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Is your tagline a mission?


What’s the difference between a marketing tagline and a deeper vision or mission for your business?  It’s not always an easy question to answer.

Let’s imagine that you’ve dedicated your business to top-notch craftsmanship.  It’s something which drives all your major decisions, built upon your personal passion and conviction.

A great mission statement might be something like: “We strive to the top levels of craftsmanship, serving discerning clients who want the best in the industry.”  It’ll be a little more specific to YOUR industry, of course, but you get the idea.

This statement is largely outward focused, because you’ve chosen to accept industry standards and customer expectations to define “craftsmanship.”  No problem with that, just recognize that you could have made a different choice to instead focus primarily on an internal definition of “craftsmanship.”

In this case, your marketing message will be quite similar.  “We deliver the best in the industry.”  “We are dedicated, talented craftsmen.”  “If you don’t make compromises, you need to talk with us.”

What’s the difference between the mission statement and your marketing pitch?

Largely it’s in the things that customers DON’T care about.  For instance, they don’t really care if you make a profit.  But you certainly do, as it’s what lets you stay in business and continue doing what you’re passionate about.

But it didn’t show up in the mission statement!  Big oops!  So we might consider making our mission statement more complete, including the concepts of profitability or sustainability.  You might even say that you charge top dollar for those discerning clients, on the natural assumption that it will let you make a decent profit.

Any individual customer might not care that you have a low-cost entry product line.  But if you do, you’re going to have to reconcile that with your mission statement.  On first reading, it wouldn’t seem to support the idea of low cost.  So you run the danger of confusing your employees and partners, and not at all being clear about what you do and don’t deliver.

The other thing that’s missing from the mission statement is any sense of the kind of employees you attract and why.  Remember that we told customers “We are dedicated, talented craftsmen”?  If that’s the kind of organization you’re creating, and it’s really true, then I’d like to see it as part of your overall internal messaging.

You might find it clumsy to continue adding things to the mission statement, but fortunately there’s other ways to approach it.  You could have a vision statement which includes something about your company culture.  Or you could have some values which include “reward and recognize talent”, “only do the finest work”, and “employ the best in the industry.”

Are you finding this tough to tease apart?  I have a tool which might help.  It’s an online assessment specifically for mission-driven businesses, and people are finding it quite helpful.  In just a few minutes you can get some feedback about how you’re doing, and I’ll send you a customized report to help propel you to the next step.  It’s not a huge sales pitch, just solid value.

Go check it out at www.smallfish.us/mission.  I’d love to hear from you!

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About the Author

Carl Dierschow

Carl Dierschow is our Small Fish Business Coach in Colorado in the USA. With over 17 years of experience in professional business coaching, he helps clients around the world to build profitable, powerful, sustainable companies. You may want to check out his targeted blogs at www.valuesbased.biz and www.nocosmall.biz.

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