Distilling out a clear message to capture your brand can be difficult and expensive to achieve.
Experts in branding can take months to get this together and at very high costs.
But what small business can afford that approach?
Here’s a few quick questions to help you start to form not only your brand’s message, but also a way to communicate it effectively.
1. What are the problems the services and products you’re selling are attempting to solve?
This is a principle Donald Miller suggests will really hit home with your audience. Make sure you’re clearly addressing the external, internal and philosophical problems solved for your customers. Miller’s example is that of Tesla: which solves the need for a car (external), a want to be an early adopter of technology (internal), and helps the environment (philosophical).
Every potential buyer, consciously or unconsciously, will only be happy buying a product again and again if there’s a need on all three fronts being met.
List as many as you can, but highlight just one from each category. These form the main selling points for your product or service to communicate to your customers.
2. What’s the story behind your business?
This is NOT your founding story. This is the story Donald Miller talks about: Who’s the main character (hint: your customer), what problems do they run into, who provides the help, what’s the plan that will get them through, what forces them into action, what’s the consequences of failure, and what are the rewards of success?
What does that story look like for your business? Condense it down to a sentence on each element of the story and you’re well on your way to an effective story for your brand!
3. What’s your one-liner?
So you’ve got a story. It’s pretty succinct. But it’s never going to fit on your ads, in your answer to the inevitable question “what does your business actually do?”, and it’s not going to create sparks in an elevator pitch. Time to make it a one-liner that captures the essence of your business!
Start with your story and think about how it can be shortened to 5-10 words or less, but still capture that one idea or movement your business is here to make reality. The shorter the better. Focus on what captures the spirit of your business and the why behind the mission.
Here’s some well-known inspirations to get your creative juices flowing:
Think Different (Apple)
Just Do It (Nike)
There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard (MasterCard)
Quality never goes out of style (Levi’s)
Eat Fresh (Subway)
Have a break. Have a KitKat (KitKat)
Yes We Can (2008 Obama presidential campaign)