How many mission and vision statements look good on paper but have little to nothing to do with their customers’ experience? Too many, I’m sorry to say. This is a very costly misperception. MarketCues’ research at client companies reveals that the more an organization’s stated purpose is in alignment with what it delivers, the more successful it will be serving and satisfying its customers’ needs. This alignment is a key to driving high business performance by organizations that are less aligned will not achieve.

The world has shrunk and people are much more informed and aware of many things, including how well their brands are delivering the goods and services they promise. Today, a brand owner has to go far beyond making claims such as, highest quality, excellent services, been in business for 20 years, etc. These are simply every day statements that ring hollow if the experience a customer receives does not match up to them. And all too often this is the case.

The 4 P's Branding

MarketCues’ research has identified four drivers that enable organizations to identify the gaps of Perception versus Reality between an organization and its customers. Through the analytical process of answering the following four questions, organization leaders are able to better define its true mission and vision and implement them throughout their entire organization to drive brand and cultural change.

What is the true purpose of the brand? What an organization says and does should always be the same. That’s obvious. What isn’t so obvious is it needs to deliver what no other organization can. If this first question cannot be answered in the affirmative, with distinction and uniqueness, the brand is weak and subject to diminished value and/or business failure.

What promises does your brand make? Too many is just that, too many. Rather than throw the kitchen sink of benefits at your customers, define one to three primary promises that grow out of your brand’s purpose. For instance, if your brand’s purpose is to deliver the optimum mobile app for security, make sure your promise of the “Highest Mobile Security” is a fact that can be counted on every single time it is used.

What is the personality of your brand? The way an organization’s employees act and sound has a lot to do with what personality is hardened into a brand’s persona. This works both for and against an organization depending on how its customers typically perceive it. A highly positive experience does a lot to cement an image and likeability associated with a brand. Likewise, a negative experience does a lot to tarnish a brand’s image.

What is the platform of your brand? The key to answering this question begins with knowing what platforms your key prospective customers look to for informed advice. Without this informed research, this is nearly an impossible battle to win. Perhaps that’s why so many linear social media programs, although very busy, typically fail. The old axiom of rifle versus shotgun comes to mind.

In order to make sense of your brand’s effectiveness, leaders need to take some time to figure out objectively what their brand’s purpose is based upon the “4 P’s of Branding” as outlined in the four questions above, and align the organization with them. These steps can eliminate the gaps between what is being promised to what is being delivered and will energize both your employees and customers.