For the record:
I like mission statements.
I appreciate “company culture” initiatives as well.
Done right, these two things can help employees see a “bigger picture” than the relative day-to-day of their job and that thing they sell.
But what I don’t love is bad communication, poor messaging, and confusing user experience.
And I’m starting to see this more and more.
Yes, but do they know what you do?
I was talking to a Sales Manager (and his team) of an organization today who was quite frustrated, all because the company had spent so much time talking about mission statements and culture that they had started losing the brand identity.
In other words, they were consistently getting this question from potential clients:
“So what is it exactly that you do?”
That question, my friends, is the enemy to all sales and profits.
It demonstrates doubt on the part of the consumer.
And where there is doubt, transactions simply do not occur.
Although this company had managed to focus on “important” things like mission and culture—their website (especially the home page) and content marketing efforts were now filled with all-too-common buzzwords and platitudes that had almost nothing to do with the problems their ideal clients were having.
Lots of fluff, little value.
And to make matters worse, when I asked this Sales Manager’s team, “What is it that your company does?” they couldn’t seem to clearly articulate a great answer.
Business Communication 101 had given way to esoteric jargon.
As I stated in the beginning of this little post, I’m not inferring here that mission and culture don’t matter.
But clean messaging (the process of a consumer truly “getting” you, your company, the problems you solve, your unique selling proposition, etc.) should never be sacrificed in an effort to become the next Chipotle of your industry.
In the end, it’s about balance. It’s about integrating both sides of the coin– finding a way to have a mission statement and culture that not only align with, but enhance, your sales and marketing message in the process.