You’ve just started a business or are in the first few years. Maybe you’re an athlete or influencer, ready to take your platform and reach the next level. But what’s that next step for business growth? How do you turn an idea, service, or product into a successful business?
From the inside out.
Inside First: An Internal Brand
By “inside,” we mean an internal brand: your purpose, mission, vision, and values statements. Think of your internal brand as a compass that guides and directs your venture. Furthermore, a strategic internal brand can help establish authenticity (genuineness, reliability), which today’s consumers demand. But when an internal brand is overlooked, and it often is, the brand as a whole won’t have a strong foundation, clear direction, enduring trust, or consistent credibility for a sustainable future.
Why is internal branding often just an afterthought? Lack of measurable metrics is one of the biggest reasons. In today’s digital marketing era, metrics are quantified on almost every front. But how do you measure direction? Purpose? Or values? It isn’t easy. But when done right, your team, audience, and prospects will feel these statements - your brand will resonate with them.
And they’ll want to keep coming back for more.
Let's take a quick look at each internal brand component and its role in your brand’s long-term success.
- 1. Purpose Statement: People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.
In today’s consumer-driven, noisy world, we’re seeking authenticity: something genuine and worth connecting with. Especially from businesses and brands. But where does this authenticity come from? It starts with your purpose or “why.”
What's a brand purpose statement? It’s your brand's reason for existence outside of commercial gain.
Simon Sinek, published author and inspirational speaker, states, “Every single person, every single organization on the planet knows what they do… . Some know how they do it… . But very, very few…know why they do what they do.” Your purpose lays the foundation and provides direction for your entire organization. And if you live by it, it’ll affect your:
• Core offerings.
It influences everything you do. But most importantly, it’ll build trust with your audience and give you a competitive edge you can’t get anywhere else.
- 2. Vision Statement: Where do you aspire to go? Who do you want to be? What impact do you aim to have?
Your brand’s vision statement declares what goals you aspire to achieve in the long haul. It's forecasting what the future picture will look like. Think of it as navigation for your brand that motivates, challenges, and influences decisions. But it’s got to be big, bold, and even scary to inspire belief and action. What does this mean?
You shouldn’t be able to achieve it in a few months or even a few years. It needs to be that ambitious.
Your vision should be internal first. But keep in mind, don’t create one just to have one. It needs to be genuine (remember, authenticity!) and it must connect with your purpose.
- 3. Mission Statement: What’s your brand committing to every day to reach your vision in the someday?
A brand’s vision looks ahead to where it aspires to be. But the mission statement answers the question: “What are we willing to do each day to get there?” It’s a directive built on your vision that guides daily decisions and actions.
A mission statement is different from a vision statement:
• Mission: the present
• Vision: the future
• Mission: the everyday
• Vision: the someday
A mission is a committed action, whereas a vision is a committed action result.
Ever heard the quote, “Rome wasn’t built in a day?” Well, your vision, if it’s truly big, bold, and scary, can’t (and shouldn’t) be achieved in a day. And you won’t reach it without your mission. A strong mission is built on consistently delivering on a commitment made to your audience, idea, or feeling. Following through with your commitments creates consistency, and consistency builds trust. And trust is what every successful brand is established on. Why? You probably guessed it: authenticity.
Without a mission, the vision can’t become a reality. Without the vision, the mission has no direction.
- 4. Brand Values Statements: Principles and philosophies to live by.
Values are defined as standards of behavior or what’s seen as important. Regarding brands, values are the moral principles and philosophies leading and guiding decisions, actions, and behaviors. And if you practice these commitments over time, they’ll become who your brand is.
But values, like the purpose, vision, and mission, are centered on, you guessed it, authenticity. These statements create accountability that keeps your leadership and team on track with their conduct and priorities. In other words, you’ve said, “This is what we live by.” So, you’ll need to make sure you practice what you preach. And much like personal values, it shapes how your business treats people. Which will eventually either attract them or push them away.
A note about brand culture
When an internal brand comes together, it establishes brand culture.
Purpose drives meaningful work.
Vision drives direction.
Mission rewards commitment.
Values lead moral behavior.
Strong brand culture is an environment people want to be part of. It elicits pride, aligns priorities, guides decisions, attracts and retains the right people, improves performance, and influences the entire brand experience.
Your internal brand (and culture) is an enduring strength on the inside. But what about the outside of your brand?
Next, Outside: Strategic Visual Identity, Logo Design Built on Strategy
Brand identity is the tangibility that identifies who your brand is, what it believes, and where it’s going.
The brand identity system includes:
Your brand and business are recognized through this identity. And the most recognized brand element is your logo. It should spark interest, attract, and connect with the internal foundation you’ve already strategically built.
A logo is essential because it’s the unique representation only you have, giving people the opportunity to connect visually. Most often, it’s your brand’s first impression, so you’ll want to make it a good one. But unfortunately, most brands begin and end with brand identity.
A logo is indeed a key element, arguably one of the most important aspects of branding. But your design must be backed by authenticity to build trust with your audience. How do you do that? From the inside out.
At CreativCat, we believe so much in the power of internal branding that we’ve revamped our original Quick Ascent package to better serve our clients. This package includes:
CreativExploration & Strategic Audit
Purpose, Mission, Vision, and Values Statements
Brand Identity System
Custom Logo, Logo Style Sheet, Business Card Design, Branded Canva