September 4th, 2012   /   Posted by Natalie Nathanson   /   Category: All, Messaging & Positioning   /   Topics: ,

Hiking in Flip Flops: Getting your Employees on Message


Flipflops

If we asked each employee at your startup, “what does your company do?” how many different responses would we get? Chances are you’d get as many responses as there are employees.

​It’s hard enough for startups to build awareness in today’s crowded market. But if on top of that, each person in your firm is telling a slightly different story, you have set yourself up for an uphill hike in flip flops.

“We just don’t have the time” is the biggest objection we hear. Building (and maintaining) even a barebones company messaging doc far outweighs the perceived time savings. Here’s why you should invest the time:

  • Keeps all employees and partners on message. Startups tweak and evolve their message often (and that is valuable to some extent), but if it’s not managed correctly, you’ll be left with remnants of outdated messaging long after you find out it didn’t resonate.
  • Provides a forcing function to articulate your value to the market. The exercise itself can yield new insights and surface important conversations.
  • Allows you to be in control of how your company is perceived, instead of being controlled by it. Once a message is out in the market, it’s hard to retract.
  • Enables you to confirm your message resonates. Provides a tool to help vet your value proposition with customers, advisors, and partners.
  • Creates efficiencies. Eliminates the need to reinvent the wheel each time a journalist or prospect asks for an overview of what you do.

Once you’re on board to create a messaging document, you need to decide what to include and how detailed you want to get. At the most basic level, your messaging framework should include a few sentences in each area to answer:

  • What does my company offer?
  • Who do we serve?
  • What do our customers buy?
  • How are we different from our competitors? (Why are we better? What’s our proof?)
  • Do we have any catch phrases, taglines, or analogies that help explain any of the above?

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To see an example messaging framework or for a complimentary consultation to determine the best approach for messaging development for your firm, please contact us today.

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