When is a Cultural Mantra Vacuous?

Maybe when it is one as adopted by deliverer, Hermes?

If unfamiliar with the name, they’ve mopped up Amazon UK deliveries. Their own website strapline is ‘Cheap Parcel Delivery & Courier Service’. And are huge.

I came across their CEO pictured proudly in front of his preferred slogan. As above.

Other examples duly follow. See below.

I feel saddened to report that I was very much smh and eye-roll when I saw this.

Chiefly at the opportunity wasted.

Let’s understand the disclaimer that from a single slogan you cannot divine any fuller or contextual nuances that may underpin the headline saying.

When I searched the term, a high result (the 3rd) was for a book called Be Bold Be Brave Be You. Now there’s a decent line. Following the vaunted rhetorical ‘rule of three’ device and pretty much a hendiatris (so often the winner, as imagine; bold, brave, you).

Yet it does not appear that this vital third component (Be You) is present here.

Also high (6th) was coincidentally a local business journalist. Choosing the phrase pair to title her short piece urging (re)focus on ‘visual marketing and brand awareness’.

A slightly amended search, gave top result (yes, 1st) not to Hermes, but some sub-brand of online female facial beauty products.

What on earth would the big courier HQ make of that?

Maybe this is an internal-only, cultural engineering edict. Not meant to be shared with the market.

Yet in which case why is the exhortation on public display?

As with all these drives – and I am a believer in them – there can feel more misses than hits.

I have cajoled salesteams into thinking about their own such sayings.

They tended to have their own already. Albeit either sprouting from gallows humour or satirically based as if they were evangelising a cult. But both are good signs in my experience.

A binding culture exists.

And that can be built upon.

The problem with these outputs, is often when they encounter a customer. Especially a potential one.

There is often a question about where you’re at as a business.

What you may stand for. Not in some political-culture-wars sense. But as a vendor. What is core to your behaviour as a supplier and partner.

If a Hermes salesperson began answering with, ‘be bold be brave’, how do you think they’d get on?

Naturally, a great deal depends on how that is expanded upon. But remember, you’d only likely have a sentence or two in which to elaborate before the prospect mind is made up. One way or the other. Any artificial, banal or adspeak mumbo jumbo will seriously flounder.

You do wonder how the Hermes seller would progress from this launchpad?

Bold that I will challenge current thinking if there’s maybe a better way.
Brave that if there’s a stuff up, I will front up and sort it myself keeping you informed all the way.

Well, just one quick idea.

The point remains valid. I really do feel that salesteams can develop their own such catchphrase. Without undermining efforts elsewhere to mould culture. Which can uniquely get across to prospects how what you do is different and ultimately the most attractive option available.

Have you got yours in place? Be You…

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