Classroom 101: Branding Your Name And Mission Statement

I started this series on branding thinking that it would be just the one post about how important it is, and some general thoughts.  I either underestimated the size of the topic, or my willingness to talk about it, but here it is three weeks later, and I still have things to say. Ha-ha-ha! This week, I’d like to talk about what I feel are the two core items of any brand: The name, and the mission statement. These two things  not only tell who you are, and what you do, but they also are your most portable marketing tools because they are essentially just words and ideas. I can talk to somebody in the lift about Fusion and within 30 seconds she will have enough information that she can tell anybody who is looking for a unique, handmade gift exactly where to go.  These core ideas are also the seed that your visual style will grow out of, and having what you want to say makes what you want to show easier.

Names are important. Any filing system relies on names to locate information, and our brains are no different. There’s a reason we agonize over what we want to name our kids, our dogs, our bands…it’s because we want the name to ROCK fit. We don’t want our son Ted to go through life with everyone feeling like he should have been named Bill. The name of your business can be as simple as your name. Some of the biggest companies in the world did it, just look at Disney, Warner Brothers, Lucasfilm, even Wal-Mart is basically the name of the guy who started it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. A name can be a made up word like Kodak or…okay, that’s the only example I can think of off the top of my head but  maybe this will set you apart from, well pretty much everybody, Ha-ha-ha! Finally it can be a name that describes what you are or do like Pepsi, Pixar, Super Save-A-Lot or Wyld Stallyns.  As with anything we do, the name should tell a story about us. It will be memorable and linked to us based on it’s fit. Just don’t let your story never begin because you never stopped searching for a title.

Just what is a mission statement? In a nut shell, it’s what you want to do, and before you ask, “make money” is not a mission statement. If you were to ask Bill and Ted what theirs was, they might say “Be excellent to each other”. It’s short and to the point, and it tells a story about what’s important to them. To show that I’m not just making this up, and looking for excuses to talk about an excellent adventure, here’s an actual example I pulled from the interweb, for Pixar:

Pixar’s objective is to combine proprietary technological and world-class creative talent to develop computer-animated feature films with memorable character and heartwarming stories that appeal to audiences of all ages.

Put it all together and you have a compact idea that makes it easy to tell people who you are, what you do, and why you do it.

I hope that this shed a little bit of light on getting started in your branding. What do you think the core of your branding package is? Do you think your mission statement tells a story about you? Let us know in the comment section, we love from hearing from you! While I’m on the subject of comments, we’re coming up rapidly on summertime and I have an idea for the blog to help break up the year a little bit, have a little fun, and try some new things. The first half of July, I want to do a series of posts called “The 11 Days of Pinterest”. The idea is that I will do 11 different projects found on Pinterest, trying some new things and document them for the Fusion blog. Hopefully I won’t mess things up too much, and hopefully when I do it’ll be hilarious. Ha-ha-ha! So what are some of your favorite projects from pinterest? You can either leave me a comment with a link here, or tag me in the pin (@redherringjeff). Thanks for stopping in, and I look forward to hearing from you!

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