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Posts Tagged ‘Vision Statement’

A brand messaging architecture is the first thing you should develop to help you manage your brand image and communications.  It is primarily used by internal departments and external vendors (such as PR firms) who communicate externally to customers, partners, and influencers.  The brand messaging architecture is a formal structure that summarizes and communicates messages about your company, products, and services. 

There are a lot of components to messaging and not all of them will be needed for every brand messaging architecture.  Depending upon your situation, you will choose from the following components to develop the messaging that you need:

– Vision Statement
– Mission Statement
– Positioning Statement
– Value Proposition
– Key Messages
– Proof Points

Here’s an example of a brand messaging architecture for a global non-profit professional association, the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (it’s an older version of the brand architecture, so I can share it).

Example: Brand Messaging Architecture

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It’s been a while since my last blog post, and that’s because I’ve been in the process of publishing my new ebook!

I am truly excited to announce the publication of  “Before the Brand: Using Positioning and Messaging to Build Brand Identity.” 

Think about it.  How is your brand perceived?  Unless you consciously define your brand, your customers will create their own perception. This book helps you take control of your brand by defining what your brand is before your marketplace does.  It contains a step-by-step process to create positioning, value propositions and messaging, making it much easier to influence customer perception of your brand.

To learn more, or to purchase a copy ($10 USD), click here.

And there is another change you may have noticed.  My blog brand has changed from “Marketing Magic” to “Before the Brand.”  I’ve had so much interest in the intricacies of positioning and messaging that I’ve evolved this blog to cover that topic more fully.  In upcoming posts, you will learn:

  • How to create a value proposition
  • How to manage brand perception
  • How to position your product
  • What the difference is between vision statements and mission statements
  • …. and much, much more!

I’m pleased to bring my subscribers new, useful tools to help them in their day-to-day work.  Go forth, and make your mark!

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There are a lot of components to messaging, and each component takes good old fashioned work to create.  Yes, each component is necessary.  Yes, each component builds upon the previous component.  But how do you then communicate the components in an easy to understand, easy to use way?

I like to aggregate these messages into a one or two page Brand Architecture.  Quite simply, it’s a cheat sheet.

Use this as a method of summarizing your company, segment, product or service messaging in one, easy to reference location.  I know of companies that post it to their internal Web sites, even distribute it to sales people when they are bringing them up to speed on their next product or service.  It’s the best way to keep everyone in sync — after all, if you don’t make it easy to find, use and understand, your user adoption will be low. 

Cable Company Brand Architecture

Vision By 2012, Cable Company will be the leading provider of integrated communications services for the home.
 Mission Cable Company is the leading integrator of digital communication for the home, by providing cable, radio, internet, and mobile/landline phone services.  We delight our customers with outstanding programming, customer service, and seamless integration of communications
 Positioning Statement

(for the Families market segment)

For families who need programming suitable for children, but find that unfiltered content on TV can be unsuitable, Cable Company’s offering is music, entertainment, and educational programming.  This includes parental controls that enable parents to filter TV programming by channel, rating, or programming type, and which prevent access to programming that parents deem unsuitable for their children.Unlike broadcast television or analog cable, our company provides digital television technology that delivers parental control capabilities.
Key Messages(for the Families market segment) Family Programming Parental Controls
  • Family radio channels 1, 2, 3, featuring animated character guest hosts from the popular Almond Avenue children’s series.
  • 12 educational shows, including 3 animal shows, 1 cooking show, 2 math shows, and 6 educational variety shows.
  • Filter programming by channel, rating, or programming type
  • Available for digital subscribers only
  • Menu driven interface
  • Timer capability allows you to shut off the TV at a pre-determined time.  For example, every day at 7 p.m. programming will shut off but can be turned back on with a parentally defined code.

 

  •  “The best source for children’s TV programming,” Martha Seuss, leading parenting expert.
  • 50% of the programming audience for children, ages 8 – 12, Children’s Television Daily.
  • Winner, 2009 Best Children’s Educational Programming, Education Weekly.
  • Winner, 2009 Best Parental Controls, TV Weekly.
  • “I wouldn’t use any other service,” Parenting Blog, Family Magazine Online.

In my next post, I’ll be moving on to another messaging topic:  preparing messaging documents for the internal company audience.

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Every communications program — whether targeted at social media, customers, employees, the press or analysts — needs to be clear on the fundamentals of positioning and messaging.  That’s what my next few posts are covering.

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Vision and mission statements are often confused with one another because they share a similar purpose:  when used appropriately, vision and mission statements will give you, your team, and your company a clear direction.  So what is the difference between the two?

Vision Statement

A vision statement is a declarative, future-facing statement which conveys where you want to go or who you want to be.  It asserts what your company aspires to achieve.  Truly effective vision statements are infused with a sense of inspiration and motivate people by providing a sense of higher purpose.

 Questions it answers are: 

  • What do you aspire to?
  • Where are you going?
  • When will you achieve this?

Let’s introduce a fictional company and call it Cable Company.  Here is an example of a vision statement for Cable Company which answers the questions above.

Vision Statement for Cable Company

By 2012, Cable Company will be the leading provider of integrated communications services for the home.

 Mission Statement

A mission statement, in contrast, defines who you are, what your purposes is, and how you will achieve your vision.  It is practical and communicates what you do on a day-to-day basis.  It specifies who your customer is, what you deliver to them, and it identifies criteria to evaluate how successful you are.

Questions it answers are: 

  • What business are we in?
  • Who do we serve?
  • How will we know we are successful?

Here is an example of a mission statement for Cable Company which answers the questions above.

Mission Statement for Cable Company

Cable Company is the leading integrator of digital communication for the home, by providing cable, radio, internet, and mobile/landline phone services.  We delight our customers with outstanding programming, customer service, and seamless integration of communications.

(Hey, I said it was a fictional company.)

Vision and mission statements are useless if an company doesn’t internalize them.  Leaders within the company, therefore, should evangelize the vision and mission on a regular basis, including creating strategies, goals, and objectives that align with and support them.

More about positioning and messaging techniques in subsequent posts.

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