From the time we wake-up until that last shot of tequila before bed, we are surrounded by brands. They’ve become so ubiquitous we barely even notice them, but are they real or an elaborate ruse designed to make us spend more? And, more importantly, how can we leverage the power brands hold?

What is a brand? Often, brands are confused for branding assets, such as logos and slogans. These are important components of any effective branding strategy, however, they are far from the only aspects of a great brand.

Consider your typical startup. It’s usually centered around a team of bright, driven entrepreneurs. They’re going to save the world, disrupt markets, and reshape the course of human history. Airbnb, Slack, Mailchimp, these companies -among others- have reshaped the ways we do business and how we live our lives. Their founders were dreamers, visionaries, and tech tinkerers. People who love to think. But you know what most startups aren’t thinking about? Their brand.

Companies can be a lot like couples: a good balance is often better than a bunch of the same. It’s called branding, not blanding, and there are good reasons to keep the brand fresh and flexible–especially when your audiences and your competition aren’t the same across the board.

Customers are looking for companies with passion, but traditional Mission–Vision–Value statements are dead and buried. May they rest in peace!

We’ve all seen bad mission statements. Maybe, we’ve even written a few ourselves. In fact, since becoming popular in the late 1960’s Mission, Vision and Values statements have become both ubiquitous and meaningless at the same time. So how is a Passion statement different?

Psychologists are paid to listen, probe deeper, and give guidance. They’re not paid to talk about themselves, and neither are we. So, why are most business websites filled with wee-wee? We do this; we do that. It’s been the mantra of companies for decades, but there’s a better way.

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