There are precious few opportunities for marketing professionals to craft a new mission statement: either the company is a startup, looking for direction, or it’s an established company looking to rebrand. Like logos and mascots, mission statements are meant to last for years, even decades. Spend some time on them today to avoid the need for rebranding down the road.

Here at Onstage, we work with thousands of advertisers across the US. We’ve seen outstanding mission statements, and we’ve seen some real losers too. With this blog, we’ll explain the two uses of your mission statement and show you some examples we admire.

The Two Uses of Your Mission Statement

Other marketing blogs tend to go on about the uses of a mission statement. There are not five, nor fifteen purposes of a mission statement. There are only two:

  • To explain your values to the public.
  • To identify your goals to staff.

That’s it! Everything else falls under those two headings. Sure, your mission statement ultimately plays a role in defining your corporate culture, and with proper branding, it will become a sort of mnemonic device, like your logo. But it’s essential to be clear and concise. Consumers will associate a great deal of information with your mission statement if you brand it well.

Your mission statement is not a company handbook, nor a tag line. So avoid the noise and keep those two ideas in mind.

Keep it Simple: The Best Mission Statements are 3 – 5 Words

The best mission statement we’ve ever seen was Dollar Rent-a-Car’s “Value Every Time.” Car rental is a very competitive industry, and susceptible to local market variances. In other words, what works for a franchise in Boston may be very different than what works in Austin. It’s not like McDonald’s, where the same Big Mac and Fries will sell in every market.

Dollar’s mission statement was outstanding, as it gave every location the freedom to make their own choices, but with a clear goal to remain competitive. The phrase was short, tidy, and meaningful to customers and staff.

Dollar was purchased by Hertz in 2012 and has since rebranded. But those three little words did a lot for the brand:

  • Customers understood they’d be getting a good value. This didn’t always mean the cheapest cars or the fanciest, but the best vehicles for their money, at every location.
  • Employees and franchisees understood their goals. They could make unique choices at various locations, such as offering luxury rentals in the Las Vegas market, always operating under the umbrella of providing a good value, every time.
  • Value Every Time also neatly abbreviates to VET, the name of their corporate mascot, a lovable bulldog.

Mission Statement Mistakes

Let’s imagine we’re crafting a mission statement for ACME Plumbing. The worst mission statements are:

  • too long– ACME Plumbing – “Covers all your plumbing needs in the Dallas Fort Worth area.”
  • too vague– ACME Plumbing – “We’re Customer Service Oriented.”
  • or conversely, too specific– Acme Plumbing – “Specializes in plumbing for home remodels in Dallas Fort Worth.”

The best mission statement will be something clear and memorable. Our imaginary ACME should probably stick to something simple, like “The Best Dallas Plumbers.”

In closing, mission statements are special. We only get to create them a few times in any organization’s lifetime. We hope you’ve enjoyed our article.

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra is All About Diversity

Our program book publishing clients at Onstage comes from all over the nation! We love to be part of their vision of diversity. One of our most culturally diverse customers must be The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, a group of outstanding performance artists who are dedicated to bringing joy to the central Florida region in the form of enriched music and performances.

The “Orlando Phil” has it all!

Each of our program book customers brings unique talent and vision to the modern performing arts world. The Orlando Phil provides more than 150 concerts to the Orlando area, and venues ranging from parks and schools to traditional auditoriums.

  • Classical concerts & pre-concert lectures for ticket-holders
  • Educational programs & youth programs
  • Community involvement
  • Cuban and Latino cultural programming
  • Performances in all price ranges, even free!
  • Performances by visiting musicians

We appreciate all the musicians and the dedicated administrative staff that make these events happen!

About the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

The Orlando Phil is growing! Next year will be their 27th Season.

This 2019 – 2020 fall-winter season is chock full of concerts; with such a wide variety of performances, we almost don’t know where to begin!

The Fairwinds Classics Series of concerts will all be held at the Bob Carr Theater and include

  • Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony– October 26, 2019, at 8 pm. The orchestra will perform the most iconic piece of classical music in human history.
  • The Sounds of Revolution, Freedom and Joy– February 1, 2020, at 8 pm. Soloists Colleen Blagov and guest Jeremy Kittel perform themes from the American Civil and Revolutionary Wars. The evening will close dramatically with a performance of Shostakovich’s Sixth Symphony.
  • American Rhapsody– March 21, 2020, at 8 pm. A night of American composers, featuring Gershwin’s jazzy Rhapsody in Blue, which has enchanted American audiences since 1924.

A Note on Administrative Staff & Volunteers

While this blog series focuses mostly on venues and artists, we need to tip our hats to the administrative staff and volunteers associated with the Orlando Phil. As marketing professionals and business people, we understand the values and constraints of budgets.

