Author’s note: This is a reissue of a previous blog due to popular demand.

Repeat. Marketing Mantras Make Money. Repeat. Marketing Mantras Make Money. Again.

A mantra is a religious prayer or mystical phrase or poem that instills concentration when repeated and is used for meditation and prayer. The key is to focus on the mantra and to block out everything else.

A marketing mantra is three to five words that describes how your business or offering is different. It must be easy to say and remember while being easily understood. If it is in writing, it should leap off the page with authenticity and integrity. It can be used internally or externally. It should say how you are different instead of how you are the same.

Your marketing mantra should be positive. Study after study shows that positive messages sell better than negative messages and so it is with mantras. Many marketing messages are negative. Who can forget “American Express: Don’t Leave Home without it?” I always feared what might happen if chose to leave without it, so I switched to MasterCard.

Mantras help focus your employees and your customers on what makes your offering different. This focus is critical since customers buy because of your differences, not because you are like the competition or have similar benefits. An example of a marketing mantra is “Diamonds Are Forever” by DeBeers Corporation. It accentuates the point that unlike other gifts, diamonds will outlast them all and they will never go out of style.

Another example of a mantra is Burger King’s “Have it Your Way”; this mantra told us that fast food could be customized at Burger King, unlike the food at McDonalds. During its time, this was a very powerful message about how Burger King was different from Mickey D’s.

You can write a mantra by first writing down a list of your distinctive competencies, which are the unique benefits of your offering that your customers value. Try to boil it down to a few words while experimenting with the order of the words. Reduce it to three to five unique words that say how your firm is different. Alliteration can help and shorter is better.

Next, test it with friends, employees, and customers. See if they react positively and if they agree that it says how your offering is different. Change it if necessary. And try it again. When you get the message right, blanket the earth with your mantra. For this is the most important message you will ever tell your customers and prospects.

By the way, the difference between a tag line and a marketing mantra is mostly intention. Tag lines can deliver any type of message while a marketing mantra focuses on how your offering is different.

Be first, best, or different. Be first, best, or different. Be first, best, or different. Be first, best, or different. Be first, best, or different…….

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2007 All rights reserved.

P. S. Thanks to Guy Kawasaki for his work with mantras. Check out his book “Art of the Start”

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