Brand Congruence: WHY Mission and Vision

Brand-Congruence-HandsLast in a series exploring mission vision & brand congruence. For more info, register for our FREE webinar presentation on Wednesday, March 20, at 10 AM—3 DANGEROUS TRENDS FACING ASSOCIATIONS AND NON-PROFITS.  

“Congruence: n. agreement, harmony”

Have you ever stood in the grocery store line, picking up items to make a favorite family dinner and had the cashier try to guess what you’re making?  Building the recipe and telling the story of your association’s brand and culture is critical to attracting and keeping ideal members.  You want those potential members to be able to “see” at first glance what you’re about and why they should care.  Making that emotional connection is essential to getting them to explore further.

Beliefs + Values = Trust

The key to life and business is relationships.  This is especially true of cause-based and purpose-driven organizations.  Cultures and communities are groups of people that come together because they share common beliefs and values. Those beliefs and values form a foundation of trust in the relationships between members of the community.

In this 2013 Honda Civic commercial, their belief statement is clear—“Things Can Always Be Better.” Is that a belief or value that you agree with and support?  They have just captured your attention as a potential ideal customer!

WHY + HOW + WHAT = Brand Congruence

What’s important, what builds trust and demonstrates authenticity is the congruence between WHY you do WHAT you do, HOW you do WHAT you do and WHAT you do. WHY is offered as the reason to belong, HOW explains the ways you bring that WHY to life and WHATs become symbols of those beliefs in a tangible way.

Here are some examples of non-profit brands with taglines demonstrating congruence by starting with WHY and HOW :

  • Common Cause “Holding Power Accountable”
  • “Common Cause is dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest and accountable government that serves the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard in the political process.” 
  • United Negro College Fund “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste®”
  • “Our mission is to enhance the quality of education by providing financial assistance to deserving students, raising operating funds for member colleges and universities, and increasing access to technology for students and faculty at historically black colleges and universities.” 
  • Earthjustice “Because the earth needs a good lawyer”
  • “Earthjustice is a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth, and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment.”

Brand Congruence = Authenticity

Did you know that loyalty, trust and value exist in the mind of YOUR MEMBER, not your BRAND?  Simon Sinek’s mantra, in his book, Start With Why, is that “people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it (!)” [emphasis my own]

When you tell your story, do you start with explaining WHY you do what you do?  If your association were to cease to exist today, how would the public be affected?  What would be lost? What’s your belief? Your promise to your members? Does your vision and mission statement put those guiding principles in place?  Because how you relate to your members is your true product.


Here at Slice-Works, we believe in creating possibilities for our customers. We work with associations to clarify your brand and your message as a critical piece of your overall growth and marketing strategy.  On Wednesday, February 27, at 10 AM, we will be hosting a FREE webinar, 3 Dangerous Trends Facing Associations and Non-Profits.  We’ll be talking about brand congruence, the generational divide and more.  Look for our webinar invitation in your email next week!