To enjoy enduring success, you must have core values and a core purpose that remain fixed, while you continuously adapt your business strategies and practices to an ever-changing world. Taking a deep dive and articulating your vision provides guidance to your team and quickly communicates to clients and prospects about what core will always be preserved, and what future picture has been painted, for which to stimulate progress toward.

Corporate Vision consists of two major components:

  1. 1.Core Ideology – defines what we stand for/why we exist – the enduring character of the organization (the HP Way – code of ethics) the source of guidance and inspiration – provides the glue – you discover core ideology

  2. 2. Core Values (3-5) – system of guiding principles and tenets – We have them because they define for us what we stand for.

  1. ex: Disney (imagination and wholesomeness)

Core Purpose (mission) – most fundamental reason for existence – doesn’t just describe the organization’s output or target customers, it captures the soul of the organization – you cannot fulfill a purpose – it does not change, though it inspires change.

  • ex: 3M (to solve unsolved problems innovatively)

  • ex: Nordstrom (heroic customer service) never, never, never “increase shareholder wealth”

Envisioned Future (vision) – what we aspire to become, to achieve, to create.

  1. 1. 10 to 30 yr. BHAG – clear, compelling, it reaches out and grabs you – requires thinking beyond the current capabilities of the organization and the current environment – not a sure bet – about 50% to 70% odds
  2. 2. Vivid Description – vibrant, engaging, and specific description of what it will be like to achieve the BHAG – painting a picture with words (Ford – democratize the auto) – Passion, emotion and conviction are essential.

[Think of the core purpose as the star on the horizon to be chased forever; the BHAG is the mountain to be climbed. Once you have reached its summit, you move on to other mountains].

For more information, details or to have a conversation regarding the process of casting a compelling vision please contact Tim ( or 216-650-3344). To learn more about how vision becomes a cornerstone to your brand, and how to craft strategies that engage the right audiences, with an authentic and distinctive experience, please read on.

Success Multiplies When the Brand is Authentic and Distinctive.

In today's dynamic, hypermedia world filled with new digital opportunities and marketing automation, it seems we just get our heads around the power of new technologies when "what's next" is on the horizon. However, only the tools are changing. The cornerstones of branding - authenticity and distinction - are rock solid. It is here, and it will always be here, that the magic of branding begins.

Value in the past was driven by a combination of price relative to quality. In today's world, where everyone is a publisher the value equation is price + quality + "experience." The savvy marketer will use brand and its story to drive an experience that can win the consumer at any point. Think of the “customer experience” as the sum of experiences a customer has over the life of the relationship. It is increasingly seen as a key to competitive advantage. And you can forget the classic sales funnel, the customer can buy from anywhere at any time, and you guessed it, from anyone. Today we study, analyze and react to the “customer journey.”

Brand has to be able to inspire the consumer’s behavior everywhere in the consumer’s world. With greatly empowered consumers the concept for brand has moved beyond the marketing department to become a company-wide platform. This creates a need for the articulation of a more integrated, holistic approach than before due to the increasing number of media channels and contact points. The enterprise, across all business functions, must shape and articulate truly customer centric strategies rooted in a brand capable of creating impact that leads to “engagement marketing.”

Engagement marketing is about creating meaningful interaction with people, based on who they are and what they do, continuously over time. It’s marketing that engages people, wherever they are, and it’s marketing that is backed by both creative vision and hard data. Finally, it’s marketing that allows you to move quickly, shortening the time between idea and outcome, so that you can create more – and better targeted – programs. And it’s all built on the foundation of brand.

The unequivocal result is exponential growth and increased profitability, all the while creating true brand equity for the enterprise. It all happens as we walk through our brand process we like to call, "From Audit to Zing." Below is a proposed outline for brand exercises designed to help clarify and solidify the models, tools and exercises necessary to begin, hone and grow the brand/s for which you choose to invest.

BRAND DEVELOPMENT - From Audit to Zing!

  • Define the Need

  • Understand presenting concerns

  • Use evidence

  • Consider the past

  • Capture objectives

  • Determine shared ambitions

  • Prioritize audiences

  • Set realistic goals

  • Analyze the world outside

  • Conduct constituent research

  • Explore the competitive and issue environment

  • Constructively engage with findings

  • Draft beta brand platform and strategy

  • Capture brand characteristics

  • Formulate a competitive brand claim

  • Consider how to best deliver

  • Test and refine

  • Determine credibility and “gap”

  • Explore emotional connection

Brand Audit Interview

What do you believe are the finest attributes of the enterprises products?

How would you prioritize their importance to the consumer?

What do you believe are the most notable benefits of the enterprise products?

How would you prioritize their importance to the consumer?

How would you state the brand essence of enterprise?

What do you believe is the true perception of the brand by customers (break down by segment)? Why?

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being best) how well are the major elements that contribute to brand personality (name, logo, positioning line, character, style, packaging, advertising, web, promotions) working together to create true brand equity?