Have you ever put together a big event, like a wedding? You know the amount of time and preparation it takes. Now imagine hosting 125 – 150 big events every year! We must point out that the Orlando Philharmonic’s administration must be doing it right because they are one of the few American orchestras that have balanced their budget every single year of their existence! That’s a major accomplishment!

Would we like to take a little crumb of credit for their success as partners who provide outstanding publication of their luxury program books? We would! At Onstage Publications we do more than publish luxury program books for clients. We help organizations stay on-tasks by removing the stress and busywork of quality program book production.

About Music Director Mr. Eric Jacobsen

According to the Orlando Phil website Mr. Jacobsen is nearing his fifth year as Music Director for the Orlando Phil. In 2016 he stepped down from his position as cellist of the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, to focus on his position as conductor and Music Director.

His vision launched a new trend in community engagement with his creative and diverse programming; intending to engage a broader audience, and the entire community is grateful!

The New York Times calls him “an interpretive dynamo”! He has a reputation for innovative presentations and collaborative works, and is probably known most for his skill at engaging an audience.

You Know that Audience Engagement is the Key to Experiential Marketing

Our specialty is experiential marketing. We get excited about music directors and orchestras who involve the audience and leave them feeling like they were a part of the concert.

We are experts at getting your brand in front of affluent, involved audiences all around the nation with luxury program books, digital signage at venues and our direct mail program Artspac. Would you like to learn more about marketing to this coveted opt-in mailing list? Contact us today!

2019 has been an outstanding year for the US economy and businesses of all sizes. Gross domestic product (GDP) is up, personal income is up, consumer confidence is high, and interest rates have stayed low. Most US businesses have been happy to revel in the glory of a “Goldilocks” economy – a rare time when our economy has been just right!

But before we all go laughing our collective way to the bank, know that Uncle Sam will be looking for a taste of that pie. And you might be getting slammed with some real income tax increases if you’ve done well this year.

  • One way to lower your taxable income (and use it for business growth) is to maximize your business income deductions, with increased spending on advertising.

Whether you’re a marketing director, advertising agency, or just a Mom & Pop shop, December is the perfect time to move forward with some serious advertising purchases.

Why is December a Great Time to Buy Advertising?

  1. Advertising is a write-off, and you’ll need it this year!

We’re not tax experts at Onstage, but we are a small business ourselves. Most traditional advertising (like our program books & digital signage) is fully deductible.

Talk to your tax professional about the specifics, but generally speaking, any advertising you do will be a write-off. To take those valuable deductions in 2019, most companies will need to spend those dollars by December 31. 

  1. Sales reps are eager! (So are their bosses.)

As the fourth quarter comes to a close, some sales reps are looking to meet monthly, quarterly, and annual goals. December is a slow month for advertising sales reps because:

  • Many businesses feel their ad budgets have been spent for the year, so there is little new business.
  • Decision-makers leave on holiday or become harder to reach.

Sales reps are left struggling to find those last few sales to earn their bonuses. December is a PERFECT time to ask for a bulk discount or other special prices. Those reps and their superiors will do what it takes to get your ad buy! If we were in the real estate business, we would call it a “buyers market.”

Sales managers, supervisors, and corporate notables are also looking to end the year with a bang. So get aggressive and ask for a big campaign guaranteed at December’s price. It never hurts to try!

  1. Use it or lose it.

Some organizations are planning their ad buys for next year, right now. If you haven’t spent your ad budget to the last penny, you’ll be getting less to work with next year. Go ahead and call your favorite advertising sales rep on December 23, they’ll love you for it!

  1. Many companies offer special ad prices. 

Again, in a rush to meet those numbers goals, most advertising media will offer special holiday pricing. Take advantage of them! You’ll get more bang for your buck, and it might be the last time you can get ads at these rates. Some companies will increase their pricing come the new year.

  • Most newspapers raise their rates every January, like clockwork.
  1. Advertising makes a lasting impression this time of year.

Schools close for holidays, employees take vacation time, and families gather together. There’s a reason you notice more automobile advertising on television this time of year…people are spending more time at home and at social outings than during the rest of the year. Careers and education are set aside, leaving more time and energy to be receptive to advertising.

Here at Onstage Publications, we know that your marketing mix has many facets. Hopefully, our luxury program books and experiential marketing at luxury venues are a part of your marketing efforts!

But even if you visit our blog for marketing inspiration, we know you’ll rock through your 2019 income taxes because you’ve maximized your advertising write-offs, and positioned yourself well in the market for next year.

At Onstage we value our performance art partners and the venues we serve; that’s why we provide them with the finest in program book publishing. Every artist and group we work with has a unique voice that needs to be presented in their own special way. Our luxury program books reflect this, as do the venues which house them.

