retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Fast Company had an interesting story the other day about the importance of a company "mantra," which is defined as "a Sanskrit term, meaning 'sacred utterance' or 'sacred thought,' depending on the dictionary. Traditionally concentration aids given by Hindu gurus to devotees, mantras are words or phrases repeated to facilitate transformation. In business, a mantra is akin to a motto, albeit more fundamental to a company's internal purpose than simply a marketing slogan. It's concise, repeatable, and core to a company's existence ... Unlike mission statements, mantras are pivot-proof. They transcend current target markets and quarterly quotas."

Or, to put it another way: "Make it short, sweet, and swallowable," says author Guy Kawasaki.

Examples cited in the story:

"Think different." (Apple)

"Don't be evil." (Google)

"Make something you love." (Huge, a digital agency)

"Style to the people." (Stylecaster, a fashion website)

A mantra, the story suggests, is necessary because it is "the guiding star, not the operating manual." And every company needs a guiding star.

This has me thinking. While MNB always has been built around the phrase, "news in context, analysis with attitude," it sounds like the folks at Fast Company would define that as a mission statement. Not a mantra.

Which makes me think it is time for a contest...

Come up with an original mantra for MNB, and if you create the winner, you get an MNB goodie box, which includes a t-shirt with that mantra printed on it, an autographed copy of "The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies," and an MNB canvas shopping bag and an MNB canvas wine bag.

We already have more than 200 entries, but the contest will remain open at least until Labor Day. One suggestion ... remember that the mantra is for MNB, which is not a retailer. (Some of the suggestions received to this point would be wonderful retail mantras, but are not really about what MNB does.)

Let the games continue...
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