Other than graphic standards are there policies as it pertains to the standards of the brand personality?

Does anyone have absolute authority to ensure the brand stays focused, consistent and that is it is always communicated with great continuity?

What do you think about the way the brand is currently segmented?

How do you think the external environment (political, economic, social, technological) affect the brand? What are the opportunities and threats you see?

Do you think Enterprise has a sustainable competitive advantage? What do you think it is or could be?

What do you believe are the true differentiators of the enterprise brand? (quality, price, customer service, breadth of line, heritage, innovation)?

Which one do you think best positions the Enterprise brand for the future?

If a brand is more than a logo, positioning line, color scheme and design, but rather originality, emotion and experience – what would that enterprise experience look like and feel like to the customer? What about the retailer? What about the enterprise employee? If you're looking for the answers to these questions, and would be interested in working together to blaze the most profitable path to your vision, it's time to call Tim at 216-650-3344 or reach him at



BRAND: totality of associations and experiences + Positioning: your brand in the competitive environment = Brand Claim: the turf you stake and defend ] Listen for audience preferences and habits

FREE GIFT!  5 Marketing Truths to Grow Your Business!

Success is Sustained with Hard Core Strategy.

partner to help optimize our efforts and reach established goals. The helicopter perspective is completed with an exploration of the context of the buyer-seller relationship, which includes uncontrolled political/legal, economic, social/cultural and technological forces.

Success Begins with Vision.

At MartinSquared, where we provide marketing muscle for the emerging enterprise, we have a proprietary process to enhance your value proposition and to chart a written plan to achieve your vision. The process will develop deeper relationships with your customers and prospects, and grow profits today, while building true brand equity for tomorrow. The process involves three distinct views: the helicopter perspective, the mirror view and the prophet’s outlook.

The Mirror View is a snapshot of how your company and its line of products look today from the defined buyers perspective. We will facilitate a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) session with all key stakeholders (usually a group of 4-8), do the work to verify and validate the results, and then move to seek agreement on true distinct competencies (not perceived). We conclude with a discussion of the possibilities of a sustainable competitive advantage. This is not a given in today’s marketplace other than an all-out commitment to a process of building and advancing a compelling and unique culture, which reflects an authentic and distinctive brand.

The Prophet’s Outlook requires us to work with key stakeholders through a process to create a shared vision  (see Success Begins with Vision above) that resonates with team members, customers and channel partners. Stakeholders will be called on a second time for a GOAST (goals, objectives, audience, strategy and tactics) and then a third time for the Vision Process. This is the cornerstone to the aforementioned work critical to creating a compelling and unique culture. The SWOT, Vision Process (detailed above) and GOAST sessions, which will be facilitated by Tim Martin, are often held off-site. These sessions can be effective at the client’s offices – with a few ground rules – like limited interruptions. The final component of the Prophet’s Outlook is The Big Idea, a set of integrative creative concepts that accurately and consistently reflect our core essence, i.e. the brand, thus creating our desired position in the market place.

To get to the Big Idea will require MartinSquared to complete our Strategy Development Matrix and Emotional Benefits Model (a proprietary branding model). We will look at a host of strategies or alternate strategies, derived from a juxtaposition of your company’s core competencies with stated market opportunities, before selecting a direction. This direction will include deep discussions of product, cost and convenience and how we communicate with key segments and channel partners. Ultimately, all the collected data, ideas, and information will be digested and distilled into a comprehensive and cohesive Action Plan. The plan will include a Gantt chart that will detail all selected tactics supporting approved strategies with production schedules, timetables, assigned responsibilities, and projected costs. The total cost or recommended budget will need to be approved, or decisions made to remove selected tactics, reduce media placements or lower goal expectations within the time frame specified by the plan. Of course, the plan will close with methods of evaluation and a discussion of “what ifs.”

MartinSquared, as the Brand Manager, would expect to oversee the implementation of the approved plan with necessary changes and to complete assigned tactic development through an ongoing retainer basis. We work hand-in-hand with in-house marketing departments and/or our cadre of free-lance creative talent everyday sharing the workload, the on-going brainstorming on creative within the new branding framework, the potential shifts in some tactical strategy, and discussing the necessary reallocation of financial and human resources.

The Helicopter Perspective involves primary and secondary market research to develop a high definition look at the buyer, their wants and needs, their decision process and to what degree there are definable segments and what values they should be assigned. We then move to the sellers or your competitors and uncover their focus, culture, strengths, weaknesses, market share and how they are perceived to be positioned in relation to your product. We continue by articulating the connection process between buyer and seller and if and which collaborators (upstream or downstream) may be in a position to be a proactive

Brand is: • Every association and experience • Functional and emotional • Intrinsic and original • Contextual and positional • Active and intentional ] Is someone responsible for writing, shepherding or policing these standards?

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