Organizational vision statements are great, but every “corporate vision” begs the question: Are the actions of the organization and the responses of the organization’s stakeholders harmoniously working together to reach the brand vision for everyone’s benefit?
It’s a question few organizations consider and one that has everything to do with brand image. According to Businessdictionary.com, a vision statement is, “an aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish…and is intended to serve as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action.” However, no organization operates in a vacuum, especially non-profits, and needs its stakeholders to embrace the vision if the organization is going to “achieve or accomplish” its goals. In an age of corporate suspicion, organizations can’t assume buy-in or brand loyalty. If your organization wants to share ownership of its vision with its stakeholders and create brand loyalty, it has to embrace the “3Vs” that culminate in brand influence.
Visibility – It is virtually impossible to reach brand influence – which translated means stakeholder buy-in and brand loyalty – if your organization is nowhere on anybody’s radar. A lack of visibility means a lack of relevancy and irrelevant organizations will never influence anyone. So, the first step toward becoming relevant is to become noticed (for all the right reasons). If you are placing all your marketing eggs in the vision/influence basket but your organization has low visibility, you’re wasting time and money. Shift the focus to raising visibility so that you can move to V2.
Value – Okay, now you’ve gotten people’s attention, but why should they care? Answer: value. You must deliver excellence and value at every touch point. Remember, everything you do is marketing. Think about it, you don’t do business with organizations in which you find no value so why would you expect others to buy in to your organization if you aren’t delivering value to them? Consistently delivering value cultivates an emotional connection with people that builds brand loyalty and opens the door to influence, which is V3
Vision – When stakeholders perceive value, they ascribe worth to your brand, to the direction of your organization and are willing to join you in the venture. You can ask for their participation and they will come along because there is some return on their investment, and that return can take many forms. Most importantly, you’ve been given the opportunity to influence, and influence is the engine that drives the vision statement.
However, remember, the 3Vs never end. They are the pillars that drive a constant cycle of brand marking so repeat after me: “Raise visibility, increase value, amplify vision; raise visibility, increase value, amplify vision; raise visibility…”