“What the nervous system is to the body, the brand is to a healthy organization”

Terry Tyrell, Worldwide Chairman, Brand Union


“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.”

Doug Conant, CEOf Campbell’s Soup

Decoding Modern Marketing


In the center of your Identity Prism is the Brand Essence. This is the synthesis of all the aspects of the prism. It is useful because it distills the essential ideas from each perspective represented by the six sides of the prism into a simple rallying cry to guide and inspire your organization. It is not usually a consumer-oriented statement, like a slogan, which can change, but unchanging, because it represents your brand’s unique place in the world.

Creating a brand essence statement is not easy. You have to incorporate the consumer’s unique and meaningful emotional experience of your brand in to just a couple of words. The shorter and more focused it is, the more powerful it will be, such as Hallmark’s “Caring shared.”

Then when you have settled on your rallying cry, it needs to be unchanging, consistently true and authentic across your entire brand eco-system.


Nike: Authentic Athletic Performance

Disney: Fun Family Entertainment

The Nature Conservancy: Saving Great Places

After doing all this work to define your brand and integrate it into a brand identity you don’t want it to sit on a shelf somewhere, you want it to be used. While the Brand Essence is valuable as an internal rally-cry, it is not an actionable guide for your organization everyday. That’s where your Brand Pillars come in.

Brand Pillars are short statements that can clearly guide your organization in all its consumer interactions and keep them aligned with the overall Brand Identity. They do not necessarily drive specific marketing messages, but rather help focus employees on what’s important. Since so much of a brand’s success today is determined by its ability to enlist its employees in bringing the brand to life, Brand Pillars become directives that the organization can live by. The fewer the pillars you have the better.


Brand Purpose: To fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality.

Brand Mission: To be the preeminent global hospitality company - the first choice of guests, team members, and owners alike.

Brand pillars:

  • A clean, smart room for me.
  • Nourish me in new and exciting ways.
  • Meet my needs especially if I have a problem.
  • Respect and value me and my loyalty.
  • Show me you care.