One Cannot NOT Communicate

one cannot NOT communicate

Your Message, Loud, and Clear- Part IV

Did you know that the level of clarity you have about your business internally is reflected externally? All this month we have been focusing on the Unique Value Proposition: finding something you can say about your business that no one else can say.

In Part 1, we encouraged you to find a different word other than quality to describe the way you do business. (Pretty please?)

In Part II, we encouraged you to just say no to the wrong sales- so you will have time to develop the right sales. 

In Part III, we encouraged you to get your eyes off the competition and focus on what you do best.

Doing the work to develop a Unique Value Proposition can help you find a whole new way of doing business. Once you are no longer using tired words, once you are no longer desperately seeking sales, and once you are no longer reacting to your competitors, you can be proactive instead. Once you know what you are not, you can decide who you are. You are then ready to clarify your own unique culture. You can create art. You can do business by design.

Running a small business is an art form, and the visual art of your business will always reflect the level of clarity you have about your mission and vision in the world. Sound preposterous? Hardly. It has always been true. Through the centuries, art has always reflected the culture in which it is found, sometimes more accurately than the writers and philosophers of that same culture. Artists portray the experiences and the values of their own culture, unaware that they are doing it. They are truly in the frame.

Your company graphics will also reflect your company culture. Yes, you are in the frame. Why not become aware? Why not make the picture reflect what you want to say? The design of your company includes your visual graphics, yes, but goes well beyond. Design is everything your business does and how it behaves. Your visual design reflects what your company believes and the way your company does business. It reflects the entire experience, from the inside out. It carries the story, provides context, and delivers meaning to your potential customer. The irony of it all is that it speaks the loudest, (and in a bad way), when the context is not there at all.

It is said you cannot judge a book by its cover. I have to question this old adage. It certainly does not apply in business. People make instant decisions about whether to do business with a company by the cover alone. Your graphics tell the outside world what they can expect inside. Therefore you should have a reason and a why for every font, photo, element, and image you choose. Your graphics should be carefully crafted to fit within the context of your business story and culture. It should never be left to chance–or to your mother-in-law–to define. Sure, your logo and graphics cannot express everything. They are symbolic. But those symbols should be intuitive. They should inform and engage and encourage us to find out more.

You may not buy into the idea that visual design is a necessity for running a small business. But if you want to grow, keep in mind, I know of no Fortune 500 companies that did not invest heavily in the design of the business itself, and the graphic design that represented it. Design is just how they do business. There exists a strong correlation between great design and success.

The unique value proposition is one of the most effective tools in your marketing tool box. Uniqueness adds value to any work of art and makes imitation more difficult. Is the UVP easy to define? No. But it costs you nothing but time. It is time well spent as an investment in your own success.

Your Brand is your culture. One cannot not communicate it–whatever it is. No communication is also communication. Take time to step outside the frame, and take a good look at what your Brand is saying, both with and without words.

Doing business by design will transform your business into a work of art.

One cannot not communicate” is a quote from Paul Watzlawick, a philosopher and communication theorist, 1921-2007. You can read about him here.