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Describe What You Do In 5 or 6 Words

We craft stories for clients — all  with a single focus being the right and best choice. They all have one thing in common: the message that shapes the identity of a company.

One of the best examples of a well defined message is MD Anderson Cancer Center. They “make cancer history”. It’s very clear from just a few words what they do. There is no guessing. Every message they send is about eliminating this horrible disease. Their websites, advertisements, signage, literature, and their logo with that strong line that strikes out the C word. They established their message first and from there they developed the rest of their marketing and business essentials.

LastingImpressionsMastIt’s natural to think that you start with a logo, and that is exactly what most companies do. But here’s a challenge: do you want to tell your story or let your clients make up their own? Developing your message first is the best way to ensure that your logo and other materials support your message.

How do you create a message that captures exactly who you are, what kind of service you provide, what value you bring, your work ethics, your mission, your passion? That is a lot to cover in a few words, which makes this process challenging for most.

You have to DEFINE what you do. Once you have that message your identity will be clear.

  • Southwest Airlines cares about service, safety, and their employees. They have heart.
  • Nike empowers the human spirit to achieve greatness. “If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
  • Folgers Coffee shares a commitment of offering consumers quality products that bring families together to share memorable meals and moments. You know the jingle, “The best part of waking up . . .”

As you go through the process of creating your message, don’t be surprised if you default to job descriptions; Engineering Services, Public Relations, Construction Management, etc. While succinct and familiar to you, this message doesn’t capture what makes your company great. An architecture firm uses the line “transforming business by design”. Their company names tells you they are architects, but their message tells you they are all about creating and re-creating the total image of the company. Much like what we do regularly for clients.

Your message may continue to evolve throughout the life of your business as priorities shift around the services you offer. And there is nothing wrong with that as long as you know how to tell others what you can do for them.

It isn’t uncommon to explore your message several time in the life of your company. For instance, our brand message has been:

“Giba Group is a virtual creative agency that develops communication plans and online environments for clients in design+build industries and health care markets.”

There are a couple of things that don’t work here: 1) It’s too long and not easy to remember, even though THIS IS WHAT WE DO; and 2) Blank stares are common place when the words “virtual creative agency” come flying out. This might tell people HOW we work, but that isn’t really relevant to solving their communication problems. It’s time to tweak it a little.

This is a big process and it can be really challenging. Call us if you need help.

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