Why Mission, Vision & Values Are Critical In The Digital Era

By Paul Spriggs, Tirian Communications Specialist

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MVVs are now critical for harnessing & leveraging all ideas, actions and communications.

Companies end up doing a lot of “stuff”(and wasting a lot of money) in the attempt to merely get noticed. The ideas and initiatives become a series of one-off “firecrackers”, gaining brief attention. The company and brand subsequently get little lasting return on investment, in terms of building their unique positioning in the market, or creating a sustained competitive advantage.

Therefore, in the digital world, the company/ brand MVVs become the anchor, strategic guardrails and cable, to tie ideas / initiatives back to the brand’s reason for being. The companies and brands that best define and express their MVVs through everything they say and do have a competitive advantage over companies whose MVVs are ill defined, generic, or aren’t imbued through employee actions.

See comedian Darren McCubbin visiting an ordinary office in Australia to interview employees to find out what their vision is and where it lives. They all know where it is, but is it in another language

Some important things to consider:

  • Ad campaigns – once the highly controlled face of the company.
    In the pre-digital and social media age, advertising “campaigns” enabled the company / brand to control how it was perceived. The “brand” campaigns were the face of the company, communicated with consistency over years, entrenching their “positioning” in the market. Other activities linked back to the advertising campaign idea to build “equity” in the brand over time. The company’s Mission Vision & Values often took a back seat from a consumer-facing perspective and was inwardly focused.
  • Mission Vision Values are now front and center as the power shifts to consumers.
    In today’s digital world, the power & control has moved from the company or marketer to the consumer and end user. A company’s MVV’s are now front and center. Transparency is expected and consumers and investors demand to know the provenance, authenticity and integrity of the company and brand. This goes beyond the corporate responsibility hot topics of sustainability or supply chain.
  • A company’s/brand’s actions, rather than words, demonstrate its MVVs
    How companies act, from dealing with the smallest complaint, is a demonstration of their Mission and Values. Without a strong understanding  and appreciation of the company’s MVVs to guide all employee actions, the face of the company can be inconsistent over time, across divisions, across channels, or across borders. This inconsistency leaves customers unclear as to what the company stands for, at best. At worst, it undermines the integrity of the company/brand and leaves the door open for competitors.
  • From Ad campaign bursts, to an “always-on” brand presence.
    From a brand management perspective, the ad campaign paradigm of the past, consisting of bursts of one-way, carefully crafted communication, has been replaced by a two-way dialog. Consumers engage, participate, advocate and share with brands in an ‘always on’, 24/7 reality.
  • With the rise of specialization, who is driving the bus becomes key
    Channels of communication have proliferated, and fragmented, adding complexity. This fragmentation has also created a “free-for-all” among communication agencies and specialists (I.e. Digital, Social media, Content, Mobile, Media, PR, Event, etc.). Each sells expertise in their respective areas, but often with limited understanding of the overall communications strategy, or real insight into the company and brand MVVs. As a result, most of the proposed ideas and activities are generic as they are not strategically guided to ensure they link back to, reinforce, or amplify the company and brand purpose. Some marketing teams are more able than others to strategically and creatively direct (simultaneously) all specialists, but often they don’t have the time, resources or specific experience.

Have you considered how your MVV can increase your brand value?



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