Writing a creed, living by it, and proclaiming it is a sure way to attract and bond with your true believers, your kindred spirits, your best customers, according to acclaimed marketer and copywriter Gary Bencivenga.
Creeds state what a person or organization believes — the word “creed” comes from the latin word “credo,” which means “believe.”
Religions use creeds. I’m most familiar with the Apostle’s Creed, which is in the liturgy of the Lutheran church. The Apostle’s Creed is a marvel of brevity, thus making it a model creed: in 110 words it lays out 12 bedrock Christian beliefs.
(A creed isn’t the same as a mission statement. I’ll spell out the difference shortly.)
How To Use Creeds In Business
Bencivenga has explained how a creed can help your business.
“The creed is an expession of your most strongly held core values,” he says. “The creed serves as a clarion call to gather the like-minded faithful of your marketplace.”
To see what a business creed looks like, here’s Bencivenga’s:
1. I believe the purpose of advertising is to sell, not win awards or applause.
2. I believe that a single measurement is worth a thousand opinions.
3. I believe in selling with integrity. The strongest ads tell the truth dramatically. You don’t have to lie, shortchange your customers, sully your good name or cut corners. Treat your customers by the Golden Rule and they will reward you with much more gold.
4. I believe in you, in the tremendous untapped power of your mind to achieve anything you truly desire and believe.
Don’t be shy about using your creed, Bencivenga says. He includes his, front and center, in his welcome letter to new e-newsletter subscribers.
“When you clearly stand for something, you will never stand alone,” Bencivenga says. “Standing for something special in your overcrowded marketplace sets you apart from armies of me-too competitors who try to be everything to everybody, and wind up meaning nothing special to anyone.”
Creeds vs. Mission Statements
Creeds and missions statements aren’t the same. Creeds are a declaration of beliefs. Mission statements explain how those beliefs will be applied.
Creed: I believe that a single measurement is worth a thousand opinions.
Mission statement: I will use research and testing to make decisions for my clients.
Creeds come first, and mission statements flow out of them.
Give It a Try
Write, live, and proclaim a creed for your business, and let me know how it works for you.