“How do we describe what we do in a nutshell?” This is a question often asked by people in business. Directors, owners and managers alike can spend hours discussing and debating their nutshell definition, also known as an elevator pitch. But for many, the answer can be elusive.
Surely finding the words to explain what your company offers, and to whom, should be easy? Perhaps if we all offered one type of service, to one type of client, it might be. But that’s not the case. Many businesses operate in a number of industries, building relationships with all types of clients, and providing unique solutions to clients’ problems. As a result, it’s becoming harder and harder to nail the elevator pitch.
Take, for example, HGB’s longstanding client IT Partners. For many years IT Partners had struggled to find a way to describe what they do in a compelling, concise and customer-centric way.
“We don’t offer a one-size fits all service to clients, and we don’t work only in one type of industry. If you’d asked everyone in the leadership team what the IT Partners elevator pitch was, you would have heard vastly different answers” explains IT Partners managing director Andrew Johnson.
IT Partners asked HGB to help them develop an elevator pitch that could be used by everyone at IT Partners, as well as on the website and in marketing and communications material.
“We wanted everyone to be singing from the same song sheet and sharing the same key messages, regardless of who we were talking to and what their challenges might be,” says Andrew.
HGB took a slightly different approach to helping uncover IT Partner’s elevator pitch. Director Kylie Harcourt explains: “A lot of the time, businesses try to develop an elevator pitch that tells people what they do. The problem with this is, you can end up with a really long list of services. And lists are boring. You won’t win anyone over with a list.”
“If you think of an elevator pitch in the literal sense, you have 20 or 30 seconds to deliver a message. You need that message to be memorable, engaging, and inspiring,” says HGB’s creative director, Kylie Harcourt.
HGB believes that marketing and communications is most successful when it starts with why you exist – your core purpose and your values, rather than what you do.
“We wanted to help IT Partners craft an elevator pitch based around their core purpose. This is what inspires people – this is what people remember,” says Kylie.
“We also wanted to develop a collection of key messages that they could use to communicate why they exist, what they do, and who they can help.”
HGB led a workshop with the IT Partners leadership team, asking everyone in the team a series of questions about their personal values, attributes and beliefs, as well as questions about IT Partners.
“Some really strong themes came through in the responses. Even though they were different, they had a lot in common. The language used by the leadership team also gave us a really clear idea about the brand voice of IT Partners,” says Kylie.
With the information from the workshop, HGB’s strategic marketing consultants and copywriters worked together to create an overall elevator pitch and a collection of key messages.
“The elevator pitch spoke to the heart and soul of IT Partners, and the supporting key messages gave more detail about what they do and for who. We presented this to the team as a resource that they can adapt and use for proposals, website copy, internal communications and marketing collateral.”