The Music Center at Strathmore is home to The National Philharmonic and we believe this venue to be a modern treasure that D.C. residents can be proud of! We admire how the Strathmore hosts world-class performers from all over the globe. Furthermore, we love The National Philharmonic and Strathmore for their combined community involvement, but we especially admire their dedication to D.C. area youth.

About The National Philharmonic, Their Focus on Youth Programs

Going beyond the usual music student lectures and special ticket prices for college students, The National Philharmonic offers a community program that blows our minds! It’s called…

ALL Kids, All Free, All The Time

Yes, you read that right. All children ages 7 – 17 get into the Music Center at Strathmore free of charge for National Philharmonic performances. Strathmore staffers certainly don’t have anything against the littlest children, it’s just that symphony performances are probably not the best choice for their entertainment.

We think it’s fantastic that young people can attend world-class orchestra performances for literally nothing.

Color The Music Projects

Every fall, the National Philharmonic @ Strathmore also works with schools to provide D.C. area children with a chance to get hands-on with performance art and music they might not otherwise have access to. The focus of 2019 is the music of legendary disco artists ABBA.

Students begin by listening to beloved disco classics like:

Students are encouraged then to color and paint 9″ x 12″ durable paper, and to be creative with brushes and even marbles, to bring the music of ABBA to life in their own artistic way. Other types of art are encouraged too, even fashion design, to help students participate in music of ABBA with whatever tangible media they prefer.

A Rocky Year of Rebirth in 2019

It needs to be mentioned that the National Philharmonic has struggled financially in recent years, and it’s only with massive crowdfunding campaigns and volunteer labor that the organization can proceed.

NBC News reported in August, 2019 that the National Philharmonic is able to move forward with their 2019 programming because two dedicated maestros and the new interim president have agreed to work for free for the next 12 months.

  • Local businessman and philanthropist Jim Kelly has donated a year of service as president, which will save the organization about $95,000.
  • The two maestros Piotr Gajewski and Stan Engebretson followed suit.

The National Philharmonic was quite close to closing it’s doors in 2019 due to lack of funding after the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County decreased its funding by more than $150,000 since 2011 per NBC.

About the Venue: Strathmore

Per their website “High-quality arts programming, designed for audiences of many tastes, served with the hospitality and warmth of a family enterprise, are the hallmarks of Strathmore.” Three venues live under the Strathmore umbrella: The Music Center, The Mansion and it’s newest 250 seat venue AMP, which offers more of a jazzy lounge appeal.

We appreciate their seasonal outdoor performing arts events, because they seek to be inclusive, and reach out to people of all ages, interests, and backgrounds.

Program book advertising with Onstage is a way to get your brand in front of a wealthy audience, all across the nation. We can help you put your brand on blast with experiential marketing, and we do some amazing things with digital signage too. Contact us to learn more today!

Marketing is a complex, many-pieced puzzle. There is a lot more going on in the marketing department beyond epic logo design. And yet so many parts of your branding efforts will involve your logo; it becomes the keystone to your entire campaign.

We are not logo specialists at Onstage. We’re marketing experts. We see literally thousands of logos every year. Some are outstanding, others doomed. We’re here to explain a bit about quality logo design. We’ll explain why it matters, how to achieve it, and we’ll give you some legendary logo examples to follow.

Key Attributes of a Winning Logo

We’ve summed up some important aspects of the most successful logos for you to think about:

  • Simplicity is key. The best logos could be drawn from memory easily with a pen. Consider the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star in a circle or McDonald’s Golden Arches, for instance. We can reproduce the gist of them with just a few lines.
  • Great logos are unique. Your logo shouldn’t look anything like a competitor’s logo. That would turn customers off. Furthermore, you might face trademark infringement lawsuits if your logo is too similar to another organization’s.
  • They are recognizable in different formats and conditions. In other words, you could change the size or color of your logo greatly, and it would still be uniquely yours. Consider Nike’s Swoosh Color, size, contrasting background colors… none of that matters. You would recognize the Swoosh on a sneaker, a business card, or a billboard.
  • They are meaningful enough to be rehashed occasionally. Consider Pepsi-Cola’s globe logo. From time to time, a good logo will need to be updated to keep it fresh. But it must still be meaningful enough, and thoroughly associated with your brand, to endure a face-lift while still retaining symbolism to the audience.

You’ll be spending some significant resources to brand a new logo. Emulate the best and avoid the worst!

Logo “Dont’s” 

Some examples we’ll share here were once iconic. But times and technology are changing. You don’t want your new logo to look old.

