience is thinking, feeling and doing at each step in their customer journey. We want to make everyone is clear on how your WHY aligns with their WHY. What are their goals? What are their roadblocks to joining your tribe? (practical, physical, spiritual, emotional). Is your content and collateral focused on answering their questions in the context of your unique WHY? Make the answers to their questions meaningful to them and to you and that meaningful connection will have begun. This may mean thinking about your audience in a new way. Inspiring your audience takes a different approach than simply talking about your products and services the way you always have.
We’ll combine all our findings about your audiences and use it to create Buyer Personas, which are a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. They should be based on market research and real data about your existing customers, and they should be easy-to-remember as we’ll both refer to them throughout your branding and marketing journey.
Let’s look at an example Persona from one of our OVRFLO clients, Colt Concrete. Colt provides paving services in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. One of their main audiences is property managers who would hire Colt to make repairs to parking lots that they are managing. Here’s the Persona we created and what we learned about this audience through our process:
Paula the Property Manager
- Female, 30-40 years old
- high school diploma or college degree
- Texas Real Estate license or CPM
- busy, busy, busy
- versatile, collaborative, positive, detail-oriented
For Colt, before OVRFLO, they were just talking to Property Managers about the hole in their parking lot and providing an estimate to repair it. With a clear WHY and understanding of how their work is meaningful to them and to their customers, Colt now begins the conversation with this:
At Colt, we provide worry-free pavement repair that’s PAVED FOR GOOD. Property managers like you don’t have time for anything less. You deserve reliable communication and fast, quality work, and we’re committed to delivering it, day in and day out, as we have for over two decades. And not only is the quality of our work PAVED for GOOD, we’re in it for your GOOD and for the GOOD of our team and families. That’s what drives us to do it right the first time, with the highest level of service and transparency. You can count on Colt because when we take great care of you, we’re taking great care of those who are counting on us.
It may seem subtle, but this type of messaging takes their audience to the limbic part of their brains where decision making begins and forces them to decide if they value what Colt really stands for or not. It goes from transactional thinking to purpose and loyalty. And it has to be authentic too. If Colt doesn’t deliver on this promise, then the relationship will not last.
Your WHY is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do. It may be about those you are serving. It may be about a cause that you are supporting out of your profits. It may be something closely related to what you do. It may not. Whatever we uncover, it will be meaningful to you, and then we’ll help you tell that story in a way that’s meaningful to your audience.
We look at your competitive landscape as well to see who is also trying to reach your audience. We’ll review which brands in your industry are winning and how are they doing it. We’ll review where they are focusing their marketing resources and energy. Then we’ll compare that with your goals and your WHY and see what we should learn from and how to differentiate your story amongst the rest.
We believe your brand elements become a uniform for those in your tribe to recognize, represent and be proud to align with. This is where the more typical agency deliverables start to come into play. Once your WHY is established and your audiences are in focus, we can apply our creative skills to come up with a visual identity system that is as unique to you as your WHY. We believe that your WHY deserves a branding system with a logo, color palette, typography, and imagery that come together to form an identity that represents your WHY to your people.
Our understanding of the WHY concepts and our efforts to define your audience within that context, along with our powerful creative ability make us uniquely suited to deliver a visual identity that sets you apart.
We believe the words you use to describe your organization are as powerful as any part of your branding system. Our process includes taglines and key phrases to use on your collateral and online content. We want your team to know how to accurately reflect the personality and tone of your WHY in a way that is meaningful to your audience.
We believe that a great tagline is the perfect way to sum up your purpose conversation for all conversations in all instances. If it’s not true for everyone in the company, then it’s not the right wording. Having a list of approved phrases helps everyone communicate the vision and WHY simply and clearly and with the right tone. It becomes a trigger to start the conversation and then allows individuals to fill in their story from there. The same applies to your content and collateral for a specific product, service or campaign.
All of the new brand assets, personas and messaging standards are combined into a Brand Guidelines document (PDF) and/or website that make it easy to distribute to your team and vendors. The brand guidelines will become the hub for how to express your WHY correctly. It will become must-read info for onboarding new team members as well.
