3 Key Steps to have in Place
- Core Values/Culture Code
- Customer Avatar
- Brand Guide
Often times I find that business owners believe that marketers and salespeople will solve all of the problems of a business. While it is true that revenue solves many problems, it’s also vital that the team that you bring on board is in alignment with your vision of your company and if you don’t do that then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Core Values/Culture Code.
I’ll start off by defining my terms. Core values are those inner values that you hold that you and your company will never compromise with. For some companies, this is “the highest standards” for others it’s “low price”, transparency, ethics, speed, value, and many others can describe your core values.
For us, at B2B Business Experts they are Leadership, Positivity, Alignment/Focus, Transparency, and Results. We make all of our hiring, firing and promotion decisions based on those core values. This also means that we will not work with an outside agency that doesn’t reflect those values. You can see them here.
Some companies have advanced their core values to also reflect how those values are to be used in various situations, what the extent of those values are and how they work with each other. Here’s an example of a slide deck showing Netflix’s culture code: https://www.slideshare.net/reed2001/culture-1798664
These reflect in more detail the kind of company that you’re creating. Again, if you hire a company that doesn’t match your values this will reflect poorly on you and even if there are results temporarily, which oftentimes there may be, in the long run, you’ll likely not succeed with that company.
A Customer Avatar is a representation of who your ideal customer is.
So, who is your customer?
And the answer of “everyone” does not count. No matter if you are a local business serving food to “anyone” you still have an audience in a particular radius of your location. If you’re serving korean food in San Francisco you’ll likely not deliver to Denver (at least until someone invents teleportation).
Also, they’ll likely need to have money to be your customer. Are you on the high end or on the low end?
The idea is that you know both the demographics (like age, gender, income, profession, level of education etc.) and the story that they’re going through (what triggers them to come and purchase your product) whether that’s a life event, a hope, a dream, their mentor mentions somethings etc.
I put together a guidebook where I go into more detail on developing your customer avatar here.
If you haven’t yet put together your customer avatar, it should be one of the first things that your marketer or marketing agency does with you. Whether you start simple or want to go into deep detail depends on where you’re at as a business.
This will allow your marketer or agency to make sure that they are attracting the right people to your business.
A Brand Guide is an instruction manual on how to communicate your brand. This is a combination of your core values as well as how your brand should be perceived by your public (your customer avatar).
Whether that’s based on certain colors or certain ways you want your brand to be positioned in the minds of your clients, you have to take at least a little bit of time to understand and document your brand.
The first step would be to create a style guide. This would define the colors and logo to a basic extent. Here’s a link to Netflix’s style guide.
If you want to become a little more extensive then you can create a full-on brand guide that includes what kind of content you publish, what you don’t publish, best practices for anything that may occur. Apple has a 16-page guide here that you may want to model off of.