Take that magical extra step with your brand story

Not too long ago I was working with a minerals company to clarify its Big Audacious Meaning and bring it into its story. We were looking for that thing that makes the organization irresistible. Early on, the answer I got was something like:

“We efficiently deliver salt to municipalities so they can apply it to their streets in a timely manner.”

Not exactly riveting. Yet, this is exactly where so many brands start – and unfortunately, stop. To its credit, this organization didn’t stop there. We’ll get to that in a minute.

“What do you do?”

Let’s think about this question for one minute. Every organization answers this question. In doing so, most make a crucial mistake. Then after making the mistake, they plaster the answer across the most valuable real estate of the organization’s homepage.

Here’s the mistake. They answer the question as if anybody actually gave a hoot about the functional workings of their organization. That’s how we get statements like, “We efficiently deliver salt to municipalities so they can apply it to their streets in a timely manner.”

Imagine that being the first thing you encounter as you arrived at the homepage of a site. You probably couldn't hit the back button fast enough.

It's not what you do.

What you do is not what you do. Honestly, nobody cares about your six sigma process. What they care about is what it does for them. In other words, you need to take that magical next step. You need to go from answering, “What do you do?” to answering, “What do you do for those you hope to serve?”

Taking that extra step changes everything. It changes how relevant you are to those you hope to serve. And when fully embraced, it makes you irresistible.

When that minerals company took the extra step, they started to see that they did more than 'efficiently deliver salt'. The timely delivery of that salt meant that those towns could get the salt on the roads when winter storms hit. And that salt helped keep the people in those towns safe. In fact, studies showed that it reduced accidents – and weather-related traffic fatalities.

Who would you rather work with - a company that efficiently delivers salt or one that empowers you to help a mother return safely home to those she loves?

The point is that when the minerals company took that magical extra step, the brand transformed. It no longer defined itself by what it did, but rather by what it did for those it hoped to serve. In the process, it developed a deeper relevance to those it engaged. More importantly, it made the leap to becoming irresistible.