Branding is everywhere we look and it even determines our behavior. Yet, many companies and professionals lack understanding the core fundamentals of what that looks like to execute. It is one thing to be on the receiving end of branding tactics, but it is one thing to be the one having to push that effort into the light. While the Carol Ann of your audience might not walk towards the light in the beginning, with understanding the blueprint of the elements of your brand will help determine to draw them in over time. This blog series will focus on 5 key things or elements that your brand should have established before getting to the shiny things that your audience will see. Shiny things are great, but a house has to certain have things to make it solid (foundation, installation, etc) even before decorating it!
First up in this series of 5 elements, Brand Vision + Mission. You remember being in school and having to say the pledge of allegiance? Some will have said it with all pride and others said it due to having to say it. Detention is a great determining factor. In creating a brand – the enthusiasm you maintain about it will determine how your audience (realized or potential) will engage with it. So, what does a vision and mission look like for you? Let’s break these best friends up and understand their meaning:
Vision: As the amazing Steve Job stated: “If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” The purpose of establishing a vision for your brand is to think how will what I am creating or being impact the masses for years to come. Your vision is what will help you maintain excitement in what you are doing. Building a long term brand and not seeing the fruits of your labor pay off can drain your excitement for it. Yet, holding on to said vision will keep your focus – no matter if your brand has a sunny forecast or severe weather.
Vision Building Questions:
- How do you want your brand to be thought of – now and later?
- What other brands + businesses fit your brand vision? And why?
- What are 4 characteristics you want you brand to stand for?
- What is the core reason that you are establishing your brand?
Those 4 questions are a few that needs to be thought of when creating your brand vision. Your vision is the bottom level of the triangle model of your brand. When you understand the vision – the rest will come easier.
Now, that we got that out of the way – we need to get down to the mission of your brand. Long story short – your mission takes that vision element and build to turn more towards your audience + services/product/ideals. I know that you see a ton of businesses that have mission statements – this is where we are going with this part of the element formulation. Your mission stands as your brand promise to everything that comes in contact with your brand.
A word to the wise, your brand mission statement and vision can change overtime. The thought and promise of your brand should shift and grow as your brand grows.
Now back to the mission statement – take the childhood memory of a pink swear. What does your brand promise to do, think or be to your audience, partnerships and ultimately to yourself? The format of this should be no more than 3-5 sentences and easy for you to recite. Remember the pledge of allegiance reference? This pulls from passion too!
Mission Building Questions:
- What does your services, products and insight provide to those you are adding to?
- Does it fill a void or solve an issue?
- How will your brand provide those benefits to audience consistently and persistently?
- WHY should people or business focus on your brand? *You will see this question again later folks*
Just as professionals + business owners should have a pitch about their brand – your brand mission statement could serve as that as well or you can pull from it. Tip: Your pitch should change (be fluid) and fit the audience you are speaking to (one or more people).
Now that we have established what your brand vision and mission statements are, we will now add another element to the formulation of your core brand – your audience. Remember each of these sections builds into the other.
“The keys to brand success are self-definition, transparency, authenticity and accountability.” – Simon Mainwaring