In a world that is increasingly cluttered, complex, and confusing, the organization that figures out how to simplify its message stands to win. Think about the most memorable ad slogans that you can recall: “Just Do It,” “Tastes Great, Less Filling,” “Live Better, Save Money,” “We Do Chicken Right.”
Coming up with just the right combination of a few words that adequately conveys who you are, what you offer, who you are trying to serve, how you are different from your competition, and what benefit you bring is not an easy task.
We challenge our author clients to answer five key questions. I want to share three of these questions with you here: Who is your target audience? What benefits do you offer? What is unique or distinctive about what you do? Before you can create your amazing, award-winning slogan or brand promise, back up and answer as clearly and thoughtfully as you can these three questions:
- Who is your primary audience? If you are writing a book, who are your most likely readers? Now don’t tell me “everybody” … chances are if you think you are appealing to everybody, you’ll wind up attracting nobody. Think about the typical person to whom you are writing—their age, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, etc. The more specific you are the better. You may even have a primary audience and a secondary audience in mind.
- What benefits do you offer? You know what your service, your product, or your book is about, but now you need to focus not on the message but on how what you offer will help your audience. If you write a book, why would people want to plunk down $15-$20 of their hard-earned lunch money to read what you have to say when they don’t know you? How will your message help make their lives better? Will they be thinner, smarter, richer, happier, more satisfied, or have more friends as a result of connecting with you? If so, how? Why? Take time to unpack the answers to these questions.
- What is unique about your product or service? What are you going to say that hasn’t been said before, or how are you going to say it differently? What makes your book compelling to read, your store a better place to shop, your service better than the hundreds of other organizations that offer a comparable service? Write your “elevator speech”—that one or two sentence summary that best describes exactly what you’re company is about, who it’s for, and how it will help the end user.
Once you have some thoughtful paragraphs answering each of these three questions, now start working on how to boil these paragraphs into sentences. Then work on summarizing those sentences into one sentence and ultimately into a phrase. Being able to simplify your message in a way that resonates with your audience is a critical aspect around which you can build an effective and enduring marketing strategy.
Need help answering these questions? We’re here to help. Give us a call at 407-563-4806.