As marketers and product managers, the words we use are our most important tools. So, why is it that many times the words are never written down?
- You’re at a network reception. A prospect asks, “tell me about your new product”. What do you say?
- Your sales reps are setting up appointments to introduce your new product. What do they say?
- Your CEO is asked to keynote an important conference. What should she say?
When your employees have to make up their own version of your product story, you are bound for disappointment. Luckily, there’s a simple and practical alternative. The “Message Box” is a fast, fun, and enlightening technique marketers are using to document their messaging strategy and produce the perfect elevator pitch.
If you think about, many of the stories we love follow a simple literary formula. And this has been true for thousands of years. You can find this formula in biblical stories, Greek methodology, and today’s popular fiction. Consider this:
- Something happens to upset the status quo, creating dramatic tension and provoking an emotional response.
- Our hero works to restore balance.
- Ultimately he or she prevails.
- Life returns to normal or better than normal.
This formula works because we all identify with our heroes. We are drawn to them. And when they win, we win.
So, why shouldn’t this formula also apply to our business stories?
The next time you are at a network reception, listen to how other people talk about their products. Chances are that the most interesting stories actually focus on the customer, not the product. That’s not an accident. It’s because they’ve followed the Message Box technique for business storytelling.
There’s a lot more to the Message Box technique, and I’ve turned it into an online course. In 90-minutes you can master the technique and learn how to engage your team to define a more effective messaging strategy and elevator pitch. I invite you to check it out and watch the overview video.