OK, OK, I apologise…
I said that I wasn‘t going to use brand- and marketing-speak.
But I lied, yet only a little. The truth is that the fundamental requirements of any brand is that it should have, as its foundation, a Vision, Mission and Values. (VMV.) And in fact I‘ll reorder those requirements by priority, as you‘ll see in the accompanying diagram.
Vision is usually the preserve of the founder, the chairman or the CEO (quite often this person can be one and the same). The criterion is to have a BHAG (there I go again): a Big Hairy Audacious Goal: ie something to strive for constantly. It should be simple, memorable, inspirational and ultimately, realistic.
Mission is the corporate rallying statement, tactical in nature (and by definition, changeable – according to prevailing market circumstances) and practical insofar as this is the “How“ to achieve the vision. To be frank, I am not a huge fan of mission statements – but only because there are so many out there that are meaningless and pay lip service to their true purpose.
But the most important – and defining – characteristics are:
Values. Without values we‘d all be lost and ill-defined. (We all have them.) They should be memorable, actionable and understood – especially by your internal audience. Most importantly, they should reflect the true spirit and character of your organisation, product or service. These are not meaningless platitudes if defined correctly. Collectively they make you what you are and all decisions should be benchmarked against them.
They should also support the vision. If your values change, then so does your brand. Simple as that.
I can help define – or re-define all of these. Regardless, they should be set in place and agreed before any further action on a branding exercise is undertaken. They are, collectively, the definition of your brand.
I have deliberately re-ordered the traditional "vision, misson and values"
in this diagram to accentuate order, iteration and priority.