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You may have heard of a Brand Pyramid before. You may even have tried to develop one or two or ten for your organization at one time or another in your career. If you haven’t had this pleasure yet, then don’t despair, as this won’t require PhD level efforts.

Most marketers talk about brand Mission, corporate Vision or company Values, all of which are elements of the brand pyramid. And almost everyone I talk to focuses on the Vision and to some degree Values portion, but unfortunately most never mention Personality. So if you’ve been keeping track, a brand pyramid builds from the bottom up with these characteristics:

  • Personality: How do you want people to feel about your brand?
  • Value: Why is it important?
  • Vision: What will be different in this world?
  • Mission: What is it you do?

Some people swap Mission and Vision under the guise that a company starts with a Vision and then builds a Mission around that. I subscribe to the Mission drives a new Vision for reality which delivers Value within a certain Personality. If you need a more specific example then here is one from Apple Computer.

While I agree that every aspect of this pyramid is important and to a degree critical it its own right, the one most often overlooked, Personality, is the one that will ultimately have the most impact on your internal decision processes, external differentiation and brand perceptions.

Personality traits like “Premier” versus “Value”, “Leading Edge” versus “Experienced”, “Secure” versus “Available”, “Sexy” versus “Mainstream”, “innovative” versus “Proven” will all have dramatically different impact on product feature prioritization discussion, brand look & feel (color scheme, graphic versus photo realistic) and marketing campaigns (events, webcasts, email).

The next time someone want to talk to you about company Mission and Vision turn the conversation to Personality and truly stand out in the crowd.