Chapter Four

What's your intent?

Everything you do is intentional.

How do you react to that meathead who swerved in front of you? How do you greet your loved ones? How do you address your customers? How do you engage with your employees? Everything is backed with intent.

What is your company’s Intent?

Your company’s Intent offers a perspective that explains why your company is more innovative, more profitable, commands greater loyalties from customers and employees alike, and, most importantly, can repeat its success repeatedly.

It is the foundational statement that explains your company’s existence.

It is what drives your brand forward.

You’ve known in your gut what your Intent is, but you struggle to try to articulate it. That’s ok because I’m going to help you craft your company’s Intent Statement.

Your Intent is your brand’s GPS.

Here’s the cool thing about Intent. Once we create Intent in your company, it allows you to craft meaningful messages and marketing strategies that are honest and authentic. You will no longer have to piece your marketing messaging together haphazardly. Your brand is beginning to become cohesive and concise.

How I found my Company’s Intent.

Long ago, when I created my company, I felt like you. Something was missing from my brand. When I stumbled upon Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk, I had a moment of clarity and knew that what I was missing was my purpose statement.

I took the Start With Why course and created my own why. After it was crafted, I felt complete clarity and focus on the direction of my business. That simple statement guides every marketing strategy created and continues to do so today.

Before I go on, I want to level with you.

I use to call this statement your Why or your Purpose. What I found was calling it one of these two buzzwords caused stress and angst in business owners. When someone hears “what’s your purpose?” there is a need to hitch your wagon to a greater calling in life. The problem is most people don’t want a greater calling in life. They want simple things like stability, health, family or belonging, to name a few.

The process of discovering your Why becomes debilitating and ends with defeat. People are sucked into this need to have some sort of magical statement that spews a flock of doves and instant rainbows the moment they say it out loud. That’s too much pressure, in my opinion. So I want to call it something easier to understand that has no peer pressure – Intent.

If I never created my Intent Statement, I couldn’t imagine how much swerving I would be doing with my business. Hell, I don’t think I would be writing this book!

How Intent is my GPS

There have been moments where I lost direction in my company due to economic problems and shiny object syndrome. When I paused, I would recite my Intent Statement then look at the issue at hand. Did my directional change fit with my Intent, or was it diverting from my Intent? When I lost direction and asked myself this question, I could get back on course quickly.

If I never created my Intent Statement, I couldn’t imagine how much swerving I would be doing with my business. Hell, I don’t think I would be writing this book!

That’s how powerful an Intent Statement can be for your company.

The 5 core aspects of Intent

A company’s Intent can be explained in 5 core characteristics.

  1. It’s inspiring to those inside the company.
  2. It’s something that’s as valid 100 years from now as it is today.
  3. It should help you think expansively about what you could do but aren’t doing.
  4. It should create an emotional connection
  5. It’s truly authentic to your company.

Your Intent Statement will naturally have a trickle-down effect on your company. It will seep through every crack, pore and area of your business, from its employees to its products and services. Every area of your company will be affected by your Intent Statement.

It begins the natural writing of your company’s story. 

It will help you attract the right employees and customers. Your Intent will create engagement through conversations. It will build advocates inside and outside your company. It will make a natural sense of belonging and community within your business, which aids in developing brand culture.

But this doesn’t work without your commitment and belief. If you do not believe in the words written and spoken, no one else will either. No matter how hard you try and push it into reality, no one will believe in your Intent if you don’t think it too.

How to create your Intent Statement

To develop your own Intent Statement you will need to answer these important questions.

  1. What are your unwavering values? You already outlined these in the last chapter.
  2. When people talk about you personally, what do you want them to say when you are not in the room?
  3. How do you help your customers?
  4. What role do you see your business playing within society & the industry?
  5. How do your employees fit in this role?
  6. What does your business do & What are the benefits of working with you?
  7. When you started your business, what did you see that you wanted to change?
  8. How can the pursuit of that change make a bigger difference?
  9. How will your purpose motivate those that you work with?

Keywords will begin to pattern within your answers to these questions.

Those keywords will aid you in developing your Intent Statement. Find the deep emotional benefit. What makes the keywords you wrote down memorable and different?

The Intent Statement Formula

I like to follow this formula from Simon Sinek when crafting an Intent Statement.

 

Everything we do is TO___adjective_____ SO THAT______end result__________.

 

It will take you some time to craft this statement, so take your time. With every draft you write, say it out loud. Does it feel right? Does it make your heart warm? Does it light a spark in you that you haven’t felt in a long time? When you are welled up with emotions, you have a winner.

The Golden Circle

Again, Simon Sinek has this fantastic tool called The Golden Circle. It is a tool that successful leaders & organizations use to inspire thought, action and communication.

People naturally communicate from the outside in. For example:
When someone asks you, “What do you do?” You naturally say, “I repair automobiles.”

This method of communicating starts with the obvious thing that often leaves a conversation dead and uninspiring. Now think about how the conversation would go if you led with your Intent?

“Hey there, Dude, so what is it that you do?”
“My company empowers automobile owners so that they can save money and get the most mileage out of their vehicle.”

What do you think would naturally happen once you say that? They will stop and think in that moment of silence and ask you, “How do you do that?”

That is where you tell them HOW your automotive brand is different from everyone else. Your reply is where you can showcase the unique traits of your company. It is where you get to tell this person why they should choose you over your competitors.

This brings us to the next chapter – positioning your brand.

Chapter Five

Positioning your brand
Read chapter Five