If you are in business you have most likely been told you should have Vision, Mission, Purpose, Value Statements, not to mention a Tag Line, Value Proposition and so on. But what do all these terms really mean? How practical should they be? Delaney & Thorn Public Relations place high value on these statements as they are all part of your brand foundations.
The best place to start is understanding what ‘Brand’ means. At Delaney & Thorn we believe brand is much more than a symbol or logo.
A brand is an organisations‘ Image’ and ‘Identity’ combined. It’s all the features of how an organisation portrays itself to be externally, as well as all of the things it does internally - such as its internal culture and processes. Ensuring your brand’s image and identity is in alignment is essential to avoiding a brand crisis.
For example, if you were to put out the image that your brand was great at customer service, but when people tried to call they couldn’t get through - this would mean that their identity didn’t match up to the company’s image. Social media is a powerful tool and the power is in the consumer's hand to expose misaligned brands - so it’s best to ensure your brand foundations are purposeful.
WHAT DOES YOUR BRAND LOOK AND FEEL LIKE?
A good place to start is by answering the following questions:
- If you were to say five words that you want people to think and feel about your organisation or brand, what would they be?
- What is your reason for establishing the business?
- Why does your business exist?
- Where do you see the business in five years' time?
- If you could achieve one thing every day for your clients what would it be?
- What makes your business unique?
Answering these in simple everyday language will help you communicate clearly to your publics no matter whether it’s in a marketing campaign, internally to your staff, or at a BBQ talking about what you do to your friends and family. To make things super easy, below are our definitions of brand foundation statements.
Your organisation’s reason for being. The ‘why’ you exist. Short, clear and concise. A purpose statement captures succinctly why the organization exists and what it does. It should be memorable enough so that everyone connected to the organisation can remember it and use it.
- 3M: Our purpose is to solve unsolved problems innovatively.
- Merck: Our purpose is to preserve and improve human life.
- Walt Disney: Our purpose is to make people happy.
- SETI Institute: Our purpose is to explore, understand, and explain the origin, nature, prevalence and distribution of life in the universe.
- Fannie Mae: Our purpose is to strengthen the social fabric by continually democratizing home ownership.
- Hewlett-Packard: Our purpose is to make technical contributions for the advancement and welfare of humanity.
(Desired End-State) A one-sentence statement describing the clear and inspirational long-term desired change resulting from an organisation or program's work.
- Human Rights Campaign: Equality for everyone
- Feeding America: A hunger-free America
- Alzheimer’s Association: A world without Alzheimer’s
- Oxfam: A just world without poverty
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society: A World Free of MS
A one-sentence statement that describes the reason your organisation or program exists. (What you do + who/ what you do this for).
- The U.S. Fund for UNICEF fights for the survival and development of the world’s most vulnerable children and protects their basic human rights.
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
- Teach for America: Growing the movement of leaders who work to ensure that kids growing up in poverty get an excellent education.
- Save the Children: To inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives.
Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organisation. These guiding principles dictate behavior and can help people understand the difference between right and wrong. Core values also help companies to determine if they are on the right path and fulfilling their goals by creating an unwavering guide. These are the words that your customers think and feel when they see your brand. The values that your employees display, their behavior, rules that you subscribe by for everything you do.
How you communicate the above is often the most important part of whether or not your audiences will engage. Your logo, website, communication channels and stories all ride on top of your brand foundations, so nailing this first will save you time and energy down the line. If you would like to speak to us about branding, email us below - we'll be happy to answer your questions.