WEFOUNDA Manual of Corporate Organization: Containing Information, Directions and Suggestions Relating to the Incorporation of Enterprises

If you asked your employees, “How do we create value for our customers?” would you get a clear answer? And would three different people have the same view?

The question about a company’s way to create value for customers is probably one of the most fundamental elements of strategy. Which makes it all the more surprising that few organizations are able to answer it with certainty and clarity. Companies’ purpose and mission statements often don’t help, being as vague as “we want to be the company of choice for our customers” or “we are committed to delivering the highest quality and widest selection to our customers.”

We know, however, that companies with a strong identity — the kind that is backed up by the ability to deliver their promise — tend to win. In a recent survey of 720 executives, companies that were seen as having a stronger identity outperformed others by 25% (in terms of average annual TSR between 2010 and 2013).