What is a Brand Mission?
Brand mission means the reflection of a company's philosophy on how it benefits consumers. In other words, the mission is the reason for the company's creation, expressed in a few sentences of the brand description or its style, strapline or commercial. For instance, Facebook's mission is to help people across the globe communicate and make the world more open, transparent, and inclusive. IKEA's mission is "to create a better everyday life for many people." Moreover, the mission of a blogger's personal brand can be, for example, to motivate people to do new things and travel (for instance, if we are talking about a travel blogger). Thus, a brand's mission is not about financial plans and desired profit but about what traces the brand will leave in history, and what it can help people with and what it exists for.
If we look at business development from a philosophical point of view, a company's mission is its primary basis and root cause, its global purpose. Therefore, the mission is an intangible asset that conveys brand values to the mass audience. The brand mission can also be viewed from two perspectives, responding to external and internal tasks.
Brand mission as a component of communication strategy
A successful brand is more than just a name, logo, or a strapline. Companies become profitable and popular primarily due to their philosophy, differentiating them from their competitors and maintaining a particular image in the media environment. A unique communication strategy interacts with potential consumers and conveys the company's brand values. It contains a particular vision of the brand, its position in the market, its core values, and the goals it seeks to achieve. The brand mission must align with this strategy and the company's development plan. That is, the brand mission as a component of the communication strategy should help the company to interact with customers, create a unique selling proposition for them and, as a result, achieve success in the market and stand out among competitors.
Brand mission as a motivation for the company's employees
In most cases, companies need an essential reason for their functioning besides profit. So, the brand mission can motivate the staff and inspire them to perform well and efficiently. It is because it helps employees realise the importance of their activities and the contribution that everyone makes to the common cause. The best employee is the one who not only improves clients' quality of life but also sees the results of their work!
Why is the Brand's Mission Vital?
An organisation's mission is the basis for the development and positioning of the company in the market. It describes the brand values, goals, and principles of the brand, as well as intentions, desires, and plans. Without an articulated and attractive to the audience brand mission, the company can lose competitive advantages and leadership positions in the market. Thus, the benefits of a competently crafted company mission include:
- Creating and maintaining brand uniqueness and setting you apart from competitors so customers distinguish your company from similar ones.
- Ensuring market recognition and retention of leadership positions.
- a clear definition of the target audience, its needs, and desires.
- Creating in-demand products and services that meet all customer needs and demands.
- Building the company's reputation and image in the media environment and in the eyes of the public.
- Team building, motivation of employees and formation of corporate culture.
All these factors are crucial elements for the success of any company, so the brand mission must be clear, concise in meaning and at the same time consistently fulfilled. Additionally, the task must fulfil several characteristics:
- Comprehensibility and unambiguity, i.e., the mass audience should understand the importance of the phrase stating the company's mission.
- Values: the assignment should communicate its values to customers and connect the audience to them.
- Imagery, i.e., the mission, should be easy to remember and pronounced as a winged expression.
- Uniqueness, i.e., the mission should focus the audience's attention on how the company differs from competitors and analogue products.
- Honesty - the mission should not deceive customers' expectations.
Types of Brand Missions
Before creating your brand mission, you need to decide what they are. There are several of the most common types of aims:
- A Mission Statement. It is based solely on a narrowly defined, specific reason for the company's existence. The entire mission consists of a single question, "What does the company operate for?" For example, Google's primary mission is to make all information available worldwide.
- Mission Orientation. This type of brand mission implies a broader description that includes a system of values and a specific culture to which all company representatives, i.e., employees and management, should adhere. It is this mission that consists of the brand voice. For example, the mission of the largest Coca-Cola Company is to inspire people, give them happiness and infect them with optimism, create fundamental values and make the world through the beverages it produces.
- Product Mission is a product description and the benefits the company offers to consumers through its products and services. It is closest to the market definition of a company.
There is another classification for which the central declared values differentiate brand missions. For example, missions can:
- Adhere to age-old, constant, unchanging values such as family, friendship, and love. For example, Disneyland's primary mission is not so much about entertainment and fun but about parents spending time with their children.
- Evolve towards innovation and innovation. The most vivid example is Apple Corporation, which with its revolutionary developments, changed the market of modern gadgets.
- Focus, first, on the convenience and comfort of customers. Amazon's online mission is "To be the most customer-caring company". Likewise, Airbnb, an online marketplace for locating and finding short-term private rentals around the world, has a mission to make it easy to travel and still feel at home in every corner of the world.
- To emphasise solutions to social and community problems. For example, Australian company WGAC (Who Gives A Crap) produces toilet paper, napkins and paper towels from recycled materials. And exactly half of the profits get donated to charity and the fight against unsanitary conditions in the least developed countries. Another more famous example is Tesla. Its mission is to transition to sustainable energy and, as a result, to green the world.
