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Strategic Discipline – Brand Promise – BHAG - Las Vegas Growth Summit

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, Apr 19, 2010

Yesterday was the first half day of Gazelles International Coaches Summit in advance of the Fortune Sales & Marketing Growth Summit here in Las Vegas.  One of the breakout sessions pooled our coaches on the resources and techniques they use to discover our client's Brand Promise and BHAG

Here's just a few of the insights we discussed.  Your company Brand Promise should be what consumers think of when they think of you.  It's your corporate brand identity.  What do you stand for?  It should also tie directly to your company purpose.  Your Brand Promise needs to fill the right customer need, should be uncommon, and measurable.  It's not always an easy element to create.  A Brand Promise should have a lead promise and two supporting promises.  The best example I can give you is Southwest Airlines Brand Promise, their 3 LF's: Low Fares, Lots of Flights and Lots of Fun. 

Usually in the settings where we work with the executive team to create a Brand Promise it's best to do the work of identifying allowing the wordsmithing to a creative agency or one person in the group who is good with creativity and writing.  An insight for me is that creativity tends to plummet in large groups. 

Your BHAG [Big Hairy Audacious Goal] needs to be inspirational.  Once you capture it, you should see a change in the behavior of the people in your organization.  BHAG's need to be 10-25 years out, audacious not braggadocios and reinforce your business fundamentals.  If you're familiar with Jim Collin's Built to Last and Good to Great it should also come from the convergence of your hedgehog concept: What are you deeply passionate about, what can you be best in the world at, and what drives you economic engine.  We discussed the latter in detail since this seems to hang up most of our clients.  An example of a BHAG using Southwest as an example is - number of planes in the air.  [Can't reveal the exact number] this comes from their profit per X which is profit per plane.

Finally, in reviewing my notes for the Two Day Rockefeller Habits Workshop I'll be doing this Thursday and Friday at one of my clients following the Growth Summit I recognize another important reason for Strategic Discipline.  The four decisions we teach our clients to focus on are People, Strategy, Execution and Cash.  Discipline is extremely important in execution.  The result of getting execution right in your business is profit and time.  Thus you will pay for not having disciplines in spending more time than you need to run the business.  If you find that time and profit are in short supply in your business, it's time to consider establishing more Strategic Discipline. 

Topics: Business Growth, Strategic Discipline, One Page Strategic Plan, priorities, BHAG, Promise

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Positioning Systems Brand Promise

1. Priorities: Determine your #1 Priority. Achieve measurable progress in 90 days.

2. Metrics: Develop measurable Key Performance Indicators. 

3. Meetings: Establish effective meeting rhythms. (Cadence of Accountability)  Compounding the value of your priority and metrics. 

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Certified Gazelles Coach

Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

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