Saturday, August 21, 2010

What's Your Message?

I was in a meeting not all that long ago when the speaker asked anyone from the audience to tell her their slogan and what their company stood for. A gentleman in front of me stood and said, “We offer the best product and the best service at the best price.”

I sat there mentally shaking my head. Even the speaker whizzed right over this one. What he said meant nothing. Everybody says that. I mean, who DOESN’T think their company offers the best product and the best service at the best price?

I see too many generic Claims to Fame in company names, slogans and taglines. I learned a long time ago that if you have to explain what your company does, then you have the wrong name or tagline.

Have you ever sat down and gone through your stack of business cards that you’ve collected? If you’re a good networker, you collect at least 25 to 100 cards a week. And like many of us, you throw them on your desk until you “have time” to put them away.

I’m guilty. I’m a procrastinator.

But when I do get around to sorting through them, it’s a weeding process. Bad business cards get thrown away. And what I mean by bad business cards is that I can’t tell what the company does by reading the business card. Catchy name, artsy logo, pretty colors. But what do you DO? Since I can’t tell what the company does, I see no value in keeping the card. What a waste of money and advertising.

I heard the story of a person looking for day care for her child. A friend asked her if she had checked out a place called “Teddy Bear Care”. The woman said, “I thought that was a sewing shop to repair torn teddy bears!” Nothing in the name of the business keyed this woman in to the fact that it was a day care center for children.

As you set up your company name and your marketing strategy, think like a consumer and not like an insider. When you introduce yourself and company, listen to the response from the other person. If the first thing out of their mouth is “And what is it that you do?”, then you don’t have a strong message …. or the right one.

1 comment:

  1. I am so grateful you posted this. This is information many people do not have a clue to. I just ordered and received my new business cards. I actually named my business from what people said to me every time they would see me. Is that a Toni cake? So, I happily named my business It's A Toni Cake, Inc. There is also a whimsical cake off to the side of my information. I hope this makes you proud and would not throw my card away, but place it in your filing system. BTW, I love your work and you witty words on the forums. I see it on CC. Again, thank you for sharing your wisdom.