Many of you will remember the word “mantra”  Back a while ago, people used them as part of a meditation process.  In spite of its somewhat “spouts and granola” reputation, it served a real purpose.  It helped people who used them have a core feeling or perspective on some aspect of their lives that they could return to when needed.  

Unlike a whole philosophy, Mantras are very simple; they are a few sounds or words that bring you back to a comfortable place.   Or they can be about how you want your business to be perceived.

And that’s what this post is all about.

A student in a class I teach at New York University, Starting a Successful Art Business used the words Serenity, Peace and Comfort for how he envisions the essence of how he wants his antiques gallery to feel when people come for a visit. 

The renowned Apple products evangelist and author of many books on Entrepreneurship, Guy Kawasaki, defines mantra as:

a sacred verbal formula repeated in prayer, meditation  or incantation, such as the invocation of a god, a magic spell, or a syllable or portion of scripture containing  mystical potentialities. 

He goes on to list five examples that illustrate the power of a good mantra to communicate the meaning of organizations:

  • Authentic Athlete Performance = Nikemantras

  • Fun Family Entertainment = Disney

  • Rewarding – Everyday moments – Starbucks

  • Democratic Commerce = eBay

  • Empower Crafts People = Etsy

What do these mantras all have in common?

  • They are Positive and Uplifting and explain how your product or service is doing things to make the world a better place.

  • They are Outward Focused and express what you do for your customers and society, and

  • They are the simplistic and most challenging way to describe your brand.

So here’s the test, what would the Mantra be for YOUR business?  How do you want to be perceived?  Can you put it into three words or less?  It’s not  just for the big players
as my student proved.

It will help you, your employees and, most importantly your customers  understand what your business stands for in
three simple words.