This coming week on Tuesday is Flag Day in the US. I will be sharing a few thoughts about this with my newsletter readers over the coming weekend but wanted to go a bit deeper into the topic today with you. Flags are really cool things because they do and say so much in one small package. They make a statement about a brand, country, organization, group of people, culture, and/or event for all the world to see. As business owners there’s a lot we can learn from the flag about our businesses and making a statement.
First, if you really want a flag to resonate it needs to be shared publicly in more than one place. If you think about days like Memorial Day and the 4th of July when thousands of flags are placed next to the graves of soldiers, it’s a big statement about who those people were and what they did, and we honor them for it. As a result most people can describe what the American flag looks like, but if you were asked what the flag of your state looks like could you draw it or tell someone about it with 90% or more of the details correct? I don’t think I could. While the American flag is not only prominently and frequently hung, we don’t do the same for the other flags we could fly. What about your business? Are you taking the time and making the effort to fly the flag about your business? Are you really active on social media? Is your website up to date? Are you participating in local events? Are you showing up in enough places that your potential and current clients not only recognize you but even identify with and look forward to seeing you?
We’ve touched on the second thing the flag does several times: it brings people together and helps them identify with something or connect with something. When people look at your business are they attracted, repelled, interested, comforted, encouraged, empowered, angered or something else? Maybe you don’t have a super recognizable icon like Apple or Disney does, but that’s not to say that you can’t be unique and you can’t make the branding of your company unified between all parts. Some differences are to be expected but overall everything should tie in together; just like you see red white and blue on special holidays, not just American flags being displayed.
Finally, are you proud of what you’ve created in your business and what it stands for? The American flag is a source of pride and hope for Americans, the same should be true in how you feel about your business and how your customers and potential customers feel about it. They should be proud to be part of what you’re doing and want to share it with their friends. You play a key part in developing their pride through how you talk about your business, how you present it, the places you choose to market it, the things you offer through it, the culture that it’s connected to and creating, and the mission and vision you have about and for the company.
Do you stand proud next to your business, or do you have a lot of work to do to bring it together so that it can help more people and do good in the world?