Throughout my 25+ year career as a crisis management pr firms Wilmington NC specialist, I have worked with a wide variety of companies to assist them in developing effective marketing campaigns to boost sales and grow their businesses. My first step in these endeavors is to identify the company’s brand platform. What does the brand stand for?  What is the brand mission? What are the company’s values? What is the brand positioning? More often than not, clients (even company presidents of large corporations) do not have good answers to these questions. Most of us are so busy running our business that we unfortunately don’t take the time to create a solid brand platform on which to rest the company’s growth and success.

Here’s a quick summary of the five elements of a successful brand platform. Before launching any marketing initiatives, take time to build your platform. It is well worth the effort and time.

Every strong brand sits upon a platform comprised of five fundamentals:

  1. Mission
  2. Vision
  3. Values
  4. Personality
  5. Positioning

security_blocks1Mission

A mission statement describes a company’s fundamental purpose. It answers the question, “Why do we exist?”

Vision

A vision statement describes a company’s dreams and hopes for the future. The vision statement answers the question, “Where do we want to go?”

Values

Core values are principles that guide employees’ conduct with internal and external audiences. Values impact every aspect of your organization:

  • Personal work behaviors
  • Decision-making
  • Interpersonal interaction
  • Ability to prioritize
  • Success – employees who embody values are rewarded, recognized and promoted

Value examples (do not choose more than 6 — 3 to 5 is optimal):

  • Ambition
  • Integrity
  • Fun
  • Teamwork
  • Quality
  • Learning
  • Compassion

Although these are very important, these are not values:

  • Family (value = close relationships)
  • Church (value = spirituality)
  • Professionalism (value = integrity)

Personality

Brand personality is the attribution of human personality traits to define a brand’s core attributes and characteristics. Examples: creative, warm, friendly, sophisticated, fun, etc.

Positioning

Definition:  A brand positioning statement is a succinct description of how your brand meets the needs of your customers in a unique way that provides real value and is not easily replicated by your competitors.

Purpose:

A positioning statement focuses your marketing strategy by acting as a barometer for marketing decisions. Decisions on how to promote the brand (everything from company name to advertising) should be judged by how well they support the brand positioning.

Structure:

The four elements of a positioning statement include:

  1. Target audience
  2. Business description
  3. Points of differentiation
  4. Credibility – reason to believe

Template:

For (target audience), Talk, Inc. is the (business description) that delivers (points of differentiation) because only Talk, Inc. (reason to believe).

Sample:

For B2B businesses in North and South Carolina, Talk is a marketing communications agency that combines expertise in PR, crisis management, graphic design and Internet marketing to craft strategic campaigns that win. Talk is unique in its use of a proven, 4-step process that helps businesses grow, navigate change and mitigate threats.

How to evaluate a positioning statement:

  • Is it memorable, motivating and focused on your core audience?
  • Does it provide a distinctive and meaningful picture of the brand that differentiates
  • it from the competition?
  • Can the brand own it?
  • Is it credible and believable?
  • Does it enable growth?
  • Does it serve as a filter for marketing strategy?

I routinely host workshops to assist companies in crafting brand platforms. To learn more about how Talk can help your company, call me at 910-371-9770.