Great companies know that these are just different sides of the same coin. Vision is more on the organization’s side; brand is tilted toward the customer. But to be authentic and have real power with the customer, brand and vision have
Said another way, brand is the company’s deep-seated vision transformed into an engaging, customer relevant story.
Two things to look for: 1) true credibility in the vision and 2) creative magic in the brand story.
And, when at it’s best, this vision/brand symbiotic relationship is timeless and never falters.
Johnson & Johnson’s recent campaign is a great example of this.
Robert Wood Johnson himself set out his sincere vision for the company back in 1943 when he penned “Our Credo” as a visionary directive for his company. This inspiring and passionate copy serves as a guidebook for all who work for Johnson & Johnson. Mr. Johnson’s crafted words are literally carved in stone in the lobby of Johnson & Johnson’s New Brunswick, NJ headquarters. This is long before the “good to great”craze hit American business.
A section of Mr.Johnson’s 1943 written vision reads like this:
We are responsible to the communities in which we live and work and to the world community as well. We must be good citizens – support good works and charities…We must encourage civic improvements and better health and education.
The latest brand iteration of this credo by Johnson & Johnson’s agency, TBWA, is delivered beautifully. And, importantly, it’s an honest translation of the company credo in a humanistic, engaging manner…some 70 years later.
Check out this spot and see if you agree with me that this honestly and accurately translates Mr. Johnson’s 1943 principals for his company into an engaging story that is entirely relevant today, a generation later in May of 2013.
This is what advertising agencies do at their best — delivering heartfelt translations of meaningful, sincere visions. It’s important that great visions continue on. Wonderful creative imaginations take this purposeful direction and turn it into magic that we feel deep inside.
As Michael Snead, Johnson & Johnson’s chief marketing officer said, “More and more consumers do want to understand the companies they’re doing business with, and our thinking.” Sharing a sincere vision in a way that emotionally resonates helps make that ‘understanding’ happen.
With understanding and appreciation, brand loyalists are born.
But, it all starts with a great vision. I think Mr. Johnson would be proud of how his company is telling his story today.