The bookshelves and the cyber airwaves are loaded with schools of branding thought. Write your manifesto. Declare your position. Proclaim your difference. What’s your deal? Where’s your why? Who’s your daddy? (Huh?)
We’ve seen it, we’ve heard it, and we’ve read it all. Although, we have not done it all, because we know better. Years of experience and tons of experiences have brought us to a clear understanding and smart streamlining of the branding process.
First and foremost, we know that Mission is critical.
Mission: Win the war.
Vision: Peace on earth.
Purpose: Freedom for all.
Steady the ladder
The Mission is a pivotal part of any brand foundation. It represents the central core of an organization’s thinking. And we all know the importance of a powerful core—it makes everything else stronger and healthier.
Granted, this is a Mission blog, but we do need to be responsible and connect Mission to the rest of the brand body. Your Mission is the strategy that incrementally propels you to your longer term Vision. A Vision that’s built on the larger Purpose of your brand.
The Mission is the “How” that ladders up and down to the rest of your brand structure. Mission ladders up to where you want to go in the future, aka, Vision. Which in turn connects upward to your organization greater Purpose.
The Mission also ladders down to supporting elements like, Core Values and Critical Actions. Our job is not to create your Mission, but to facilitate the conversation and the exploration that brings it naturally and organically into the light. We have a firm grasp on the ladder.
Let’s break it up and count it down. A great Mission:
1. Be big, audacious and aspirational.
Don’t get stuck on short-term goals—those are tasks and milestones that feed into the completion of the Mission.
2. Make it measurable.
Even the most aspirational Mission can be measured on some level. Is there a timeline, a deadline, a quantitative goal? Beware of superlatives—it’s difficult to measure: “Become the most awesome brand in the world.”
3. Succeed on all levels.
What does our success mean to others, both externally and especially internally? Is it inclusive and memorable? Make sure the Mission reacts to actions and initiates actions—the ladder effect.
Mission drives the language and the energy of your brand. But there are times when the narrative changes and the energy shifts. In general, we see brand Missions re-addressed every three to five years. This is to say, have a close look, make an unbiased assessment of how the Mission resonates in respect to your Vision, your Purpose and of course all the potential changes in your business environment.
Is your Mission still the cornerstone of your culture? Does it connect with those in the “trenches” of your organization? Don’t allow your Mission to become more hot air and disregarded wallpaper.
Check out the Freesources page on our web site sussner.com for a 100%, no-charge, no-obligation, no-email-required downloadable guide to telling your brand story: Stories Made Meaningful. Find thought starters for you and your team to peruse and ponder.
Good luck on your Mission,
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