Everything that we see today started with a vision. An idea! A picture in the mind’s eye. We must understand that vision has no legs, no mouth, and no arms. Vision just sits out there in the deep spaces of our heart and mind… but it will need these three elements in order to go from an idea to reality. So many have great ideas but bringing that idea to pass can be a challenge. That is why vision is going to need three elements in order for it to walk, speak and carry the dream into existence.
KEY #1: A vision without legs will never be able to walk into reality
There is a great restaurant called “Belmont Brewing Company.” It is in a little city called “Belmont Shores, CA. Sitting outside is the best and getting as close as we can get to the water. Sitting there you will see all kinds of people, yet, they can’t really see us since we are hidden above them in our own secluded hideaway.What is easy to notice siting there is the uniqueness of that little beach town. There are many different kinds of people with many different kinds of walks. Some are dressed like “athletes”… some of dressed like “beach bums”… others are look like “tourists.” Each of them have a uniqueness about them… and it is there uniqueness that makes them stand out.
Listen… true vision will be unique. There will be something just a “little different” than someone else’s vision. Both Coke and Pepsi offer the same thing. Many say they can taste the difference between the two… while it is true there is a slight difference… really they both sell the same product. However, each of them have a slightly different vision. Coke says “it’s the real thing.” Pepsi says “Join the Pepsi generation: feel the taste.”
The slogan for Coca Cola speaks to the past generation of people who like “truth and the real thing,” while Pepsi is speaking to a new generation of people of “feeling” type of people. These two companies are slightly different but have the same product. Each of these companies branded themselves a little different. When you think of Coke, you think of “the real thing.” When you think of Pepsi, you think of “joining a new generation
of soda drinkers.”
- Branding is a way to give legs to your vision so you can cause it to walk.
- Branding makes your organization walk a little different than everyone else.
- Branding is a way to attract like-minded people.
- Branding will allow your vision to to gain legs to walk.
KEY #2: A vision without the right words being communicated can’t live
Many years ago I shared my vision with a colleague of mine who would always respond by saying “Let me play the devil’s advocate.” It seemed like he always had to find a problem in the words I spoke. Now constructive criticism is good but raining on someone’s parade is quit another thing. This happened for over a year and I finally got the boldness to stop the negative words against my vision. This is what I did. I shared something I wanted to expand upon… then waited for his predictable response of… “let me play the devil’s advocate”… Then I lovingly let him have it by saying, “with all due respect, I already have a devil who always finds fault in what I’m doing… and I don’t need another one.” Now I know that wasn’t the most professional thing to do and I wouldn’t recommend handling things the way I did that day, but what I came to realize is “words can cause things to live or die.”
When it comes to branding… we must learn to communicate the vision in a consistent way… a clear way… and an exciting way. Our words will give live to the vision. It is important that we spend a lot of time working on communicating the vision. Here are a few things to think about…
- Visually: What are people seeing about your vision? (i.e. – building, flyers, business cards, website, etc)
- Verbally: What are people saying about your vision? What are you saying? (i.e. – positive, negative, confused, etc)
- Inclusive: Is what is being communicated including people or excluding people? (i.e. – harsh words, wrong vision, etc)
KEY #3: A vision without arms reaching for something better will not grow
When we are captivated by a vision it will usually come in a BROAD picture… rarely in specific details. This is why we need hands and arms to work things out. To try and try again until you find something that works… that people respond to… and that brings fruit. In order for the vision to grow it will take hard work and a tenacity to keep working on “it” until “it” is perfected. We must learn to bring quality to our vision. What is quality? “Quality is doing things better today than we did yesterday.”
Kids can teach us a lot about the simplicity of quality. On a website called Nellie Edge I found an illustration that can sum up quality: 1) Careful coloring, not scribbling 2) Use 3 or more colors 3) Outline objects 4) Fill in the paper 5) Include details.
Now I know this sounds too simple but the truth is we must never scribble. When branding you should never let “scribble” be the norm for your communication efforts. Scribble shows people “you don’t care” and the vision is “not important.” Likewise, we should use more than 3 colors. In other words, make the vision colorful. Don’t expect people to see what you see. Give color in your communication efforts for people to see what is in your heart and head. Then outline objects that you want them to highlight. Sometimes we think people see the object clearly, but they don’t. We must circle and outline what is important. Next we should “fill in the paper.” A dot is not too interesting… but if you place a lot of dots on a piece of paper we just might see a mountain, valley or ocean of beauty. Fill in the paper with your vision… which leads to #5. “Include Details.” We must not speak in broad terms but is ‘processes’ and ‘strategy.’ We must teach a baby to take “baby steps” because they can take “adult steps.” Work on clear strategies to help people move along in the vision.
At Green60 we are working hard to help business with their payroll services so they can focus on their vision.