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April 22, 2007



How do you differentiate between a positioning statement/marketing mantra and a brand promise? We tend to mish mash those two along with all the others: Brand DNA, brand pillars, brand strategy, brand character...

andy vanakin

very interesting. I like the idea of a positive message over a negative one

John Bradley Jackson

I prefer to call them marketing mantra---which say how you are different.

A mantra is a religious prayer or mystical phrase or poem that instills concentration when repeated and is used for meditation and prayer. The key is to focus on the mantra and to block out everything else.

A marketing mantra is three to five words that describes how your business or offering is different. It must be easy to say and remember while being easily understood. If it is in writing, it should leap off the page with authenticity and integrity. It can be used internally or externally. It should say how you are different instead of how you are the same.

Your marketing mantra should be positive. Study after study shows that positive messages sell better than negative messages and so it is with mantras. Many marketing messages are negative. Who can forget “American Express: Don’t Leave Home without it?” I always feared what might happen if chose to leave without it, so I switched to MasterCard.

Raza Imam

Great post. I own Chicago based offshore software development company. Since outsourcing is so huge we have a lot of competition. We realized that most companies that work with offshore vendors hate the work because the vendors are little more than "software sweatshops". I created a blog and have branded myself as helping companies avoid an offshore nightmare. It has helped my marketing immensely and conveyed to people what I'm all about.

Now I'm trying to use my catchy blog name to position myself and attract media attention.

Jason Shah

Great post! As stated, the 4D rule is a helpful yet succinct guide. As a provider of online test prep it's key for me to have a quick yet memorable pitch for consumers to make a sale, so your advice really resonates. Keep up the great work and I wish you continued success.

Thank you.

Jason Shah/[email protected]

Armand rousso

Interesting ! I would follow the 4D rule. Armand Rousso


Hello Jennifer,

Excellent, insightful information.

I perused the Prophet's website and was intrigued by what I read. I'll be back.

Wishing you continued success.


You are too damn sexy.


Great common sense advice. I notice that companies often start out with something great but over time that crystal clear message is obscured by more text, more words, in some kind of effort to exploit other markets. Five words or less ... that's tough! How about ten?

David Taylor (brandgym)

Jennifer: spot on. And I endorse the idea of not shying away from using the ad tagline. If you have "The Ultimate Driving Machine", why would you dream up an essence statement?!

Another take on this I use is the idea of writing your "brand t-shirt":

Tom Asacker

Welcome back Jennifer! I love your 4D rule. Thanks. And I promise to stay away from the word "positioning." At least for today. ;)

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