Picture this: You meet “Dave” at a networking event and you ask him what he does for a living. He gives you a grand, flowery, impressive speech about his business and his expertise. But you walk away confused. His business card didn’t really help you understand his business much better. But you’re intrigued, so you go to his website…which is flashy and gorgeous, and full of grandiose, profound quotes, yet still vague and mysterious.
Am I making this up? No. It’s happened a number of times. More than once I’ve chatted with business owners who talked on and on about their master vision. And after all that talking, I walked away thoroughly confused, not really sure how they make a living. So that led me to wonder,
What is it that you really do, and why do you have such a hard time articulating it?
As a business owner, it’s your job to communicate clearly what your business is about, who your clients are, and what you can do for them. Innocent bystanders shouldn’t have to wonder if you really are a business coach, a sales trainer, or a life coach. It should be clear.
Here is where yet another of those “brand” concepts comes in handy–this time the brand statement. A brand statement is simply a brief, clear and concise summary (usually one sentence) that tells the world what your business is about. Years ago, I worked with a business consultant who had me write up my brand statement. It wasn’t easy. But I worked on it, and little by little, I got it down to a couple of sentences (which I “live by” since this is my brand):
I specialize in brand image design. I provide graphic design for Ottawa service professionals and small business owners, from logo design, to marketing collateral.
There you go. It’s not fancy. It’s not glamorous. But it is simple, brief(ish) and easy to understand. It says who I work with, and specifically lists the service I provide. No mystery! Nobody has to wonder if I design websites or not. Or if I’m an interior designer.
Why do I care that business owners should have a clear brand, or brand statement?
I care because this kind of clarity makes it easy to market and create the visuals that will convey your message best. When I meet with a potential client who has a very clear picture of what his brand is, or is going to be in the near future, it makes it easier for me (or any design professional) to create a great brand image for the business. There is a lot less room for confusion. When that happens, then it’s easier to actually reach the intended audience. These days it’s hard enough to stand out from your competitors. Don’t make it harder by not providing a clear, accurate picture of what your business is, and what it can do for others.