What's Your Lofty Goal?
(This article also appears on HuffPost so click here to read it there)
The new CMO at Uber recently announced that she plans to make Uber “the official ride of pop culture.”
Volvo announced a year or so ago that “by 2020, no one will die or be critically injured from a new Volvo.”
Amazon...well Amazon appears to be attempting to take over the world. The retail world, anyway, in online sales, brick and mortar sales, customized sales, grocery sales. The list will indeed go on.
Impressive, for sure.
These are three inspiring examples of three very different brands that have extremely lofty goals. They’re not in the business of just being in business today, they are setting up a future of leadership, longevity and hopefully sustained growth.
As someone who runs a business, does a lot of marketing, and is also a consumer, I find it very motivating.
For my agency, Citizen, I too set a lofty goal for my organization. “To be the best place to place your brand and your career.”
Quite simple, actually, and a guiding principle to make decisions for the future of the agency.
Which leaves me asking you the same question, “What’s your lofty goal?”
Did I get you on that one? I shouldn’t have, because you too should have a lofty goal. Especially as a small business owner and entrepreneur, you should indeed have a lofty goal that sets your future plans.
Say what? You don’t have a lofty goal yet?
I can understand why. Our businesses keep us hoping all day long, with barely a moment to stop and think. Establishing a big futuristic goal takes a lot of thinking, certainly. It’s hard to think big when you’re sweating the small stuff.
But it’s vitally important to create a long term goal for your organization, no matter how small the business and no matter how busy you are. We are always going to be busy, so we can’t possibly use that as an excuse!
A lofty goal will establish a pathway to be a true leader in your industry, setting the trends for what’s next, driving innovation, and keeping your customers engaged on your journey of progress.
You won’t be able to do any of that without stating your goal first.
So how do you get one? Can you Google search your way to it? Can you hire a consultant to write one for you? Can you delegate it to your assistant to put one together by Friday?
Hardly. Sorry, can’t go there. This is something you’re going to have to find the time and inspiration to do yourself. It’s that important.
But how do you get there?
Start with your core expertise. You can’t have a lofty goal if you can’t fulfill on it. So start with the basic core strength on which you built your business. As an expert in that field, think through how you could continually improve your skills to the point of complete market saturation. Think about how that skill could become bigger than life. Find the end of the rainbow for you, and go there! Stretch your core business to the highest element and formulate that into a goal you can live by. Never having someone be killed or critically injured in a car crash is a pretty big goal for a car brand like Volvo. What’s your lofty goal?
Look to your customers. Get to know your customers really well and figure out how to give them more than they ever thought possible. What would nirvana look like for your customers in your category? How good can it possibly get? What would be the ultimate reward for them? Figure out how you could deliver an experience for them that rockets you to the center of their universe. A completely customized, all in one location, auto-entry retail system is pretty close to nirvana for Amazon. What’s your lofty goal?
Go outside of your space. True leaders in their industries reach out far beyond the products they offer. They work hard to incorporate their brands into the very fabric of their customers’ lives and into the very fabric of how the world works. Is there a way that you can do that with your brand? As Uber becomes the official ride of pop culture they will certainly be engrained into the fabric of all of our lives. What’s your lofty goal?
This is big stuff, so you can’t do it overnight, and you probably won’t even be able to think of it overnight. It’s that big.
But if you want your company and brand to be a true leader in your field, driving innovation and adding value to your customers’ lives, then you need a lofty goal.
Start thinking tonight and you’ll get there soon. Good luck.