His speech is over. He’s proud. What a great chance to pitch his new start-up in front of all these people. His elevator pitch was the last one of this session. All guests leave the sticky room quickly. Outside, selected drinks are offered. Food is set on several smaller tables throughout the room. Business angels, journalists, and businessmen wander about the area; drink in one hand, trying out delectable nibbles with the other. He gets a glass of white wine and approaches a group of gray-haired men. As he joins the group and politely greets them, the man standing opposite to him says: “Ah, you did the last presentation, right? Good speech! Your company name sounds funny… hyzloo. So, tell me, what do you do again? “
Clear and simple
One of the most difficult tasks is to formulate YOUR MESSAGE. It must be clear. It must be simple. I’m not the founder of hyzloo. Still, it took me also a lot of time to find the right words for our business too. I experienced the above-mentioned situation many times. No matter what you do, no matter how simple your business is, you need to re-think your message again and again.
Business angels and investors are bright people. So are other entrepreneurs and potential clients you meet. This is not about intelligence, this is about memory and attention. You have more or less 5 seconds to convince others. That’s it. Our brain efficiently selects and stores information that seems to be necessary to survive. How many business ideas would you remember after 20 presentations? Right, the one you understood right away.
What about your brand? Become a Master.
If your message is clear and simple, it is easy for every one’s memory to link your message with your company name. It might be better NOT to name your company hyzloo (except you’re a web 5.0 rocket-science algorith venture, whose product no one would understand anyway). No seriously, the best case is, if people know what you do by reading your company name. At least, it should be easy for each one’s memory to link your message with the name of the company.
Do a self check. What belt have you mastered with your message?
Most probably you don’t know the following brands. In my opinion, they are masters:
Supertext - we write, edit, and revise your text
Eat – order food online
Routerank – the fastes and cheapest way from A to B
What about famous brands?
Facebook, Apple and Salesforce have mastered the art of transposition. Their brand / product name IS the message. For example the iPhone. No explanation needed. “Wow, a Phone by Apple. I want this.”
Brand names that need some explanation:
Some brands like Wikipedia, Twitter and Digg have a catchy name. They describe their business model and that makes it easy to remember – be it fast encyclopedical information, be it tweats from the roofs, or be it digged out articles from the web-swamp.
A: “Flickr? What do you do again?”
B : “We store those photos online that you would like to share with others.”
A: “Ah, thanks.”
Brand names that really needed explanation:
It’s easy to critize branding, I know. I wanted to show that there are many other reasons beside branding that influence your success. All famous brands above have done well in telling their message. Flickr is easy to understand and has a useful interface. Craigslist is simple at its best and has be spread by the word-of-mouth. Hulu offers famous series for free … and on-demand … and its legal. How nice! An easy message.
Lesson learned from the brands above? Your brand name is not crucial. Talking to investors, customers, and media, be sure your telling a clear and simple message. The easier it is for somebody else to understand your message, the more likely they will tell other people – especially the media .