Beyond developing a logo mark for our clients, we often work with start-ups and even established organizations to create a brand standards guide complete with mission and vision statements. A brand standards guide is a multi-page document that details all the elements of a brand, from the actual logo mark to the appropriate web font, color palettes and ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ of how to use the mark, tagline, colors and fonts. It is the essential tool for preserving the value of an organization’s brand, ensuring everyone from employees to vendors are well versed in the appropriate usage.
The brand standards guide isn’t just about the correct script or right Pantone color (the Pantone Matching System is a proprietary color space used in a variety of industries, primarily printing), it also covers the personality of the brand, which includes the mission and vision and sometimes even the value statements.
Typically we flesh out all the design guidelines and offer the company a chance to provide their own messaging. Most established companies have a mission and vision, although when asked many say they don’t, or suggest that the one they have needs to be updated. Start-ups on the other hand have grand ideas and they struggle with narrowing their focus. Which, means we have the unique opportunity to help finesse the core foundation of an organization, their raison d’etre if you will.
Creating Your Mission
Helping an organization revise their mission or create one from scratch is a really big deal. It’s also something we don’t do on our own, it requires collaboration with the client and an in-depth knowledge of the company’s target market, the value that they bring to that target and how the company differs from their competition. Once we have those points on paper it takes some word-smithing and fine-tuning to create a statement that properly expresses what, why and for whom the company does what it does.
Defining Your Vision
Once the mission is in place you can start thinking about the vision and values. The vision statement expresses the long-term intent for a company, it also brings in the warm, fuzzy things like hopes and dreams. While values are the nuts and bolts of what drive a company on a daily basis.
Throughout a company’s life the vision and values may change, in fact most growing companies experience pains that force them to reevaluate their vision and values. In fact, when we started Rhyme & Reason five years ago our mission was grand, our vision was overly fluffy and our values, they didn’t exist. However, over the course of time we honed in on our defining mission, removed some whimsy from our vision and even drafted values that reflect the culture we’ve been striving to create.