Whether we’re talking about the framing of your house or the frame of your carbon roadie– carpenters and cyclists alike would agree that the frame is essential. This is especially true in the age of the internet – where you don’t always control how or when customers “experience” your business.
If you think of your shop’s taglines, logos, and other elements as the framework of your brand – it’s easy to see how they support the bigger picture that is your business. They tell your customer what to expect, and when experience matches expectation, you win a repeat customer.
With the internet, D2C brands, and department stores entering the bike industry – your mission statement gives voice to reality: As an independent bike dealer, you are much more than a store. Finding a way to tell your customer that is a great start.
All set with your mission statement? Skip ahead to your tagline for a great crash-course on hooking your customers from the very first impression with: Why Your Bike Shop Needs a Tagline.
Goal: Create a statement that speaks to both your employees and your customers (and maybe come up with a good tagline while you’re at it)
Now more than ever, your customers care about what you care about.
In 2019 – as individuals and companies alike face more transparency than ever before, customers care about your values. Consider two studies:
FACT: in 2019, more people care about your values and more people are comparing you against your competitors online.
This doesn’t mean you need to suddenly donate half your revenue to charity. It just means your customers care about your purpose beyond profit – and that can mean anything from simply improving your community to improving the industry at large.
Thinking about where you see your brand now and in the future becomes infinitely easier if you start with your “why”. Why do you do what you do? Call it a mission statement, a vision statement, or a manifesto – it doesn’t really matter (and it doesn’t have to be rocket science!) Just think of it as a simple statement of your beliefs, your values, and how they influence the way you operate your business.
It’s important to understand this isn’t just some vague intellectual exercise. Your goal should be to come up with something you’d be comfortable hanging over every employee’s workspace.
So, Where do you begin? Mission Statement, Vision Statement, or ‘brand Manifesto’?
The Mission Statement
Your mission statement is how you tell your customers what makes your shop different, and why. It’s the nuts and bolts of your message. This is important – but it’s also more concrete, more straightforward, more grounded in reality than your vision statement. A mission statement is less flexible than a vision statement, but it can certainly change – because as your company grows, so too can its objectives and goals.
Looking for a great mission statement example? TED has a fairly straightforward and traditional approach.
The Vision Statement
A vision statement is where you tell your employees (and customers) where you’re going.
It’s not a roadmap, but your dream. When Steve Jobs envisioned the future of Apple Computer, he envisioned a future where computers are an essential part of the home. Do you envision a vibrant cycling community in your town? Or maybe your goal is more specific. Either way – you need to talk about it.
The Brand “Manifesto’
Despite the somewhat silly name, a brand manifesto recognizes there’s no one-size fits all solution to convey the who, what, why, and how behind your business.
When classic advice like “keep it to 3-5 lines” just doesn’t cut it, don’t be afraid to come up with something that fits you. Sometimes, working with some constraints can help. Other times, you need the freedom to really tell your own story.