Few Business Owners stop to think about their Vision and Mission Statements…
And if they do have a Vision and Mission, it’s often a long-winded and convoluted statement that no one can remember. Further, they don’t always focus the business.
With the increased influence of Eastern spiritual practices like yoga and meditation into Western culture, it’s not surprising that the idea of ‘mantra’ has found it’s way into business.
According to Deepac Chopra, the word mantra can be broken down into “man” which means mind and “tra” which means transportation.
In other words, a mantra is “an instrument of the mind” that can be a vehicle to access heightened levels of awareness and to energize intention.
The most recognizable mantra is “om” and Hindi words or phrases are often repeated to facilitate transformation.
In business, a ‘mantra’ may encapsulate or describe a business’s vision and mission statement in a concise and memorable way that is easily repeatable.
It’s an articulation of the “heart and soul” of the brand – the DNA.
Kevin Keller’s book Strategic Brand Management defines a mantra as “a short, three to five word phrase that captures the irrefutable essence or spirit of the brand positioning”
Its purpose is to ensure that all team members and external parties understand what the brand represents to its customers and that the brand is consistent across different media, platforms and products.
Further, it is a guiding light for business decisions and communications that shape the business culture.
For example: a mantra may provide guidance on what the brand is or isn’t, what products to introduce, what ad campaigns to run, and critical every day decisions including how the ’phones are answered.
I recently helped a company define its vision and mission mantra. Key actions when coming up with your own mantras are:
- Survey and brainstorm with team members, clients and other people who know your business.
- Research other mantras, like Nike, “Authentic Athletic Performance” and Mary Kay, “Enriching Women’s Lives”
- List words that describe: “What you do, your points of difference, what you stand for? What you are trying to accomplish and who do you serve?”
- Throw ideas and words around like confetti. Be playful and passionate in the creative phase and don’t fuss about the number of words yet. Have fun!
- Group key words from the brainstorming exercise into categories and create a mind map of the thought associations that identify with your brand.
- Think through the meaning and impact of each word at the highest level of abstraction.
- Finally, refine your selection to no more than 5 words.
If you do this, your mantra will ultimately bring clarity and simplicity to your business. We live in a complex world and it’s easy to get lost in the detail. Mantras help focus your business on the things that really matter and transform it and us into who we want to be.
If this resonates I’d love to hear from you…