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Branding Ties Together Actions, Advertising and Mission Statements

If you are looking for a link between brand and advertising, look no further than the YouGov BrandIndex, which ranks all things related to public perceptions of various companies.

Look, in fact, at the top 10 list generated by the BrandIndex and you can backtrack to advertising and find the relationships.

For my money, however, it is the company mission statement that connects advertising to branding. Many companies in modern times, overlook his point, especially when it comes to online sales.

But the links are critical. The reason a company wants strong brand recognition is simple: It paves the way toward sales, which is, of course, where advertising comes into play. And this brings us around to the mission statement, which should never, ever clash with your branding message. Marketing, to put it one way, is not a part of advertising, but advertising is a component of marketing. And the mission statement guides them both.

How to do this online is a puzzle and it was even before the massive identity data thefts that have occurred over the years.

Every company's brand includes the simple message: Here we are. It is the same reasons birds sing in the trees. They are staking out their territory and looking for a partner. This isn't a bad metaphor for advertising and marketing at all.

But online, things are different. You don't normally frisk customers who walk into your downtown branch bank, for example. But when I try to find my account balance online, my local credit union has a three-level defense system that you need to survive to gain access to the information.

Banking online is like a spy movie in which access to headquarters requires a matching finger print, retina scan and voice recognition. But that is certainly not the way the bank wants to be perceived. They would rather be seen as friendly and safe, not paranoid and discourteous.

Companies that specialize in CAPTCHA advertising face this dilemma every day. Companies want to be safe from scams, but not too complicated for consumers to access their web pages. Technology, it turns out, solves problems and creates others.

Mission statements come into play, because everyone in the company, from the the entry-level assembly worker to the folks in the executive suite should keep that mission in the forefront of their minds. Brand recognition collapses under the weight of inconsistency.

If the chief executive officer says, “We are the company to trust,” and the instructions on the product do not work, then the executive's claim is negated. Everyone in the company has to be on the same page.

Back to advertising. Here is the top 10 list of companies on the BrandIndex, which were figured from a survey that included a whopping 5,000 people every day, accumulating in a total of 1.2 million people interviewed.

It follows that to most of us, the top 10 are all recognizable companies. They include: going from No. 10 to No. 1, Cheerios, Ford, Lowes, Apple, Google, Samsung, Subway, Netflix, YouTube and Amazon.

Let's talk Ford for a minute. This is a company has has long mastered the art of branding and how to link that to their advertising and their mission statement, because, for many years, they were one and the same thing.

For 17 years, from 1980 until 1997, the mantra, mission and message at Ford was summed up in six amazing words. They were “Ford, where quality is job one.”

In six words, Ford told you the name of the company, pointed out that their mission was all about quality, linked that to a goal of being the No. 1 car company in the country and suggested that buying a Ford products supported jobs, which suggested that they were a civil-minded firm that cared about their employees. Indirectly, in those six words, was a hint that Ford – whether it was true or not is another matter – was in support of the union rank and file that made its cars and trucks.

All that in six words. That was a fairly amazing mission statement, one that is hard to beat and one that would be difficult to fault. The whole company for years seemed to be about quality products that supported jobs and their ads frequently played the “built in America” card.

Let's look at Apple for a minute. Apple, which rose to become the largest company in the world by market capitalization, made a decision under the leadership of the late Steve Jobs to make the highest quality product it could make – with the understanding that the public would flock to its door to buy the best regardless of cost. For years, Apple resisted the temptation to make an iPhone that would be priced for the average buyer, who could not otherwise afford one.

Bloomberg, for example, lists the highest prices that you can pay for an iPhone are in Brazil, where the slick phones cost $1,160 in U.S. dollars.

The price of an iPhone 5 in the United States was $649, which would be the second lowest price for an iPhone around the world. In Canada, you find the cheapest price anywhere for an iPhone 5 at $604.

But think about the Apple brand. Their iPhones are mysteriously good. The launch of new phone invariably triggers lines around the block at retail stores – and not everyone in line is rich at all. Apple, instead, relies on a masterful approach of making the best and only the best. No cheesy half-measures products even existed until the iPhone 5, which offered plastic backs on some phones to bring overall costs down.

Companies certainly play the other card, the one that says their prices are the lowest in the world. Target, McDonald's Walmart and others are constantly selling the point they can save shoppers