All businesses, regardless of your industry seek growth. Being able to tell your story in a way to attract and keep customers is essential. When we think of stories, we think of characters, protagonists, villains, and settings. A good story always has the hero of the story. The hero of your business is your customers. Being able to tell your story will set you apart from the competition.
You need to be able to clearly communicate your “Why”. Why should consumers do business with you? If you haven’t clarified your message, customers won’t listen. For example, Apple did not invent the MP3 Player, but when they marketed the iPod the solved a problem. They told the consumer they can give them 1000 songs in their pocket. This would eliminate the Walkman or Discman, the need to carry around bulky and numerous discs.
It is quite simple: Clarify your message to grow your company.
Everyone regardless of your position is an Ambassador for the company you work for. If you or your team cannot tell your customers who you are and what you sell in products or services consumers will tune you out.
When you are building your story framework, according to Donald Mills the author of “Building A Story Brand” emphasizes the importance of having your entire team repeat your company’s message in such a way that it is compelling. This is essentially your elevator pitch. Today with the noise, distractions that surround us we only have five (5) seconds to capture consumers’ attention.
Mills outlines common mistakes that companies make and this costs you, customers.
- Companies fail to focus on the aspects of their offer. What problem does it solve?
- How will your product or service make the consumers’ life easier?
- Too much random information.
- Keep the message short and simple.
- People are looking for brands that can help them survive and thrive.
If you confuse, you’ll lose. Clarify your message:
People buy products they can understand the fastest. You need to tell why your product is a tool to make their life easier. You can do this by using the 5 Second Test:
- What do you offer?
- How will it make my life better?
- What do I need to buy it?
Customers want a product or service that will solve a problem that has disrupted their lives. By talking about the problems, it will deepen their interest. Empathizing with customers creates a bond of trust. People trust those who understand them. Using phrases like “we understand how it feels to…” or “nobody should have to experience…”, “Like you, we are frustrated by…” build trust and will make people pause to listen.
The Local Non-profit company Sleep in Heavenly Peace has the simple message “Bunks across America”. No kid sleeps on the floor in our town. They believe all children deserve a safe, comfortable place to sleep. Their simple message is attracting chapters and volunteers all across North America.
In our busy, chaotic world, we tend to scan more and read less. The fewer the words you use the more likely it is that people will take the time to read them. Take the fluff out. When I worked at a college in Canada I was on a special project and the dean of my department told me that he loved my emails. He clarified by saying that he was able to get all the information he needed in the two sentences I wrote. Being able to cut out the fluff and communicate clearly is a skill that needs constant attention.
When you are working on your pitch being clear and concise meaning do not ramble. Clarifying your message will grow your message. Remember to answer the questions: What do you offer? What problem will it solve? How will it make consumers’ lives better?
By, Cheryl Viola, Executive Director
Building a Storybrand [Video]. (2018, December 4). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUAWqsJFWkg
Miller, D. (2017). Building a StoryBrand: Clarify your message so customers will listen. HarperCollins Leadership.
Pigott, T. (2019, February 5). 3 steps to clarify your message. Retrieved from https://www.lonefircreative.com/blog/3-steps-to-clarify-your-message