You may have noticed a common theme while reading the posts on The Covenant Group blog – the idea that every aspect of your business is interconnected with all the other functions in the organization. The success of each department is contingent on the others’ performances.

For instance, a well-written business plan will include mission and value statements, business opportunities and a marketing strategy, as Norm Trainor recently explained in the post, “What’s Missing in Your Business Plan?” While your company’s mission may seem far removed from your marketing strategy, the two actually hinge upon each other. Unless you clearly define your organization’s identity and purpose (its brand), you run the risk of building and investing in a marketing strategy that lacks direction.

Before spending any more money on marketing and advertising efforts, review your company’s value offering and determine what features set it apart from competitors. I thought David Brier made a great point in his recent Fast Company post when he said brands should assume a love/hate angle, noting that the strongest brands stand for a cause or value while also being opposed to something else. What does your business strive to do better than anyone else? What aspects of your industry is your company opposed to? How is your product or service offering creating a solution to your customers’ problems? These are questions that can guide you toward your unique value as a brand.

Integrate the brand in marketing messages

Once you have determined your organization’s brand, the next step will be to integrate the identity into all of your marketing communications, public-facing assets and client interactions. Make sure that the branding is apparent on your company website as well as any other web pages on which you have a presence (blogs, social media platforms, partner sites, etc.). If you send out a monthly email newsletter, ask yourself how the articles and letters that you include tie into your overarching brand message.

Are your employees’ email signatures and business cards consistent with your company’s logo, font choice and brand colors? These may seem like minor details, but they combine to present a uniform, professional image of your firm. The additional attention to points such as these may not have an apparent effect on your marketing, sales and service functions. However, the way you brand your organization contributes to the impression you make on prospects, clients and your own employees.