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Establishing Your Vision, Mission, and Strategy

How do you establish a strong and distinctive mission, and why should it matter?

Vision, Mission and Strategy are critical to a company’s uniqueness and vital to success. We have a very simple way to think about Vision, Mission and Strategy that can help you develop a unique, compelling, and clear way to differentiate your company, inspire your employees, and guide your company forward.

In this video, we define these elements and use the example of IBM to illustrate each one.

Contact us to learn more: https://www.marshallstrategy.com/contact

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IBM Adds Dimension to its Brand Promise through Social Responsibility Initiatives

Building a Smarter Planet is at the core of IBM’s brand promise. Yes, the brand platform is smart and the campaigns it inspires are compelling, but at IBM the promise runs deeper than that. A brand promise should drive how an organization behaves, and IBM shows its commitment to “Smarter Planet” through socially responsible initiatives and partnerships.

IBM-smarter-planet

Take one of the IBM’s latest programs, Smarter Education Solution, which is part of the company’s broader Smarter Cities initiative. This is a partnership with Desire2Learn, a learning solutions company, to provide improved learning and teaching experiences in school systems. IBM provides advanced analytics software for use in conjunction with Desire2Learn’s educational platform to improve the learning environment for students. “Today, technology is redefining learning,” said Michael D. King, Vice President of IBM Global Education. “Curriculum can be delivered on a mobile device to follow the student home after school, and intervention strategies can help identify potential problems before they occur. By applying IBM’s advanced analytics technology to the cause of improving education, we hope to help every child succeed.”*

Partnerships like this show that IBM is delivering on its Smarter Planet brand promise. It goes beyond corporate objectives, advertising, and business strategies to actions that are real and meaningful. Social responsibility initiatives, when tied to a corporate brand strategy, can be a powerful differentiator in the marketplace.  Corporations with a compelling brand promise can affect the behaviors not only of their employees, but of the people and communities they touch as well. By partnering with Desire2Learn and other organizations and government agencies to highlight and address the shortcomings of the educational system, IBM shows how a company’s brand promise can make a meaningful difference in the world.

*Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ibm-desire2learn-introduce-services-software-132000401.html

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Managing Brand Reputation: Media Brands Live or Die by Their Integrity

Embellishments and dramatizations may be acceptable in politics and in the corporate business world, but in journalism, they violate a universal standard: integrity. When a writer or editor runs afoul of that hard line, it reflects on the overall media brand. Managing brand reputation under such circumstances may be painful, but taking the time to publicly acknowledge, admonish, and correct the wrong is key to moving forward. Failure to acknowledge the breach of public trust can kill a brand and forever damage a business.

managing brand reputationLast year’s News of the World phone-hacking scandal is a perfect example of how to mismanage brand reputation. Executives of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. covered up allegations and evidence of gross misconduct instead of exposing those responsible and holding them accountable. Now, with criminal investigations under way and News Corp. employees in jail, News of the World has folded and Rupert Murdoch’s personal and corporate brands are damaged beyond repair.

Some media brands have managed their brand reputation effectively under challenging circumstances. When Stephen Glass of The New Republic and Jayson Blair of The New York Times were exposed as frauds, their editors immediately made it known to the public and took steps to make it right. This American Life recently took the extraordinary step of retracting a story when it was discovered that a nonfiction storytelling piece on Apple supplier Foxconn was rife with falsehoods. Editor and host Ira Glass went on air to explain the failures in his and his team’s fact-checking that allowed the story to air. Oprah Winfrey confronted author James Frey for lying in his memoir, A Million Little Pieces, which she had promoted. Each of these media giants avoided long-term damage to their brands by being forthright about their errors in judgment.

Managing brand reputation is essential to any organization, but especially to media organizations. At the end of the day, it’s the brand that takes the biggest hit when credibility and integrity are questioned and restoring the integrity of the brand is most critical. How media editors, publishers, and executives respond in crisis can dictate their brand’s survival.

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University of California

The University of California has recently unveiled a statewide promotional and advertising campaign, to improve awareness and appreciation of its unique and critical value to the state of California, the nation and the world. The campaign, and the ideas it promotes, are all based on a positioning strategy we developed for the University’s Office of the President, to help internal and external audiences understand the University’s true scope and commitment to the future.

To counter the concerns and criticisms that have come with reduced state funding and attention-getting political controversy, we helped UC articulate a larger vision for California, and its role in the state’s future. Identifying UC as “Boldly Californian” and articulating its role as “embodying the spirit of California, and igniting the potential of its people”, we were able to focus attention on a largest idea that transcends short term concerns and puts difficult decisions in a grand context. This idea enables UC to continue to develop its role as both creation and catalyst ofCalifornia’s importance in the world. With its current investments in advertising and awareness building, we anticipate that its role in the world will be better understood, and appreciated as it adapts to new realities.

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