Do the 30-Second Elevator Pitch in 15 or Less

A colleague of mine recently published an article regarding brand strategy and posed this question: Can you state your company’s brand position in one sentence? She suggests that if you can’t, then you don’t have one. Harsh, but painfully true, words from corporate strategist Rhonda Robinson.

We’ve all heard of elevator pitches and how important they are, a kind of metaphor for giving a 30-second speech that answers the following questions for a potential client:

  1. What is your company?
  2. What does your company do?
  3. Whom does your company do it for?
  4. Why do they care or what’s in it for them?
  5. Why is your company different?2

Have you ever actually tried writing, memorizing and delivering an elevator speech? I have and it’s awkward. It’s like speaking the About Us page of your website. It feels like a commercial, feels forced, and feels long.

In her article, Robinson continues the probing, “Ask yourself this question: If you were given 15 seconds [of] free airtime on Super Bowl Sunday to state what your business is about, what would you say? It’s a high dollar, one-time shot at convincing someone to make you their company of choice.”

In this tweet-happy world of 140 characters and shrinking attention spans, I like the idea of a one sentence, 15-second brand position that tries to succinctly answer those five questions without being quite so obvious.

So I’m working on JP’s:

JP Marketing provides strategic and creative marketing services to family businesses that are focused on growth, and who share our value system.

What do we do? Provide strategic and creative marketing services
Whom do we do it for? Family businesses
What’s in it for them? Implied growth
Why are we different? We do it with value

That’s mine. What’s yours?

By Jane Olvera Quebe
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