  • Don’t write your name in script. Ford and Coca-Cola used their names written in script for logos, and they’re deeply outdated. They’re also difficult to read. Yes, we admit these two examples have made a mark in advertising history. We must acknowledge the tremendous advertising budgets both these companies have used for decades. But students today are not even learning to read or write in cursive, so the next generations will struggle to relate to these logos. These logos need to be overhauled, invalidating all those years of advertising.
  • Avoid slang. Slang changes too quickly. It is also potentially offensive to other groups or as the meaning of a slang term evolves. Before your first year’s ad budget is spent, your logo could be outdated and embarrassing.
  • Don’t use a logo from an online business card publisher. We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with discount business cards you can order online. They’re awesome. Just don’t spend bucks branding a little icon when 500 other businesses have access to it.

Why Quality Logo Design Matters to Us 

At Onstage, we publish luxury program books for high end performing arts venues. We also provide digital signage at luxury venues and our direct mailer, Artspac. It’s our job to produce the highest quality publications to present both the artists and your organization to an educated audience.

It would be a tragedy to present your company to this affluent audience with a sub-par logo. In advertising, we know that every exposure counts. We strive for excellence with our publications because our audience accepts nothing less. We’re not logo designers here, but we can point you in the right direction. If you’d like to talk about marketing to this coveted audience, contact us today!

Related Reading & Resources: Analyzing the 10 Most Iconic Logos of All Time

50 Creative Logos With Hidden Meanings

At the risk of sounding snobbish, we’re not going to beat around the bush. Our program books at Onstage will put your private school marketing campaigns directly into the hands of the uber-wealthy. Best of all, our advertising does more than just make a single impression. Our program books are kept as cherished souvenirs of a memorable night out. They’re conversation fodder among the elite, to be shared and re-hashed over Sunday brunch downtown.

The wealthiest decision-makers understand the value of an outstanding private education. These parents and grandparents have more than just assets. They’re liquid. We’ve got plenty of names for them – The 1%, Ladies Who Lunch, Old Money

Would you like to learn how to market to them? Read on! Then contact us to learn more.

Marketing to the Upper-Crust

Marketing to this elite audience is entirely different than any other target demographic. In fact, it’s a lot more like B2B marketing, as your audience is much smaller.

To these individuals, wealth isn’t even about their yearly salary. You can earn a quarter-million dollars a year and still not have two nickels to rub together.

When we say upper-crust, we mean the richest folks in the world. These fine people have at least $870,000 USD in earnings and assets right now. Some have millions, even many millions of dollars at their fingertips at this very moment.

We think this report by MarketingSherpa says it well: “Marketing to the super-rich is difficult because [they] live on gated estates and make purchasing decisions based on totally different ‘drivers’ than the rest of us.” While many of them are quite thrifty, they know the real value of education for their heirs. It’s their children and grandchildren who will manage their ongoing legacy, after all. 

Understanding This Segment

Effective marketing is all about understanding your target audience. So let’s get to know them better. The ultra-wealthy tend to have these things in common:

  • Nearly all of them use financial professionals and services for investment advice.
  • Most have graduated from college. Of those, many have completed post-graduate studies
  • They honor private education and treat it as essential.
  • Harvard graduates the most millionaires-by-inheritance.
  • The self-made wealthy graduate overwhelmingly from the University of Virginia and the University of Chicago.

And now, let’s look at the demographics of a typical performing arts patron:

  • Over 35% of audience members earn over $100,000 annually, compared to less than 6% of the entire U.S. population
  • Over 79% of patrons are 35 years of age or older. This mature market represents over 68% of the U.S. population alone
  • Over 38% of audience members hold a master’s or doctoral degree, compared to less than 10% of the entire U.S. population
  • Nearly 66% of performing arts ticket buyers are women
  • 61% say they are more likely to purchase from supporting businesses and brands

Coincidence? We think not!

Performing Arts Advertising Works Hand-in-Hand with Internet Advertising 

Do the ultra-wealthy use the internet? Of course! Albeit quite differently than the rest of us. The older generations of decision-makers, aged 45+, rarely use social media the same way we do. Sure, they have a cell phone and have mastered email. But they don’t spend hours tediously researching products for a good deal. They have people for that. This segment is more likely to appreciate a long-standing relationship, an excellent reputation, and personal referrals.

  • Reputation is everything when promoting to an affluent audience.

That’s not to say internet advertising has no place in private school advertising! Anecdotal evidence from our clients suggests that internet advertising can increase your overall number of education inquiries. Seal the deal with top of mind awareness as a leading institution.

In summary, this demographic knows full well how important a private education is to their legacy. They’re going to select a school based on a list handed to them by their personal assistant. Do you think they’re going to choose any old school their PA saw on Google? Or the one they considered at length with their friends, in a luxury program book, over Sunday brunch downtown.

Related Reading & Resources:

National Endowment for the Arts: American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater 1992

Investopedia: Are You in the Top One Percent of the World? The Top 10 Traits That All Billionaires Have In Common


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