Archives for posts with tag: branding

Every company, and every individual, reaches a point of stepping back and needing a reboot.

Sometimes, it’s a full-on re-start – more often, it’s a re-evaluation leading to a change in direction.

Either way, there’s one place, and one place ONLY, to start.

I am/We are unique. Everything else has to flow from that.

As an individual, your utterly unique DNA, your unmatched personal experiences, and your very particular strengths suit you to contribute in ways that no-one else can. And, a company is a collection of individuals with a track record of unique successes and failures that point to specific areas of value that no-one else can add in quite the same way.

We all know this; but the world around us constantly seeks to force into a commodity box.

“We’re looking for an Account Manager with these attributes.” How do I fit into their box?

“We need a vendor who can fulfill this set of requirements.” How do we match up to their list?

Everyone approaches the marketplace with their specific needs in mind. We should approach life and business in a similar way – with our unique and differentiating abilities at the forefront.

If we’re going to gain clarity, as companies and as individuals, we have to step back from the forces that put us in reactive mode, and instead, take a very pro-active look at who we are. Our unique DNA, qualities, capacities, values, and offerings.

Clear direction and a clear message do not start with what others devise. The first step of a courageous reboot is discovering and embracing your uniqueness.

The process starts with the blank canvas of your own unique About page. You are unique – but do you see it clearly? And know how to express it?

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Start Here: Hire Steve Woodruff for Clarity Therapy

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I was reading one of the typical articles about crafting your elevator speech – you know the one-minute summary of who you are, what you do, the features and benefits, etc.

I get the idea, but that’s about 50 seconds and 35 floors too long. People don’t have the headspace to absorb, process, and remember all that. And if they can’t remember it simply, how can they pass a referral along?

The answer: word pictures.

I remember talking to Shannon Whitley last year about the various creative programming projects he’s worked on, including all kinds of interfaces to other platforms. I blurted out, “Oh – so you’re the API Guy!”

That’s a very short compass of words, which can be uttered before the elevator door even closes. If you need help with anything to do with APIs, Shannon is THE go-to expert. Period. Memorable. Refer-able.

Let’s take a glance over at my tweetstream. There’s…C.C. Chapman. Now C.C. is a challenge, because he does so many different things well – all having to do with the use of media (all forms) in marketing. To my mind, he’s like a one-man marketing prism, a stained-glass window of media. But that doesn’t quite capture the consulting and expertise factor. The pushing-the-envelope stuff that’s always been part of his approach. Maybe he’s more of a Media Navigator. Have to think about that one more…

Then there’s my friend Sarah Morgan, who works in the pharma sphere (we were among the first pharma social media troublemakers), but that’s not what her blogging is about. Her Twitter bio states, “Bascially, I write.” – but that’s not really descriptive enough of Sarah. She writes heart-words.

Dan Rockwell (@LeadershipFreak) and I just exchanged messages. I could see him getting into an elevator with someone, and respond to the inevitable “What do you do?” question with three words: “I speak leader.”

These short, memorable expressions create images in the minds of others. They are meant to convey, not just information, but word pictures. You can spend thousands on advertising, but there is nothing as powerful as a well-chosen word picture.

Instead of thinking elevator pitch, think memory dart.

That’s what will make you stick, when everyone else is forgotten.

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Hire Steve Woodruff for Clarity Therapy

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