Archives for December 2013

What Are You Really Selling?

The words we use to describe our business, whether written or verbal, are key to letting potential customers know what we do. However, choosing the right words is an art form in itself. Sigmund Freud proved this himself, when he once described the loving art of kissing as…

sigmund-freud-med“A contact between the mucous membrane of the lips of the two people concerned, in spite of the fact that the parts of the body involved do not form part of the sexual apparatus but constitute the entrance to the digestive tract”

Too often we focus our company description by listing the products and services we provide, rather than the more effective angle of how we help our customers. Take these two examples…

1. John Lewis
As traditional as mince pies and jingle bells, each Christmas John Lewis launches a much hyped advert, backed up by a soundtrack that is almost guaranteed to provide the artist with a number one single. But what is the message that they’re portraying? Is it a list of their new ranges that are available? Is it the brands that they stock? No and no! Harry Wallop wrote in The Telegraph recently that ‘part of its ambition, in the words of Craig Inglis, its marketing director, is to “connect emotionally with our customers” ‘

2. Disneyland Paris
Every year we see a collection of multi-media adverts for Europe’s largest theme park, but rarely an image of one of their rides. Are they not proud of the services they provide? The answer to this question is, of course, yes they are. However, they don’t sing about their latest and greatest rides, but instead show people that visiting Disney is a memorable experience for the entire family.
To relate this to our own businesses, we need to look more at how our products or services benefit our customers, rather than what the offering does.

Try this exercise out to help…

1. Write down a list of words or phrases that describe the benefits of your products or services. You could even try answering this question from the perspective of the people that you’re targeting: What’s in it for me?

2. Use these words to create a sentence or two that you can then use to describe your business in networking events or on your website.

I’d love to hear your new business descriptions (and previous ones too) at or on twitter @edagoodman.