Congruence: Your Brand, Mission, and Values
One of the key aspects of building your own brand is in communicating with your audience "what you are all about." Your brand needs to be a reflection of your mission and your values. To do this successfully, you must act and communicate in congruence with those beliefs.
What is Congruency?
The concept of congruence in psychology refers to thinking, feeling and behaving with consistency, genuineness, authenticity and honesty.
Above is a diagram depicting how the ideal self (who you want to be), self image (who you think you are), and true self (who you really are) are separate. Congruence occurs when those dimensions of self exist as one.
Congruency exists in marketing.
Everything that an individual or organization shares to their audience and the public at large needs to demonstrate congruency.
Congruency in marketing is depicted through the messaging that an individual or organization delivers to their audience through their actions, verbal and written communications and choice of images.
While working in graphic design, I learned that color, typography, position and space all communicate a message and must harmonize with the message that my clients wanted to depict in their collateral.
It is a compliment to the copy in their brochures or website.
When creating your brand or ideal self, congruency lies in your mission statement and your values.
A brand is built on a mission. And a mission is based on the values that you or your business holds. So before you craft your mission and visualize where you want your brand to be, you need to identify your values.
Identifying your Values
Identifying your values or your business's values necessitates developing a clear consciousness of self.
That means, asking the following questions:
Who are you as a person or business?
How are you different or alike to other businesses or individuals?
What are the boundaries of your individuality?
Answering these questions will help you identify what values you or your business hold the strongest. Below is a non-exhaustive list of values:
· Authenticity · Inner Harmony · Achievement · Justice · Adventure · Kindness · Authority · Knowledge · Autonomy · Leadership · Balance · Learning · Beauty · Love · Boldness · Loyalty · Compassion · Meaningful Work · Challenge · Openness · Citizenship · Optimism · Community · Peace · Competency · Pleasure · Contribution · Poise · Creativity · Popularity · Curiosity · Recognition · Determination · Religion · Fairness · Respect · Faith · Responsibility · Fame · Security · Friendships · Self-Respect · Fun · Service · Growth · Spirituality · Happiness · Stability · Honesty · Success · Humor · Trustworthiness · Influence · Wisdom
Crafting your Mission Statement
When crafting your mission statement, you want to follow these guidelines:
1. Aim high and refer to your values often
2. Think about past successes
3. Define your impact
4. Identify goals
5. Keep it short and sweet
When creating your goals, think about your short-term goals and your long-term goals.
As an individual, identifying your short-term and long-term goals can help you live life more authentically and help you as you interview for a position that fits into your long-term goals.
As an organization, your short-term and long-term goals will guide your business as you build your brand and will help create a more congruent message across your marketing efforts.
One of the ways in which you can identify whether you are living congruently is to ask yourself if you have different personas for different areas of your life.
My Q & A guest Louie Sandoval shared that your work-life persona and your real-life persona does not have to be so detached.
Identify the areas where you need to grow, areas you want to improve, and the areas that you are happy with then begin to find ways to get closer to creating congruence in your life. Once you do that, your personal brand will be an authentic reflection of you.