How to Write a Brand Mission Statement
There are several steps to developing a brand mission statement:
Step 1: Start by Creating a Brand Story
It is a story about the birth and development of a brand that evokes, above all, an emotional response. It is a narrative about the key personalities who created the brand, the turning points, and the path to success. However, strangely enough, the story's centre is still not the company but its customers. In other words, this is not only a story about the history of the business but about how it helps people and how its creators came to the point where they wanted to change the world and consumers' lives for the better. In many ways, this defines the company's further philosophy, i.e., its values and principles of work.
Step 2: Characterise the Brand
To analyse the company and define its philosophy most comprehensively, you need to characterise the brand as if it were a person with interests, goals, and ambitions. To do this, answer the questions:
- What does the brand look like?
- What character traits does it possess?
- What are its habits, interests, and desires?
- What does he want to achieve? What prevents it from doing so?
It will help create a specific image for the brand, form its values and even its worldview.
Step 3: Clearly Define the Goals and Rype of the Mission Statement
Also, together with the brand's history, it is necessary to define the brand's purpose of the company's activities, namely, what problems it helps to solve, what benefits it brings to society and how it differs from competitors. For this purpose, it is necessary to evaluate the company's current position in the market, analyse the activities of competing brands and analogue products, identify strengths and weaknesses, and determine which products or services are most in demand and why. It is best to answer questions in detail for a more complete analysis. Some of these may seem trivial, but they will help to formulate the brand mission in the next step:
- In What Field does the company Operate?
- What problems does it solve, or what needs does it fulfil?
- What benefits does the company's activity bring to society?
- What is the uniqueness of the brand? What does it produce that others do not?
- What is the brand's purpose, and how does it achieve it?
- What does the company strive for in the future?
- What are the company's core values?
- How does the company communicate these values to its audience?
- How can the company's activities change the world?
- What will the company leave behind?
Step 4: Formulating the Mission
After the first three stages of brand analysis, which can be safely run in parallel, the company precisely knows the critical moments of its history, core values and principles of work. Now it is time to formulate all the written theses briefly and succinctly about the brand into a single statement. Of course, it doesn't necessarily have to be just one sentence. But remember that the main characteristics are brevity, clarity and honesty. To begin with, you can write about four or five sentences and then reduce the resulting story to a bright and memorable phrase or slogan. Choose the most important things about the company's activities and eliminate unnecessary and redundant information. Ultimately, the statement should be somewhat conversational to get used to welcoming new customers or to say at meetings and other events.
Step 5: Testing
Test the finished brand statement, phrase, or message on the target audience. Remember that you need to take care, first, of your customers. It is their opinion that is most valuable for the company. It is necessary to find out and analyse what brand vision is formed by the mass audience and how it is perceived: open and good-natured, colder, and more reserved, maybe youthful, and patristic or too severe. Depending on the company's activities, it is necessary to determine the closest and most attractive style. For example, the BMW Group, whose mission is to create premium products and services for individual mobility, should be considered a severe and businesslike company. At the same time, the mission of the Starbucks coffee chain is to fill people's lives with energy, optimism, and new opportunities, so it should get perceived as friendly.
If necessary, for example, if, in the eyes of the public, the brand does not look all the way the company's management would like it to look, the general message should be improved or changed altogether. It should align with the company's values and principles, be honest with the audience, and be concise and memorable.
Brand Mission Examples
The most vivid and memorable are the missions of sports clothing brands, for example, Nike and Adidas. The slogan of the first one sounds like this: "Just Do It." Launched in 1988, the campaign has become one of the most recognisable and favourite in the sports industry. Its mission is to motivate people to do sports despite any obstacles. The slogan "Just Do It" sounds very simple and concise, but it is also very memorable and thought of as an inspirational phrase that motivates people to do things!
And the inspirational quote of the clothing brand Adidas was Impossible is Nothing. Today this slogan helps people to reach new heights and become winners. In addition, Adidas states that passion for sports makes our world a better place. So, the sportswear company's work makes improving ourselves and the world around us possible.
Polaroid, a photographic equipment manufacturing company, carries a more touching mission that fulfils eternal values. It argues that improving the instant photography market is necessary to meet the growing need for people to capture the faces of friends and family, places dear to their hearts and funny moments. A similar company, Kodak, has a similar view, but its mission is more succinct: "We help the world create memories."
The Austrian company Red Bull calls its mission to "enliven" people, i.e., through a special energy drink, and consumers receive not only a charge of adrenaline and activity but also real wings, with the help of which they are capable of any achievements.
Thus, the brand mission allows one to achieve the set goals on the way to the company's success. Don't forget that in the business development process, the task can be adjusted, supplemented, or completely changed in case of transformation or reorganisation of the company. The main thing is that there is always an idea for the sake of which the business exists, and which unites its management, all employees and potential audience. In this case, trusting relationships will form within the team, and the brand will build solid emotional ties with its customers.