How to Pitch a Great Brand Story in 10 Seconds or Less
April 25, 2018 by Jackie McDonald
Those in Hollywood know it all too well: the brand story told in 10 seconds or less. Step into any elevator in the LA area, and you may be confronted with a budding director, producer or movie mogul pitching their next project.
It is fittingly known as the elevator pitch, and it is part and parcel of life in Hollywood. But there is much more to the elevator pitch than movies and TV shows – entrepreneurs and business owners can adapt this unique form of brand storytelling to their own needs.
Whether you are trying to pin down financing for a new startup, selling shares in their privately held companies or generating buzz for your latest products and services, the most successful business owners and entrepreneurs have learned the art of the elevator pitch.
A Short Window of Time
Those experienced business owners and entrepreneurs know that they only have so much time to tell the stories of their brands. Whether that time is more or less than 10 seconds is not as important as the pitch itself, but brevity is undoubtedly an advantage.
Develop a Simplified Approach
It is all too easy for business owners and entrepreneurs to get lost in the weeds, so caught up in the minutiae of their enterprises that they lose sight of the big picture. This tendency to over-complicate what should be simple is indeed understandable, but it is not conducive to a successful 10-second pitch.
Business owners can overcome this tendency by breaking their operations down to the simplest possible explanation. When pitching their businesses and telling their brand stories, entrepreneurs should try to simplify their description and assume the person on the other end knows nothing about the product.
Answering the “what’s in it for me” question is another useful tactic for powerful brand storytelling. The buyer of a software package does not care about user interfaces and APIs; they want the product to work and make their lives easier. Consumers in line to buy the latest smartphone do not care about the ins and outs of the operating system, but they do want to know their calls will connect promptly, their internet connections will be fast, and their text messages delivered promptly.
Focus on Benefits, Not Features
When telling the stories of their brands and their businesses, entrepreneurs should focus on benefits, not merely provide a list of features. This goes back to the “what’s in it for me” question, and the focus on consumer benefits is one of the key structures of brand storytelling.
By focusing on features instead of benefits, the brand story is automatically simplified and put into a format that anyone can understand. The listener does not have to be an IT expert, or a telecommunications professional, to understand the benefits of the new software package or smartphone on offer. They just need to know what’s in it for them, and that is a question a 10-second pitch can answer.
Tell a Personal Story
If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, the story of your brand is essentially your story. If you want to make a compelling 10-second pitch, start by telling your own story.
What prompted you to start your new business? Which unmet needs did you hope to address? Was your family onboard from the beginning, or did they require some convincing? What have you learned through the process, and what mistakes did you make along the way? These brand stories are compelling, and making it personal can make that storytelling far more effective.
Telling the story of your brand should not be difficult. After all, you have been living and sleeping your business ever since its inception. Telling its story means invoking the same level of passion that made you start the firm in the first place, and once you boil it down to its simplest elements, the brand storytelling process should flow much more naturally.