When I look at the successes and failures in business, I think I have found consistency between them.
The successful businesses remember their primary objective and the businesses that fail have forgotten what they are working for. Their efforts are misplaced because they forgot the reasoning and goals behind their efforts.
Let's put a practical example with this concept.
I am not sure that anyone would disagree that Harley-Davidson is a pretty incredible brand. In fact, Justin Foster called Harley-Davidson a bacon brand. At one point, like many brands, Harley-Davidson lost its way. However, almost by the skin of its teeth, the company found its way back and emerged as a successful brand.
One of the key reasons it has been a successful brand is because they are careful to remember their primary objective, or rather, their primary mission. Harley-Davidson's mission was, at one point:
We ride with our customers and apply this deep connection in every market we serve to create superior value for all our stakeholders.
It is through a commitment to a single, defining objective that can make a business successful. When businesses forget who they are and try to split their focus, they find themselves in a position of losing momentum and heading for their downfall. However, when they dedicate themselves to achieving their primary objective (or mission), they have the potential to soar.
Nike, Inc. is another prime example of a company that has committed themselves to their primary objective. Nike's corporate mission statement is:
To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
They even took it a step further when one of Nike's Founders, Bill Bowerman stated:
If you have a body, you are an athlete.
Not only did they establish their primary objective, but they identified that everyone is included in their mission, no matter their body type.
What's Your Primary Objective?
When a new program or a new idea is proposed, ask yourself this, "How does this help us meet our primary objective?"
Alignment of your strategy and tactics with your primary objective is critical if you want to see any kind of success. This is especially true when it comes to your marketing.
Whether you are running a small or large business, are tasked with creating a marketing plan or tasked with running a country. If you don't know what your primary objective is, you are going to flounder. It's time to establish your primary objective, and then ensure that everything you do aligns with it.
Corey Smith is the founder of Tribute Media and serves as the Digital Marketing Strategist. He is also the author of "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter."