My wife went for a run today around where we live and she came back talking about the beautiful newcomers she had noticed en route. Cabbage Whites, Tortoiseshells, Peacocks and Orange Tips… Butterflies up and down the side of what is usually a busy, country road. Their sudden appearance must have something to do with the absence of traffic during the lockdown. You just don’t see that many types of butterfly normally, at least not for a long time, not for years in fact.

It got me thinking.

Lockdown has brought out a number of other beautiful things that have been a rarity for ages; widespread goodwill reminiscent of wartime Britain and acts of heroism, gratitude and neighbourliness and camaraderie in the face of difficulties. It will be a shame to go back to “normal” and leave all this behind. A bit like the butterflies.

To put it in brand marketing terms, we have rediscovered our ‘YOU’. Families are at a priority again. People are working from home and wondering why they have wasted so much time travelling. Children are being educated from home and leaving us with the question, are they actually happier working from home than chasing the clock? (We made the choice to home school nearly a year ago and we’ve not regretted it one bit).

‘YOU’ is the essence of who you are. It’s what makes YOU tick. A major disconnect occurs for business owners when their company ends up looking nothing like what they originally envisaged and their hopes and dreams are no longer aligned to it. The company may no longer have the same impact as it started out with, causing the owner to lose the zeal and passion they had at the start. It’s no longer aligned to their YOU.

If this has happened to you, there is a solution. You need to go back to the start to discover what is not in alignment.  

You see, when you know YOU and the business knows it’s YOU (often they align) then its time to explore “WHO”… The audience. The crowd you want to connect with. When you have the passion you’ll want to serve the people you are trying to impact.

WHO is about the audience, it’s the people. Those who are going to be most impacted by your business. This is the place where you learn about the people you are trying to serve. Some people call them personas, I’d rather call them people. You see a persona is made up, it’s more powerful actually finding out who they are. These type of people are closer than you think, they are the ones you’ve done your best work for.

This is where the disconnect happens. Too many businesses throw cash at the WHAT and the HOW without getting the YOU and WHO fixed.

So let me paint the picture of the WHAT and HOW.

WHAT is essentially the offer that you are bringing. Everything out there has already been done when it comes to offers. We might spot a new one and adopt it, but an offer isn’t going to make you unique. One simple way is to find out what works in one industry and bring it to another. That helps your offer become more unique. For instance, buy one get one free can be buy one and give one free. This concept has been used to great effect by the shoe company TOMS. Where one pair of shoes is purchased and another can be sent to another country (now you can choose other ways of donating through TOMS).

Here the WHAT really works because the company had YOU and WHO in place. That’s where alignment happens and the “power” comes together.

HOW is essentially the execution. How do you execute? Is it through email, social media marketing, the website or letter posting? You see when you understand your YOU and WHO you will get a better feel for where the people are. If you are looking for CEO’s maybe an email might not work, but a posted letter with a handwritten envelope would. Why? It might get past the gatekeeper of the PA.

YOU, WHO, WHAT, HOW. Companies that fail continue to major on the WHAT and HOW, changing agencies, spending more and more money without results. The underlying issue is that the alignment is all wrong. No matter what the offer is it needs to be an extension of the message. Companies that win have a message with the best method.

So that leaves me with one more…WHEN…

Well, Cre8ion gets this and what we are now doing is launching The MVV Challenge to help many businesses get a handle on their Mission, Vision, and Values. You can sign up on our website – www.cre8ion.co.uk  and be part of something different – a purpose-driven business!

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