What sets your brand apart from competitors? In a business environment that is ever-growing and very congested, it’s important to learn how to make your brand stand out above others. To make it through the clutter, you have to make it as easy as possible for your consumer. You have to quickly help them understand how you can solve their problems. Author and CEO Donald Miller highlights the importance of simplicity as he says, “the clearest communicator will wins.”
To build on Donald’s Miller very bold statement, he has outlined a great exercise called the Grunt Test that we love to use with our clients to simplify any message that goes out:
- What is it that you offer? What pro
duct or service are you offering?
- How will it make my life better? What problem does your product/service solve?
- What do I need to do to buy it? What’s the next step you want the consumer to take?
Going through these questions allows you to begin making your product or service more appealing as you are keeping the consumers’ needs in mind.
Creator of the lightbulb, phonograph and owner of a multitude of patents, Thomas Edison solidified himself as an innovator who could be trusted in the public eye. “Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent,” Edison said. He prioritized the wants and needs of consumers, which helped him develop a strong relationship with them. He understood that the clearest communicator always wins by putting himself in the consumers’ shoes in a similar process to Miller’s Grunt Test.
This notoriety is ultimately what helped boost him in the “War of the Currents” in the late 1800s in the battle between AC currents, invented by Nikola Tesla and DC currents, invented by Edison. His clear communication and relationship with the public led people to trust his DC currents for years, even though Tesla’s AC currents proved to be more successful in the end.
To highlight something a little more current, Apple is also a tried and true example of the success of a simple messaging strategy. In its early days, Apple struggled due to its information-heavy advertisements. In 1983, Apple ran a nine-page ad in the New York Times that listed the functions and features of the Macintosh Plus computer. These advertisements were unclear and very overwhelming for consumers. The complexity of the advertisements was not attracting customers and Apple as a company was struggling. Ultimately, Steve Jobs was fired from Apple.
Upon his departure from Apple, Steve Jobs became a founding partner at Pixar Animation Studios. While at Pixar, he learned how to connect with consumers from an emotional aspect. He was then asked to return to Apple and brought with him new storytelling knowledge. He went on to transform the way Apple advertised and released a new ad campaign featuring only two words: “Think different.” With this campaign, Steve Jobs simplified and changed the way we think about technology. Instead of complex features and tools, this messaging focused on how the product will empower you to be different and how you’ll do things you’ve never thought about before. It sits in the opportunity of emotion and ultimately streamlined the message by cutting out all the clutter.
We can learn from Steve Jobs and Apple by transforming our content. At Rock Paper Scissors, we sit with clients every day working through this transformation, and like Thomas Edison created something we could sell that our clients needed. We have implemented this strategy into our Messaging Workshops to help clients create a clear and simple message that resonates with their audience. However, this is a transformation, and just like Apple, it’s important to note that it will not happen overnight. We consistently work together to learn what it takes to help our clients produce clear, effective messages that allow them to communicate effectively with their audiences.
Ready to be the next Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs by transforming your content and to be the clearest communicator? We can help! Contact us to request a Messaging Workshop.
Not sure if a Messaging Workshop is what you need? Request a marketing consultation to share with us where you are, what you’re currently doing, and where you want to go and we’ll collaborate with you to help you get to where you want to be.