How and Where to use Your Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch and a brand positioning statement are one and the same. These overarching, top-line brand messaging statements are designed to communicate the following important aspects of your business/organization to all of your constituents (internally and externally) – ideally in less than 35 words:
1. What type of business/organization you are
2. What products/services you offer
3. To whom you offer your products/services
4. The value of your products/services/expertise
5. What differentiates you from others?
Yes it is a lot to put into a 35-word statement, but it can be done. I successfully craft positioning statements all the time for clients.
Here are some examples of such statements:
XYZ is the fastest growing, longest-standing and 3rd largest global call recording provider offering the most secure, open and future-proof solutions for organizations to rapidly improve performance, optimize service, mitigate risk and maintain compliance. (34 words)
ABC is a technology company helping specialty physicians and medical billing companies increase revenue up to 40%, productivity up to 20%, and regulatory compliance up to 10% by streamlining and enhancing the patient billing process. (35 words)
123 is the world’s fastest-growing, minority-owned, midsized business consulting and IT solutions provider, arming organizations and systems integrators with breakthrough services, training, on-demand staffing and CTO-caliber leadership to optimize resources, reduce costs and accelerate performance. (35 words)
There are two main camps in the branding/marketing world with regard to how such elevator pitches are to be used. Some believe they are internal-facing-only statements, while others feel they can and should be used in customer-facing communications. I am in the third camp. I feel very strongly about their applicability both internally and externally. Let me show you what I mean.
Here are a number of different ways an elevator pitch can be used internally:
A. For internal operational alignment of staff – for example, if a positioning statement highlighted three types of organizations the business targets, then perhaps it makes sense to have three matching business or sales teams to cater to each group’s specific needs.
B. To communicate with all staff precisely what the company does and for whom, so they can be proud of whom they work for
C. Keep all staff singing from the same hymnal – armed with the company’s elevator pitch, each employee in the company knows exactly how to describe the company and its offerings to sales prospects if/when the need arises. What if a potential customer was stuck in an elevator with your office manager? See what I mean?
Here are a number of different ways an elevator pitch can be used externally:
A. As the opening paragraph on your website’s Home Page
B. As the opening paragraph on your website’s About Us page
C. In your company brochure
D. In your press releases at the end in the “About ______(company name)” section
E. On your tradeshow booth
F. In your telephone sales scripts
This is only a sample list; there are many more places an elevator pitch/positioning statement can add value to an organization, in both its internal-facing and external-facing efforts and activities.
For a mind map showing 56 places to use your elevator pitch and your key messages, take a look at my Brand Positioning Do it Yourself Toolkit. It is one of the 15 tools offered.