Purpose, mission, values. These are three buzzwords that we hear all the time. They are in press releases, instagram captions and embedded in the website copy of the brands you know and love. But how do you actually put them in practice, create an impactful brand that matters and aligns with your values AND sets you apart? 

In today’s market, there is always another competitor who offers similar products or services as you. Given the amount of choices customers have, in order to stand out, selling only products or services is no longer a viable game plan. Instead, empowering your business with a brand that connects with people emotionally is key. 

A “brand” often sounds vague and sometimes daunting to people. But at the core of it, everything branding starts with a clear voice and a strong set of beliefs. Having great products, services, a pretty logo, and a stunning website is important, but the reason people buy is the good feeling from choosing you, and what working with you or using your products represent.. Purchases are highly emotional. And to effectively connect with people, draw them in and grow a thriving business in the long run, your business needs to embody and represent something beyond just your products and services.

You are selling something bigger. And it all starts with you, your purpose, your voice, your beliefs and your values.

Your mission has to be personal to you. It may be to create the best app to make an aspect of people’s lives better, maybe it’s a product that can change people’s health for the better, maybe it’s to add more beauty to the world, to provide more people access to clean beauty products, to bring more play and joy or maybe you offer a service that helps inspire the next generation of leaders. Whatever it is, own it, embrace it, live it. Walk the walk through your brand, not a buzzword on your website. 

When my sister Terrie and I built our brand, Olea & Fig, having a mission to drive us was the no.1 thing we focused on from the very start. At Olea & Fig our mission is to help women turn their ideas into action, bring their passion to the world and build a fulfilling and successful career.. In our experience, the corporate world isn’t built for balance. We don’t want to spend 40 hours every week making a living, we want to make a good life on our own terms instead.  It’s our belief that women should be able to achieve success on their own terms, and we strive to provide the tools and resources that empower them to bring their ideas to life.

Here are some of the steps we share with our clients to create a successful and impactful brand:

1. Set Your Brand DNA

Your brand is not just your logo or your pretty website. These visuals and graphics are important, but they are only one piece of the puzzle. A brand is a promise. A brand is everything you do in your business combined. Searching for THE unique brand style isn’t the solution, defining your Brand DNA is.

Your DNA is the anchor to keep you on the path to success, and it helps you see where you are going so you are making decisions along the way to help you get there. The 7 elements that make up your Brand DNA are your purpose, mission, vision, positioning, story, values and personality.

Before you dive into all the pretty visuals of your brand, define your Brand DNA first. Defining the 7 brand elements empowers you to align everything you do in your business in the right direction, the path that leads to where you want to grow your business. Then connect with people by translating your Brand DNA through marketing and all your business decisions, including your messaging, copywriting, content marketing, graphics, website, customer experience, partnership and more.

When everything is aligned and communicated cohesively externally, people are drawn to you through the strong emotional connection they have with your brand. They come to you for YOU and that’s not easily replaceable by someone else in your market. 

2. Be Obsessed with Your People 

You need to know your clients and your audience like you know yourself, their wants, needs, passion, challenges, headaches, beliefs, behavior and values.

Ask yourself questions about the purchasing decisions you make: Why that grocery store? Why that granola brand? Why are you supporting that restaurant versus another? Why did you buy from this store? These questions give you insight into how to build an impactful brand that truly resonates with people. The purchases we make are often about more than convenience, proximity or the pretty look of a brand. It’s about loyalty, trust, the feeling we get from using the products or services and what we tell ourselves when we buy from the brand.

When you can fully understand the people you serve and what they care about most, you can become the best to them. Here is the secret to standing out from the crowd – you don’t need to be the best to everyone, but be the best to the specific group of people you serve.

That copywriter you hired? Maybe she is the best for you but maybe she isn’t the most sought after or experienced but you trust that she’s the go-to person for you. To you, she is the best. You don’t need to be everything to everyone you just need to be everything to your people. 

3. Build a System with the Right Tactics

Focus on only the things that matter for YOU. The strategy that works best for you is different than what works for me. Business, just like jeans, are not one size fits all. Your favorite jeans are different than mine, business is no different.

Consider what tactics matter most for you, your business  and the people you serve. Resort to your Brand DNA, and create a strategy that aligns with where you want to take your business in the long run. Your business exists for a purpose, your mission, and vision, and it exists to serve and help a specific group of people. Do not do all the things. Focus on doing only what matters and what adds value to your growth and your people. The next time you’re wondering if you should start a new tactic, like SEO, Pinterest, podcast, Instagram, Twitter, Affiliate marketing…ask yourself, “Is this adding value to the growth of my brand or my people?” 

Focus on what matters, perfect them and grow from there and always ask yourself if the tactics align with your Brand DNA.

Your ultimate goal is not getting more eyeballs or one more sale. Instead, your main goal is becoming “the one” that people go to when they think about the services or products you provide.

This is a guest article written by Brand Strategist, Annie Chang of Olea & Fig. You can connect and follow Annie on Instagram.