In Portland, Maine I am involved with several groups that help businesses grow.
One that runs a bit under the radar is House of Genius. These monthly sessions are closed to the public to protect the confidentiality of the entrepreneurs, but as part of the organizing team, I get to see all the business owners present themselves. Each entrepreneur has 5 minutes to give background information about their company and ask for help with a specific issue they are having.
It has been eye-opening for me to see how many entrepreneurs struggle to distill makes their product or service unique. Many have trouble quickly tell the story of why their business is important in the marketplace.
The ability to position one’s brand seems to fall under “marketing”, but even if the business owner is asking about financing, operations, or management this inability to quickly articulate a core message shows just how fuzzy they are about the direction their business is going.
Business owners need to practice telling a succinct and compelling story of why their brand matters.
Practice telling the story of your product or service
- The way you explain it to someone in your industry is different from how you explain it to a stranger at a cocktail party.
- The way you explain it when you have thirty seconds is different then when you have ten minutes.
- The way you explain it in only words is different when you have visuals to support you.
- The way you explain it in writing is different than in spoken words.
But as you practice all these variations you’ll see that certain facts, pains, metaphors or stories that always resonate. These should form the core of your message. These are the kernels should become central to brand from naming, visual identity to how you build your service or market your product.
If you are unable to tell a compelling story of why your brand matters, you cannot expect anyone to notice or care about your product or service.