ONE PURPOSE. ONE VOICE.
It’s important that your WHY and your new brand elements are represented consistently across the places where conversations are happening about your organization. Your content is no longer simply about pushing out info on products, services and special offers. It’s about removing roadblocks for your primary audiences to engage with your WHY.
From your website to your printed collateral to your social media channels, your content should start with your WHY and demonstrate it always. Remember that changing the conversation has to happen in all touch points for your audiences. A system must be in place to delegate content creation and management for all content stakeholders in a way that keeps everyone pointing to the same WHY.
We are experts at delivering a consistent brand experience in the various communication channels. We are typically the ones applying your new WHY focus to your website, sales materials, social media channels and other core assets. We can also put an implementation plan together that includes your internal team and ours to get the mix just right for who is doing which part of the rollout and ongoing execution in your organization.
This step typically includes:
Social Profiles & Content
Sales Decks & Collateral
Business Cards & Stationery
Presenting your WHY must start within. If we go public with all the new visuals and messaging without getting familiarity and buy-in internally, your employees will feel left out of the process and may feel disconnected from the purpose story. That would lead to them not representing it well to your customers, and would leave your customers and employees feeling like it was not authentic.
Internal campaigns usually include a company presentation with videos from your leadership team and employees that demonstrate how the WHY is meaningful to them. We also want to present your new brand assets and explain how your they are simply articulating your WHY in a fresh, focused way. We also deliver a presentation deck, internal email campaign, and can also help you create branded giveaway items to share with your team.
We often lead workshops for those who are creating and managing your content channels to bring unity to their efforts. It usually is as simple as getting a conversation going with them about WHY they are part of your team. Once we can get their WHY aligned with your WHY, they want to represent both with clarity, creativity and consistency.
This applies to all departments, divisions and teams. We want to train your team on how to communicate the WHY in their individual areas with UNITY and ALIGNMENT. Creating brand guidelines and going over it in workshops to explain implementation and work through common issues is a great way to get buy-in and help people know that their cooperation and collaboration is critical to the success of this process.
Hiring & Onboarding
We recommend bringing the purpose conversation into your hiring, onboarding and review processes. We can work with your HR staff to create conversation guides and welcome kits that outline how to talk about your WHY with your team on an individual basis. The goal is to inspire individual connection to your WHY story and help each person see how they can demonstrate and fulfill the company WHY in their role every day.
Steps 5 & 6 are usually going on at the same time, but we did want to emphasize the importance of not launching your new brand assets to the public without presenting it to your team first.
It’s not a campaign. It’s your identity.
Your purpose-conversation may take time to fully integrate into your culture. Eventually, it will become the reason your employees and customers are attracted to you. But you have to stick with it to see those results.
We are here to be your implementation partner and are committed to helping you with ongoing execution of your branding, marketing and technology systems. We also suggest 90-day reviews and check-ins with our team and yours to see what we have worked on and what they need to be more successful in representing your WHY. Reviewing results and optimizing efforts is a normal part of the integration process.
It’s important to celebrate the wins that your WHY delivers for you. Inspire your team with stories of how new employees and customers are excited to be a part of your organization because of your WHY. The more personal stories you can share the better. That’s how the WHY sets takes hold in your organization. That’s how you get into those Limbic systems in the brain that desire those meaningful connections and drive loyalty.
This step typically includes:
Optimization & Innovation
Let’s get to work
You can now see how OVRFLO is the foundational process to align all of these areas of your organization. It’s the key to consistency and focus in your communication strategy. It’s a lot to work through, but with our help it’s possible and digestible. We can use a “crawl, walk, run” approach to it as well if that’s your preference. As we mentioned, the initial steps of getting a WHY focused brand in place in your culture can be done in as few as 90-120 days. We can always add more to keep the process meaningful and moving forward in your organization as you go and grow. We just want to see the power of WHY make an impact for your business and for the Kingdom, because that’s what our WHY is all about too. We are all about inspiring and equipping you and your company to fulfill your God-given purpose.