The brand platform is a document that encompasses the many components upon which the brand is built. It is a way to focus these diverse elements so your brand can be consistent and relevant to the stakeholders you wish to relate to. Once prepared and approved at the very top management level, the platform should be used as a guide for all branding decisions, strategic and creative. It will also become an integral part of your company’s strategic plan.
Developing the brand platform will mean borrowing some elements from your existing strategic plan, beginning with the mission statement. But in case you’ve never created a mission statement, here are some thoughts about developing your first one.
Mission statements: providing direction and clarity
A mission statement is a crystallization of your company’s pupose and more. It describes the non-financial reasons why you’re in business in the first place.
One approach to the mission statement is to consider three main aspects of your reason for being: your purpose, your market, and your expertise.
So first, how can you make a difference in the lives of your consumers, whether they be individuals, families or organizations? What problems do you solve? How do you improve people’s lives? Your purpose, clearly and concisely stated, should become the guiding force for the decisions and actions your corporate team implements.
Next, describe the market segments you serve or plan to serve. Your target market description is critical because it shapes your products and services, and it guides you in developing your corporate structure and personnel, your industry relationships and partners, your marketing intelligence activities and marketing programs.
Finally, identify your distinct expertise. What does your company excel at? What drives the business? What skills and technologies have you honed? Your expertise is the driving force behind your mission statement.
Benefits of the mission statement
No matter the size of your organization, the mission statement offers many benefits in addition to being a major component of the brand platform.
First, it is valuable when times get tough. It can always tell you exactly what you need to do to keep your organization on track.
Second, it provides your customers with a concise reason for buying from you. Something employees need to remember, too.
Third, it can serve as a motivational tool for every member of your team. Your mission statement can provide them reason for their efforts.
Fourth, the mission statement acts as the glue that keeps your team of employees working together towards one common goal.
Once complete, make the mission statement a public document. Post it so everyone in your organization is reminded of it daily. Tell your customers, your fellow workers, and your suppliers.
Mission statement: one element of the brand platform
The mission statement, though probably no longer than one typewritten page, is not a slogan, tagline or even a positioning statement. As the source of direction and inspiration, the mission statement needs to be long enough to do its vital job.
And be sure to incorporate it into your brand platform. Together with the other elements I’ll blog about over the next month, you’ll have the elements to build a platform upon which a strong brand can be built.