How do I use a brand mantra?

A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is capable of “creating transformation”


In our world of real-time marketing, you and I need a lens to help our real-time decision-making.  A vision statement? Too long.  The mission statement? Nobody remembers it. A brand mantra? Is short, simple and a perfect summary to embody the values of your culture.  When done right, your two to three word brand mantra is used as a compass to filter all decisions, meaningfully connect employee behaviour to your company vision and be used to explain your culture to new staff.  I help clients develop theirs.  When we’re done, the most common question I’m asked is “how do I use a brand mantra?”

So to this question, here is my short answer.  Try it on. Take if for a spin. Test it out. Feel it out. Reflect.

Now here’s my longer answer.  A brand mantra isn’t meant for your clients.  It’s not something you put into a marketing message.  You don’t do something ‘to’ a brand mantra, you do something ‘with’ it.  When Nike was wondering what to do about Lance Armstrong, they could all fall back on their mantra “Authentic Athletic Performance” to help them make their decision.  When Disney was considering buying Lucas Films they got help from their mantra “Fun Family Entertainment”.  When the Papa John’s employee was debating whether he should put “Lady Chinky Eyes” on the receipt of his customer, he could have used a brand mantra to help him decide.

Use your brand mantra like you would weights at the gym.  With weights, you repeatedly lift them to build muscle. In time, you build up your health. With a brand mantra, you repeatedly lift the phrase or image into your consciousness before making every decision in your day.  In this way, the mantra becomes a workout for your decision-making.  In time, the mantra will help build up the health of your company’s culture.

Everything decision an employee makes can effect a brand.  Every email, phone call and customer interaction can either build or break the brand promise marketing makes to customers.  The more your employees use a mantra to guide their real-time client interactions, the stronger your brand becomes.


Do you have a brand mantra? How do you use yours?  

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