Friday, November 20, 2009

Are You Marketing (and Living) Your Mission?

Over at AdAge, there’s an interesting look at the trend in mission-based marketing among consumer brands.

Big names like Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Wal-Mart are putting a lot of emphasis on taglines and catchphrases that sound like they’re right out of a lofty mission statement.

Think Wal-Mart’s “Save money. Live better.” That’s a pretty dramatic and emotional turn from the old “Always low prices.” More importantly, the audience seems to be internal as much as external.

Guess it’s a sign of the times. In the recession, employees need to know they’re working for something more meaningful—helping people “live better”—than just providing cheap merchandise. Seems to be working at least OK for Wal-Mart lately.

Yes, a tagline tied to a mission can pack a pretty powerful punch. But a note of caution: If you’re going to engage in mission marketing, then it’s more critical than ever to follow through with the mission you’re promoting. You’ve got to live that brand promise.

Otherwise, it’s just an empty slogan. And your customers, and your employees, will see right through it.

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