Vision, mission, strategy & branding

Branding

This post is part of a series about developing a website from a business owner or marketeer point of view.
When you’re considering creating a website, a good start could be the brand or a product name. It can be a company brand or a personal brand.
It not only applies to commercial websites, also a personal blog needs a “brand”, if only to have a focus.
Your brand should not only be a name, but an identity.
Your brand can be recognized through different elements : a name, a logo, a set of colors, fonts, images, icons, style of writing,  etc… together identifying your brand. It represents who you are. These identifying elements or guidelines will later be instrumental when designing and writing the website.
The brand name is usually also the inspiration to select your domain name.

Mission & Vision

You might even go a step further and define the mission of your brand, and it’s vision. What is your take on society and which role you want to play. Why? This gives you a clear focus for your website (and your business). It also helps readers or customers identify with your brand.
A vision is how you see an ideal world, it is a passion or conviction, making your values actionable. A mission should explain what you want to achieve in the long run, how you want to change the world towards your vision.
A mission helps to ground your brand, and your strategy is a method to accomplish your mission. The strategy is linked with your target public or your market for your brand and website. And this segmentation is also part of the selection of the domain name and the hosting location.
If you want more on vision and mission : I really like Simon Sinek’s view on this.

Example 1 : a non-commercial vision/mission

A fictional example of a non commercial venture :
Your view on society could be “People should have a more balanced life, where work can be part of what makes you happy, not miserable. Burnouts are similar to cancer, it cripples people.”, and your mission could be “To help prevent burnouts by helping people finding more balance in their lives, through travel.”, and one strategy you could select is “showing in a blog, the relaxing nature of the Greek Islands, by documenting your own travels, illustrated with pictures, to make people dream.” And you strive to have a lot of readers, and inspiring them to apply these learnings in some way.
The website domain name could be “RelaxingGreece.com”.
In the long run this could lead to a business, like organizing relaxing travels or becoming a tour guide. You could even build your business with the brand and domain name “Relaxing Greece”. Your vision and mission could stay intact, only your strategy has changed.
This is a fictional example was inspired by a relaxing day on a terrace on a Greek Island 🙂

Example 2 : a business vision/mission

A fictional example of a business related to example 1:
Your vision could be that “People who are happy in their job, are healthier and more productive, creative, collaborative and loyal. We believe business leaders can create the environment to make this possible and nurture this culture.”
Your mission is “to help companies be more profitable, by making its employees more happy.”
The strategy is delivering products and services to achieve your mission : “ex. Provide training and workshops for business leaders. Create inspiring content based on scientific studies. Create products to help working at home.  etc…” or try to achieve objectives like “Every company has a safety plan for its employees in 10 years. Get 50% of businesses to embrace work life balance. Eradicate all unjustified age or sex discrimination on the job market. Push government to create laws to make it possible. etc..”
In this example earning money is a side product or a result, not a strategy. If a profit target is the strategy, your business has lost focus, you are drifting away from your mission.
The website domain could be “happyemployees.biz” (“.com” is taken).

Conclusion

You should not just start a website without a larger objective. Your branding, domain name and website content should be inspired by your view on society and how you see your role in it. The website is part of a strategy to achieve this.

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