Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 29, 2008
I went to a presentation here in the Syracuse area today for a series called “Talking Business: A Conversation With…” Basically it’s a monthly interview series with local business people who’ve done well. They’re interviewed by a moderator, then questions are allowed to be asked by the audience.
Today’s presenter was a gentleman named J. Sean Branagan, president of a company called Communigration, which is a PR & marketing firm for technology companies.
I love going to things like this, but especially today I enjoyed it because he talked about his concepts of marketing for small businesses. This is what he does, but those small businesses have very expensive and specific technology, which of course means he’s competing against fewer people for very big dollars, and he has to find ways of standing out from the crowd while still addressing the potential clients needs.
He talked about his process for coming up with the right message to get across. He starts out by writing a 50 word statement of some kind. Then he whittles that down to 25 words. Next he whittles it down to 10 words, and finally he shoots for 3 or 4 words that fully capture just what a company does. His thought is that if you can come up with a way to tell people what you can do for them with a super short statement, and are ready to back it up with more information once you’ve hooked them, then you’ll succeed where other businesses that do what you do fail.
It makes a lot of sense, especially if you pay attention to TV commercials. Nike’s “Just Do It” is probably one of the best known 3-word phrases in the world today. “Coke Adds Life” was one of my favorites from way back in the day. One of our local community colleges has the phrase “We Build Futures” that’s very popular. Remember State Farm Insurance, “Like A Good Neighbor”? And even Mazda’s “Zoom Zoom” stands out; you know what the commercial is about as soon as you hear that, even if you never hear the name of the product.
Can this same model work with an online business? Unfortunately, no one thought to ask this question, including me, while he was up there. I tend to believe that branding of some fashion is imperative to helping one establish an identity of some sort, though. Google’s first page is unique with only their name; so is Yahoo’s. YouTube might have been as popular a site if it had been called “Upload Your Movies”, but it might have been overlooked also. Trying to find a way to capture the eyes and attention of a visitor to your site just may help them stay for a little while, and if it does, you’ll have the opportunity to make money in some fashion, and that’s never a bad thing.
It was a wonderful presentation, and it got me thinking more and more about what I can possibly do to make my sites visually more interesting, as well as finding something more to captivate their eyes. I’m Just Sharing,… heck, I still like that!