Chapter 2 - Brand Identity I: Defining Your Business

2.1 Defining Your Purpose: The Mission Statement

Why does your business exist? In addition to centering your business strategy around an overarching purpose, answering that broad question helps you establish a brand that’s authentic and consistent. The purpose is an underlying conviction and does not change according to trends and fads. Businesses that know what they stand for have an advantage when it comes to branding as the purpose is a guiding compass ensuring each brand decision or action is coherent, sustainable beyond the short-term, and genuinely reflects the business. You should be asking yourself each time you’re making a strategic or brand decision: is this reflective of and consistent with our purpose as a business?
The purpose statement is more commonly known as a mission statement. Mission statements might be viewed as something a corporate team writes and doesn’t look at again until it’s time to update it in thirty years. This view is exactly what causes proponents of it to be at risk of becoming irrelevant or obsolete.
How a brand is expressed should be aligned with the business’s mission. Inauthenticity and inconsistency are confusing and will be negatively perceived. Conversely, a coherent brand builds trust and becomes more easily recognizable to customers with each touchpoint and over time.
Your business’s values and core attributes should also be congruent with the mission. Your values are what you believe in; they guide your strategy, dictating how you execute your purpose. As with the brand in general, values should permeate every aspect of your business practices. A company that values convenience will approach ingredient sourcing and designing the customer journey differently than one that values "la dolce vita" and slow experiences. Oftentimes, multiple values interact to deliver differentiated offerings that attract your core audience, or the most loyal customers who share your values and therefore feel an affinity for your business.
Like your mission, your values are intrinsic to you. You must take a stand and trust that people who have the same values gravitate to your business. As articulating your values helps you shape an authentic brand personality, we'll go into more details on this topic in Section 2.4.
Next, define your audience in

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