In an era when having a clear message is everything, it’s important that brands start from the inside out by making sure they can concisely identify their purpose and their values in all of their communications. These statements should collectively express the reason why the brand needs to exist. However, a lot of businesses don’t understand that there are a few different types of important statements or brand lines that they need to develop. Many companies misguidedly waffle about “mission statements” and “slogans” interchangeably, like some kind of confusing hybrid of marketing speak and HR department lingo.
Let’s break it down a bit, shall we?
We believe that there are 3 absolutely critical statements that your brand should develop. Like all marketing topics, you will read about a lot of differing opinions on this matter. Some opinions might suggest that a slogan and a tagline are the same thing. And you’ve probably heard about others such as Brand Positioning Statements, Mottos, and so on. We’ve seen companies that have split these 3 key proclamations into five or more different edicts! In the spirit of less is more, we recommend focusing on just these 3, and doing them really well:
1. Brand Essence: In just one sentence, your Brand Essence (often called brand mantra, brand line, or slogan) describes what it is that your brand does in the context of a goal or point of differentiation. While it should be concise, it should be just long enough to evoke some emotion while also identifying what it is that the company offers.
2. Creative Tagline: Short and powerful, this is the tagline that your customers would recognize first. Think Differently. Apple. Can You Hear Me Now? Verizon. The tagline is outward-facing. Like a clever punchline, this brief statement is used in marketing to create a memorable brand and can often change over the years with the advent of new campaigns. Unlike a slogan, a tagline doesn’t necessarily have to identify the product or the company. The goal with a tagline is memorability and customer-to-brand association.
3. Mission Statement or Purpose Statement: A Mission Statement, something we often refer to as a Purpose Statement, is a more descriptive statement that is meant to inform and inspire the organization from within. It gives employees and other shareholders the why and how of your business. While the Mission Statement can be shared with your customers, this statement is most operative when designed to be an internal document created in collaboration with all of the decision makers of the brand, not just one department. We highly recommend reviewing the advice Steven R. Covey gives in The 7 Habits about formulating an effective mission statement.
Some Examples of This Structure
Motel 6 Brand Essence: “Lowest price of any national chain.”
Motel 6 Creative Tagline: “We’ll Leave The Light On For You”
Motel 6 Purpose Statement: “To become the universally recognized leader in economy lodging. We continuously strive to reinvent the economy lodging category while remaining 100 percent committed to delivering a great experience to our guests, team members, franchisees and partners.”
Nike Brand Essence: “Authentic athletic performance”
Nike Creative Tagline: “Just Do It”
Nike Purpose Statement: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
Some organizations might divide their Purpose Statement out even further by creating a separate Mission Statement or “Vision Statement” that is intended to be more future-focused, but we consider this redundant and unnecessary even for larger organizations. Your Purpose Statement ought to be inherently future-focused, not only describing where your brand currently is, but also where it is heading.
Why Your Brand Needs All 3 Statements
Just as you hope that your customers would be able to easily shout your outward-facing creative tagline that you’ve spent so much money marketing, every employee within your organization should be able to casually recite your internal Purpose Statement when asked, even if only paraphrased (albeit accurately) in their own words. In fact, this is a good indicator of the efficacy of your Purpose Statement: if your own team cannot confidently recount it, what is the point of having one? You might want to consider shortening it.
Our tagline at Superbase is “We help brands become unignorable.” If you’re excited about growing your brand through great design and strategic marketing, schedule a time for a complimentary consulting session. Our brand essence is to become “A new kind of creative consultancy.” Superbase Creative operates quite differently than other creative agencies. We can work with your team to help you craft the memorable brand message that you’ve been looking for.