When you’re building a new brand, you’ll be tasked with crafting various statements to define its personality.
This include vision, mission, slogan, tagline, catchphrase, and manifesto.
We often use these terms interchangeably but there are certain nuances between them, which I’ll clear up today. I’ll also provide examples for each so that you can see how the differences play out in the real world.
Rick Boyko, VCU’s Brandcenter President, referring to advertising professionals, said “We are storytellers in service of brands.” And to tell any brand’s stories, we need the basic pieces in place.
So let’s put together the puzzle one by one!
Your vision is the kind of world you want to create through your organization, as well as where you want to stand as a brand in the future.
It’s the big dream you sell to your employees, customers, and all other stakeholders for that matter. It’s the North Star that gives your brand direction and purpose.
|To provide access to the world’s information in one click|
|Apple||We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products, and that’s not changing|
|Nike||We see a world where everybody is an athlete|
|Teach for America||One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education|
|TED||Our agenda is to make great ideas accessible and spark conversation|
|IKEA||To create a better everyday life for the many people|
A good vision statement is ambitious but also practical (e.g. don’t promise the Moon & stars unless you’re SpaceX).
It’s also broad enough to encompass all of your primary and secondary objectives as an organization.
A mission statement summarizes what you’re doing to get to your vision. It hints at your line of business, your business growth goals for the next few years, your top priorities, and your way of getting things done.
|Apple||Bringing the best user experience to its customers through innovative hardware, software and services|
|To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful|
|Nike||To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world|
|IKEA||To offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them|
Your values sprout from the marriage of your mission statement to the personal principles you believe in as a founder/leader.
- What will you not compromise on in your pursuit of your vision?
- How will you treat your employees?
- How will you treat your customers?
- What defines your work environment?
- What factors do you take into consideration when taking decisions?
- What causes do you care about?
Your values will also come to define the marketing communications you craft. For example, a few of Nike’s values are “Do the right thing,” “Serve athletes,” and “Be on the offense always.”
These values informed their most provocative campaign ever, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” It was done in association with Black athlete Colin Kaepernick, who took a stand against racism by the police in America.
After initial backlash, Nike was praised by people around the world for speaking up against injustice despite the obvious risks.
A tagline or is a short but smart sentence (or a string of sentences) that capture’s the brand’s personality and essence. It sets the tone (e.g. friendly, dominating, serious).
A good tagline usually zeroes in on a single but evergreen and large enough brand proposition/feature. This makes it easy to repeat over time to increase brand recall. Take Domino’s India’s “Khushiyon Ki Home Deliver” for example.
I’ve compiled the world’s best taglines in this post here but I’ll list some of my favorite picks below.
|Dollar Shave Club||Shave time. Shave money.|
|Meow Mix||So Good, Cats Ask for It by Name|
|Tide||Tide’s In – Dirt’s Out|
|Parle-G||G for Genius|
|Surf Exel||Daag Acche Hai|
|Nike||Just Do It|
When crafting a tagline, it’s OK to use puns and wit but don’t make it too confusing or hard to pronounce because you want it to be constantly repeated by people in their conversations surrounding your product.
Good taglines are witty enough to bring a smile on your face but simple enough to just slide it off your tongue.
Associated Words Matrix
A word matrix is an internal exercise marketers do to understand how they want their target audience (TG) to perceive their brand.
What words should be associated with your brand? These will not only dictate your design tonality but also your overall marketing strategies.
For example, the words “Indian,” “family,” and “homely” suit a local rice brand like India Gate Basmati Rice.
But they won’t work for a chips brand like Lay’s, which will probably want to be associated with “young,” “Western,” “spicy” and “flavorful.”
So make a list of 15-20 adjectives or nouns that you can cautiously repeat in your captions and customer responses.
A catchphrase is a temporary tagline insofar it’s not a permanent adoption for the brand.
Instead, it is used as a temporary intro/outro in the context of specific strategic campaigns.
While the tagline encapsulates only the brand, a slogan may be used to represent the brand or the brands’ products or services.
The role of the slogan is to help the audience to remember key ideas which marketing campaigns focus on, which may be specific features, benefits, aspects, emotions, or use cases/events/contexts.
This means that while taglines are constant, slogans have the flexibility to change over time, allowing brands to play with different approaches to see which one connects with their audience the best.
For example, let’s consider Coke. It’s official tagline is “Taste the Feeling.”
But in it’s marketing campaigns, especially ones that pair it with brands like KFC or McDonald’s, the brand uses the slogan “Everything tastes better with Coke.”
This catchphrase has a target location/context where it should be used, which is in F&B partner outlets. Thus, it serves a very specific purpose, which is to encourage people to order a coke along with their food.
Similarly, Amul’s tagline is “Taste of India” but whenever they talk about Amul butter, they stress on “Utterly butterly delicious.”
A manifesto is a smartly written paragraph or short creative speech/piece that communicates what a brand stands for. It has heavy words, analogies, bold statements, big claims, and lots of sparkle.
It’s a proud unforgiving declaration of what you religiously and deeply believe in as an organization. It’s the outward manifestation of your vision and purpose.
A Manifesto has the musical essence of a classical poem, and the gravitas of a newly elected President’s speech.
It’s meant to deeply resonate with the brand’s target consumers, almost like a pledge to help them feel part of a cult or community.
One of the best-known manifestos comes from Apple.
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”Apple’s “Think Different” Campaign from the ’90s, not written but narrated by Steve Jobs
Below is a screenshot of Nike’s manifesto.
In this blog, we’ve explained the meanings of a brand vision, mission, values, tagline, slogan/catchphrase, associated words, and manifesto.
A vision sets the goal, a mission elaborates on the method being used to reach the goal, values define how the organization treats people and people-related issues, a tagline capture’s the brand’s personality, a slogan points to a specific product/benefit/feature, and a manifesto acts as a pledge to indoctrinate all stakeholders into the workings of the organization.
Did you get the difference? What are some more examples of any of these brand assets that you can come up with?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!