Watching the New Zealand All Blacks perform the haka ahead of the final of the Rugby World Cup 2011 on home ground stirs something deep within. While the haka is used as the traditional war cry to challenge and intimidate the opposition, it is a powerful mantra unifying all members of the team in the belief that together they will prevail.
Similarly, in business, a mantra can be a rallying cry, a call to action or an expression of a core belief that serves to gel the mindsets of those within and external to the business.
Mantra has its roots in Hindu and Buddhist traditions as a “sacred utterance” or “sacred thought” often repeated. This can be a sound, word or phrase. Used for centuries to motivate and inspire those within a tribe, community or military group, in the modern business world, a mantra can help galvanise the psyche of those who work for and do business with you.
This is because mantras evoke emotion. Consider the following business mantra examples I’ve seen:
Disney – “Fun family entertainment”
Starbucks – “Rewarding everyday moments”
McDonald’s – “Fun folks food”
Mary Kay – “Enriching women’s lives”
Federal Express – “Peace of mind”
Waterman Business Centres – “We’re better together”
What do you notice about these mantras? Apart from being simple and short, they all have an emotional modifier – the underlined word in each is an intangible emotional feeling rather than a logical, measurable attribute.
Positive benefits of mantra
When people share a belief such as a mantra, thought, language and behaviour are more likely to be aligned. This congruence is not only beneficial for the cohesiveness of internal relationships within an organisation, it helps ensure the delivery of a consistent customer experience. A consistent customer experience builds familiarity, certainty and trust which, over time, builds brand loyalty and reputation.
Mantra creates a good energy that gives a positive boost to morale, productivity, creativity and innovation.
Because a mantra is usually derived from the vision, values and beliefs of the business, it will help attract the “best fit” employees and clients. Equally, it will repel those who don’t believe what you believe.
Mantra can provide a useful lens for the consideration of alternatives when planning projects, making decisions or brainstorming ideas.
Tips for creating a meaningful mantra
To be memorable, a mantra should consist of a few simple, powerful words only.
Your business vision, mission, core values and beliefs will provide the basis for crafting your mantra.
Use at least one word that evokes the desired emotion, that brings forth your passion for serving others, that stirs something deep within you every time you say it.
Once you decide upon your mantra, ensure you live by its creed in all your business operations and dealings.
©Ros Weadman 2017 Ros Weadman is the creator of the Reputation Equation™, founder of Melbourne PR & Marketing Group and author of BRANDcode®, a marketing guide for small business. Connect with Ros on LinkedIn or via www.rosweadman.com