What is your company’s mantra?
I don’t mean your company mission statement. Delivering exceptional real estate… I’ve heard it before.
It’s not your core values. Honesty, Integrity, Professionalism… Hold up, I get it.
I’m talking about the 2-3 words that sum up your company’s essence..
Just do it
Don’t be evil
Peoplework, not paperwork
“Mantra” is a Sanskrit word, meaning literally “a thought behind speech or action”. Mantras were originally short patterns of words that were given to Hindu or Buddhist followers to repeat over and over again and aide them in their transformation.
In the context of business however, your company’s mantra should reflect your reason for being, or way of being.
It’s akin to a motto or tagline. They are sometimes interchangeable, meaning they can be used externally as well as internally. They’re also durable – unlike a mission statement – mantras resist the year-in, year-out changes in what you do. Avis famously used “We try harder” for over 50 years until they retired it in 2012.
Most importantly, they should be aspirational, not literal. Nike’s “Just do it” says nothing of whether the shoe giant is selling soccer kits, running shoes or golf clubs. It transcends the products and captures the spirit.
A mantra is the brand’s north star – a rallying cry for employees and customers alike. 1000watt has followed our mantra “Turn on” since day one.
A good mantra is short and sweet. 2-3 words. According to former Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki, the “ultimate test for a company’s mantra is if your [receptionist] can tell you what it is. If they can, then you’re onto something meaningful and memorable. If they can’t, then, well, it sucks.”
Writing a good mantra is hard. There’s a process.
At 1000watt, we backstop the creation of a mantra for a client by first determining the brand’s archetype and then outlining the various customer personas that the brand touches, but ultimately it means locking ourselves in a room with a whiteboard, lots of time and a ruthless editorial exercise.
And sometimes to really crack the code, we have to just have to go for a walk.
Once we do, however, the results can be compelling. Here are some recent examples that have been really impactful for clients:
WFG National Title – “Because of You”
Turpin Realtors – “Life here is grand”
PlanOmatic – “For every listing”
Once you have those 2-3 words, it sets the stage. For us, it crystallizes our deliverables to the client and makes clear all the marketing tactics that we need to start executing.
So, I’ll ask again. What’s your mantra?
What are you and your people repeating – and living – every day?