Slogans help to rally teams and individuals around organisational mission or vision. They motivate management, employees and other stakeholders towards the ideal scenario that the organisation wishes to attain.
For best effect, they must be crisp, believable and motivational for all to easily remember and internalise. The rule of thumb is to craft a brilliant and meaningful statement that is not more than eight words long. The statement is built around the organisation’s mission and the focus is perfection.
The rallying cry defines the distinctive ability of the organisation. It can be pegged on the organisation’s prevailing circumstances or on the position it exists to attain.
The development of a strategic rallying cry starts with identifying the positioning that is desired for the organisation. This is also the reputation or image that the organisation would like to be known for. It is sometimes referred to as the strategic intent.
Identifying the strategic intent, the reputation, the image or the positioning allows for a clearer definition of the organisation’s competitive edge – the existence that separates it from the rest. The competitive edge must not be imaginary. It must be evident – one that even the ordinary customer can recognise.
Years of studies have identified five key areas of positioning. They are choice, service, responsiveness, total cost and quality. Positioning requires that you carefully identify only one of these as the distinctive competency by which you want to be recognised in the marketplace.
The rallying cry is then coined with the desired recognition in mind. It must connect with the essence of your organisation’s existence. If this doesn’t happen, then it is just another statement for the sake of being trendy.
The rallying cry is best developed through teamwork. The coordinating team must have as much information as necessary to deeply understand the core objectives and aspirations of the organisation. Staff can also be asked to propose rallying cries. Such staff must also gain core information about the organisation’s existence and ambitions. The individual staff who comes up with the winning statement gets awarded. Still, all those who participate in the search for the rallying cry should be rewarded for their efforts. This participatory approach promotes buy in, which is necessary for wider championing of the selected rallying cry.