Brands are intangible. You can’t touch them, but they invoke a feeling – a perception – about a company, a product, or even an individual. Think Nike. Coca-Cola. Apple. What emotion do those brands stir up in you?

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of a brand is the visual identity. The company or product name. The logo. The use of color or unique fonts. Even that memorable tagline. Just Do It. Open Happiness. Think Different.

But there are several other elements that contribute to the perception, experience, and value that a brand represents. 

  • Competitive Analysis: Who are your direct competitors, and how will you position yourselves in a way that will differentiate you from them.
  • Mission, Vision, and Values: These are core to any good business, and they describe what you hope to accomplish (your mission), how you envision the future (your vision) and what your brand stands for (your values).
  • Goals: What do you wish to accomplish, and how will you go about doing it?
  • Your Employees: They are the face of your business and your strongest brand ambassadors. 
  • Positioning, Personality, and Promise: How will you appeal to your target audience, what story you want to tell them, and what commitment you plan to deliver?

If you haven’t yet taken the time to sit down and document what sets your brand apart, then start here. Once you have established your mission, vision, values, goals, position, personality, and promise, these should be repeated in everything you say and do. Let these be your guiding principles around how you run your business and how you interact with your customers. Learn more.


What is it?

Your brand identity is what we can see of your business. It is the expression of your brand that allows a customer to connect with your product or service.

What will it do for me? What’s the purpose?

Having a brand identity provides an essential element to your business by suggesting or triggering an emotional response. When brand identity is thoughtfully designed, these elements build upon each other to create a visual message and response.

How do I get started?

Building a brand identity is a process. Some of the elements that can be addressed include:
Company Name: There is nothing more important than your name; it is your first identifier. It pays to choose your name wisely. Keep the name simple, easy to read and spell. Using odd spellings can make it difficult for a prospective client to be able to search for you.
Company Logo: The logo is the most recognizable and visible element of your brand. The logo should identify you, differentiate you, and help people remember you.
Tagline: A tagline is a preference that may or may not be a requirement for your business. They can, however, be helpful to help clarify what you do or what you offer.
Color Palette: This is a critical element as colors help to drive an emotional response. Do some research on colors that support your strategy. You can find many articles on the psychology of colors and branding.
Typography: This is an element that is often overlooked; however, it can make a difference. Using different fonts can elicit ideas about your company: sophistication, scientific, fun, family-friendly, etc.
Imagery/Graphical Elements: If you choose to use images, ensure they represent your business to avoid confusion.
Voice: The voice of the company is in your messaging. Think about the personality you want to convey, professional? Technical? Friendly?

When developing your identity, review your history and your achievements. It’s all a part of your identity.


What is it?

Core values are the deeply ingrained principles that guide all of a company’s actions; they serve as its cultural cornerstones

What will it do for me? What’s the purpose?

In addition to enhancing brand perception and helping customers build trust with your company, a company’s values can profoundly impact internal workplace culture and employee engagement. Setting a clear understanding of what your business stands for is a guidepost for the rest of the business.


  • Be Impactful
  • Be People Focused
  • Be Quality Obsessed
  • Be Collaborative
  • Be People of Integrity

How do I get started?

Be Authentic:

Define what you want to stand for in the industry. Employee satisfaction is higher in companies where the expectations of the business are clear and concise and are lived from the top down.

Own the Process:

Setting values should not be a general consensus decision. Instead, values should be defined by small teams that include the CEO, any founders who are still with the company, and a handful of key employees. The management provides the input from a top-down perspective, and the employees can bring in the vision from a bottom-up viewpoint.

Weave Core Values into Everything – Share the values on walls, t-shirts, hats, etc. Visibility reminds employees and customers of what you stand for


What is it?

Goals are general guidelines that explain what you want to achieve in your community. It is a brief, clear statement of an outcome to be reached within a timeframe such as three-to-five or even ten years.

SHOEBOX Goal: Ten-year goal (2019): Impact One Billion Ears. This goal was set in 2019 and is a measurable goal that helps us to represent our global vision

What will it do for me? What’s the purpose?

By setting goals, a business has an anchor on which it can base its decisions. In addition, setting goals will allow a company to work towards specific criteria and understand if they are meeting or exceeding these ideals.

