Forget the Elevator Speech, Just Give Me Three Words

brand mantra

Last week, team members from Sweeney’s Cleveland office attended a PRSA event at Cinecraft Productions. The event, The Art of Visual Storytelling, was sponsored by Cinecraft Productions and its owner, Neil McCormick, led the conversation about storytelling in today’s market.

Stories are powerful tools in marketing because of their ability to convey a message that relates to someone on the other end. When we tell our own stories, or strive to tell the stories of those who we represent, two things are vitally important in order to successfully convey meaning.

First, we must overcome initial resistance by building trust with authentic storytelling. People are born skeptics and are quick to turn the other way if they sense your message lacks authenticity or truth. When telling your story, stick to highlighting things you are truly passionate about and your message will shine through. For brand storytelling, authenticity can be achieved by having real customers or employees relay their personal account instead of the spokespeople who typically fall flat when conveying true passion.

Second, we must discover our mantras and dig deep to unveil what makes us different from the rest. Think of brands that dominate the storytelling arena, each story they create can point back to their mantra and this consistency is what makes them successful. If a brand changes its background story or mission statement every couple months, audiences are left confused and skeptical. At this event, we were challenged to sum up our mantra not in an elevator speech, but in just three words. Each one of us had three words intimate to our own journey, but when describing Sweeney as a brand we were consistent across the board. Strategic, Creative, Results. Every project we touch or conversation we lead at Sweeney can be looped back around to these three words. When team members are all looking in the same direction, motivated by a meaningful mantra, clients take notice and audiences are hooked, left wanting more.

Need help discovering your mantra or story? We’d love to be your tour guides, check us out at or leave me a note a