How Apple’s Vision Fueled Growth – Branding Lessons

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PURPOSE

Purpose is an extension to the mission statement and a way to express the organization’s impact on the lives of customers, clients, students, patients — whomever you’re trying to serve. A purpose statement captures succinctly why the organization exists and what it

does.  It should be memorable enough so that everyone connected to the organization can remember it and use it.

A mission statement tends to be a hodgepodge of purpose, values and vision, resulting in a lack of clarity and focus. A solid purpose statement, on the other hand, can be easily used as a

benchmark for decision-making and planning. It can also be used to build morale –and gain support and understanding inside and outside the organization.

The purpose statement is stated in a way that encourages participation. It must be ATTAINABLE and RELEVANT. People must be able to see how they can make a contribution toward the goals of the organization.  The purpose must be stated in a way that everyone can believe it is attainable and relevant.  If it is attainable and relevant, then they will want participate in it. If your statement doesn’t allow individual participation, very little will get done.

Qualities of a Purpose Statement:

S –Specific –Unique to your organization.

M –Measureable –How will you know it has been accomplished?

A –Attainable –Achievable within the realm of faith.

R –Relevant –Worthy of accomplishment.

T –Timebound –Incorporates a time frame for accomplishment.

S –Strategic –It will capture the resources of our entire organization

Here are some purpose statements:

3M: Our purpose is to solve unsolved problems innovatively.

Wal-Mart: Our purpose is to give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same things as rich people.

Walt Disney: Our purpose is to make people happy.

THE AUTHENTIC BRAND

The only truly defendable brand position is an authentic one. Any brand that tries too hard, feels forced, or seems to be a stretch can stand out—in a bad way. Potential customers can spot a brand that’s over-promising from a mile away. Authenticity speaks volumes. Brands that tell a genuine, honest story resonate with people. People believe in honest brands.

Authentic brands are built day by day. Program materials are the bricks, and standards are the mortar. Be intentional when considering these materials, and be consistent when executing them. More often than not, a lot of little things add up to an authentic brand. Any provider can make a claim about on-time service, but only those that deliver on such claims day in and day out are being authentic. An authentic brand message might acknowledge an organization’s effort rather than puffing up performance claims.

Many organizations mistakenly undertake a graphic identity overhaul as a quick and easy way to upgrade their brand image. In the short term, updating a graphic identity can make an impact. A new logo certainly can imply a new or better value proposition, but a new face doesn’t make a new person. Customers will expect to see a brand to live up to its updated logo in the long run. Disappointing them may make the hard work of rebuilding a brand image even harder.

Organizations that are truthful in their business positioning and authentic in their brand pursuits neither undersell nor oversell the products and services they offer. For these organizations, a logo is more than a decoration. It’s their flag, their company crest, their reason for getting out of bed in the morning. The rewards greatly outweigh the inherent challenges when designing graphic identities for these organizations.

Here is the golden rule. Ditch authenticity as a brand attribute. Don’t say you are authentic — be authentic. “Straight-talking” and “plugged-in” are both better word choices to personify your brand. Attributes should be sufficiently nuanced to drive differentiation through creative expression in a way that will foster a real audience connection. Remember, authenticity breeds trust, and trust breeds business.