How do I get started?

Define Quantifiable Goals:

The first step in setting business goals is determining exactly what you want to accomplish. It’s important to set clear goals; you should know exactly where you want to go, and you should not waiver from your target regardless of failures along the way.

Make sure your business goals aren’t too vague:

  • Goals should be measurable and relevant. Do you want them to be market-driven? Customer-driven? Employee-driven?

Commit to your goals:

  • Once you have defined your goals, ensure everyone in the business understands and drives towards these goals. Revisit them often and provide a status on how the company is doing with respect to the goals.

Set a deadline:

  • Setting a date of when you hope to achieve the goal will help determine your measurement of success

Don’t make your goals too difficult – Use the SMART Criteria: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound


What is it?

Objectives define the actions that a business needs to take to reach the strategic goals that have been set by the business. For example, if an organization aims to “grow revenues,”. … the objectives are the steps taken to reach the goal.

SHOEBOX Objectives: In order to reach the SHOEBOX goal of one billion tests in ten years, the company has set a number of sales and revenue targets, marketing campaigns and many other objectives to help us reach this goal.

What will it do for me? What’s the purpose?

In comparison to goal setting, objectives define the actions that must be taken within a year to reach the strategic goals.

How do I get started?

  • Using your goals as a measurement, set clear, actionable steps that will help you reach your goals.
  • Ensure the steps can be accomplished within the year.
  • Define measurable outcomes for each objective so you can determine if it was successful or needs to be reviewed and changed.

Be Agile – Don’t be afraid to change your strategy! If it isn’t working, change it!

Vision Statement

What is it?

A vision statement should communicate your ideal long-term business goals, and it should reflect your view of the world and your business’s place in it. It should answer the question: “Where are we going?”

SHOEBOX Vision Statement

Everyone Deserves Access to Hearing Care

SHOEBOX Mission Statement


Create an ecosystem that identifies hearing loss, empowers users, and connects care

What will it do for me? What’s the purpose?

A vision statement captures, in writing, the essence of where you want to take your business and can inspire you and your staff to reach your goals.

How do I get started?

To write an effective vision statement, you should think about what your business does and imagine what it would look like if it became the best possible version of itself.

Keep it short and realistic. A vision statement should be clear and concise, and it says a lot in a few words.

Example Vision Statements:

  • To help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential (Microsoft’s vision statement)
  • Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company, to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online. (
  • Unlocking human potential by making wonderful sounds part of everyone’s life. (WSAudiology)

Brainstorm a vision workshop: Engage employees for input; this will ensure staff is aligned on the vision and will work towards reaching it.

Mission Statement

What is it?

A Mission Statement defines the company’s business, its objectives, and its approach to reach those objectives. It should answer the question: “How are we getting there.”

SHOEBOX Vision Statement

  • Everyone Deserves Access to Hearing Care

SHOEBOX Mission Statement

  • Identify/Empower/Connect
  • Create an ecosystem that Identifies hearing loss, Empowers users, and Connects care

What will it do for me? What’s the purpose?

A mission statement is a summary of an organization’s goals and values. The quality and content of a company’s mission statement can affect every part of a business, including its customers and employees. A mission statement can unify the efforts of all employees toward a long-term goal.

How do I get started?

Go online and read the mission statements of companies you admire and respect, as well as those in the same industry. You don’t want to copy what your competition is saying, but you’ll get a good sense of what works and what doesn’t work.

  • Define your audience: who is your customer? what are you offering? what is your product or service? what makes you different? what sets you apart from your competition?
  • Why should your customer come to you?

​​Example Mission Statements:

  • Helping people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores and through eCommerce (Wal-Mart Mission Statement)
  • To lead in the creation, development, and manufacture of the industry’s most advanced information technologies, including computer systems, software, networking systems, storage devices, and microelectronics. (IBM Mission Statement)
  • Our customers thrive because we’re laser-focused on keeping them happy, healthy, sharp, and connected — ensuring their experience is always second to none. (

Understand why you do what you do: It might help to think back to why you started your company in the first place. Going back to the initial inspiration that led to the founding of your company could help refresh your focus and enable you to communicate your passion more effectively.