We partnered with Brittany Carbone, founder and CEO of TONIC, to share how she uses biomimicry to establish, express, strengthen, and scale her brand with purpose.
WTF is Biomimicry?!
Biomimicry is a practice that learns from - and mimics - strategies and behaviors found in nature to solve complex human challenges and inform planning, process, and product. When it comes to building and scaling your brand, it seems like every time you answer one question it creates two more. Is the next stage of growth entering new markets or launching new products? Can my current operations support new growth? What is the best way to allocate my resources? Am I “selling out” if I expand too much? These are questions that can weigh heavily on a Founder’s mind, and unfortunately, they don’t usually come with clear-cut answers, which is why having a tried and tested point of reference like nature to guide your strategic process can be so incredibly valuable.
It's Tree Metaphor Time
Imagine your business is a tree – what would each component look like?
- Roots = purpose, mission; your grounding force
- Soil = internal environment, personal values, network, key experiences
- Weather/elements = external environment that will influence the way that your “tree” takes shape
In order to asses your current "soil" conditions, Brittany has created an amazing worksheet that will guide you through important questions to ask yourself pertaining to your networks, values, and experiences.
Access your soil conditions:
Soil Vitality (internal, personal factors that precede & facilitate growth):
- Are you effectively feeding your purpose?
- Can you mentally and physically support new growth?
- Are you in alignment? Do you have the necessary experience/skills? What does your personal & professional network/support system look like? (biodiversity)
Moisture (external factors that seep into your internal/personal experience):
- What are the external factors at play?
- How are they affecting the way you carry out your mission?
- Market conditions; Demand; Inventory
Drainage (your internal/personal ability to process/move through external factors/conditions):
- Do you feel stuck in the mud?
- Are you effectively taking what you need from those external factors – learning & processing – and ready to reach for more?
Are the conditions prime for expansion? Yes or No?
If yes, How will this growth manifest? What is the outward expression of expanding/ strengthening your purpose (roots)?
- Taller/Stronger trunk - Do you need to strengthen core biz/operations/brand identity? Should you…
- Hire/invest in support to strengthen operations to better manage existing business.
- Invest in marketing/ways to expand & engage your core audience to grow your existing business.
- New Branches: Is it time to branch out and build…
- A new product, service, or feature?
- A new market/demo?
Ask yourself: What’s the forecast/season? What are the risks you’ll be taking with these new ventures?
If no, What needs to change?
- Internal (soil) - What can you do to enrich your soil and feed your purpose?
- If you have an idea, do it!
- External (climate) - What are the KPIs / markers that will determine when the conditions are right?
- Set targets & have systems in place to track them