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  • Writer's pictureRandy DeMuesy

What comes first: the Mission Statement or Brand Positioning?

If you’re like most family owned businesses, you already have your mission statement. It may have been written down by the Founder before the shingle even went up, or crafted and established once more family members became involved in the business.

But perhaps you’ve yet to formally clarify and clearly articulate your brand positioning statement.

So, should that have happened before your mission statement? Or is it better that it’s happening after?

Does it matter?

And what’s the difference between the two, anyway?

Your mission statement is internally focused

Mission Statements declare your reason for existing: why a company does what it does, what the core values are which the company represents and strives to live, and often includes the aspirations of the owners/employees.

Having a guidepost like this to help direct business decisions and provide all your employees with something to rally around is invaluable.

But, ultimately, it is incomplete. It’s only focused on half of the equation.

Because mission statements always tend to forget someone very import: the customer.

The very person who is at the root of why you exist.

Your brand positioning statement is externally focused

While your mission statement contains the hopes, dreams and desires of your company, your brand position should represent the hopes, dreams and desire of your customer.

A brand statement uses the power of human truths to focus your brand around your customer. It’s your brand position, it’s your brand story, but ultimately, it needs to be about them …your customer.

It’s what your brand means from your customers’ viewpoint, from their frame of reference … where it fits and why it belongs in their life.

That starts with clearly identifying with who they are … and that takes some work, but it’s worth it.

So, the answer to the question is ... ?

A strong brand position can absolutely influence your mission statement (since it puts the customer first and--in the end--you serve your customer).

But if you already have your mission statement, that’s fine. Use it as the starting point for the process to discover your brand position.

And once you reveal your brand position, and realize the distinct offering you have and why it matters so to your customer, don't be surprised when that insight helps you evolve your mission statement …

… making it a stronger, more relevant call to action that better aligns with the true purpose you have in your customer’s life.

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