16 for ’16:  A Checklist to Tell Your Business Story Better - Part One

Every day we’re inundated with new marketing ideas promising to change our world.  We can’t possibly try them all, so we try a few.  But when we look back at our marketing messages – our business story – we realize we’ve been saying the same thing for years.  Time out.  Why not resolve this year to say something different?  Something better.  Back to basics.

We want to suggest 16 steps – not all easy, but all important – for recharging your company’s business story.  You don’t need to do them all, but checking off even a few of them will make a big difference.  Best of all, none of these actions involve revolutionary software in the cloud.  In fact, you’ll find these suggestions quite down-to-earth.

Here are the first eight tips:

  1. Rediscover your business story.  Start from scratch with a bit of research.  Ask yourself, ask employees, ask customers.  What is your history and heritage?  What is your true value proposition?
  2. Remind yourself of your competitors’ business stories.  What are your competitors’ offerings and how are they positioned?  Where do they have a leg up and where is there still opportunity or “white space?”
  3. Track the key trends impacting your business and the industries you serve.  What is happening in macroeconomics, technology and innovation? What’s new that fits with you and what doesn’t?  What new segments should you target or not target?
  4. Revise your messaging.   Update the words you use to describe your company and its offerings.  Make sure it’s authentic to you, speaks to your audience and carves out a unique space.  Develop a new elevator pitch.
  5. Update your brand elements to support the messaging.  If you’re a B2B company, your communications should appear updated, well designed and have personality.  But you don’t have to try to win creative awards.  You need to win customers.
  6. Create a new tagline.  The risk is that taglines can sound generic or downright cheesy.  But chosen wisely, taglines carry considerable power.  What few words could sum up your business and the value you bring?
  7. Refresh your website if you did not do so last year.  By now your site should have responsive design or else it’s hard to navigate on a phone and Google is punishing your rank.  Does your site express the clean, crisp messaging and images of your updated brand position?
  8. Explain the creation story of your company on your website.  History can be undervalued internally.  But highlighting how your company came to be and the people behind it will give your company authenticity and credibility, connecting with prospects.

These suggestions are just the start, establishing a foundation of the right words, tone, look and feel for your business communications.  In the next installment, we’ll cover the rest of the promised “16 for ’16.”  In the meantime, don’t hesitate to email me or give me a call to chat about any of these points.  Feel free to explore my other blog posts.  Finally, please check out my quick video on this topic by clicking the frame below.  Happy New Year!


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