Telling Your Story in 30 Seconds

Today I was brainstorming TV commercial ideas for a local window company. When you decide to introduce yourself (your brand) to the world in a 30-second TV spot, some would say you put yourself in a bit of a predicament.

Why? Well, because you have a lot you want to tell the world, don’t you? How can it all be arranged neatly and expressed fully in 30 seconds?

That’s the problem I found myself tackling today. This particular window company doesn’t just make a run-of-the-mill window—it’s like the Rolls-Royce of windows. Attention to detail is of the utmost importance to this company, so every single part of that window is chosen and manufactured to be the best it can be. And that’s great, right? I mean, if I were in the market for windows, the details of how this window is manufactured and installed would really stand out to me. That is, if I understood it.

A lot of companies have this problem; they want to sell people on their product, beginning to end, from problem detection to solution, within the first nanosecond of introducing themselves. I can relate. After all, that would be a fantastic way to do business, but consumers don’t work that way.

There’s a problem, though. You have to remember, you’ve been immersed in this business and this industry for years. You know the lingo, the technicalities, the strengths of your own product, and the weaknesses of others’. You’ve been educated over time, but the consumer hasn’t yet had that opportunity.

If you’re thinking, “yeah, but I can educate them…really quick!” I’m sorry, that’s unrealistic. There’s no way you can divulge the learning that years of experience in an hour-long meeting, much less in a 30-second TV spot.

I have good news for you, though: you don’t have to. You have to see your connections with consumers as what they truly are; they’re relationships. As with any relationship, it’s going to take time to get to your end goal, which in this case is making them a happy customer.

Think of it this way. If you were a fellow on your first date with a girl, you wouldn’t tell her everything about you that you thought she would respond to. You wouldn’t say “I have a job, my own apartment, a car….I like cats, I have a healthy relationship with my mother, I’m romantic, I want to have children….” then ask her to marry you. That’d be absurd, because it’s an overload of information, and it may not even be true, as far as the person hearing it is concerned.

Instead, if you wanted to win the heart of your date, you would demonstrate your identity in a natural way. You’d show her the kind of person you are, and give clues about the value you can provide. Not only that, but you’d want to be entertaining while you do it.

It’s the exact same situation when you’re introducing your brand to a prospective customer. Even if every single aspect of your product is flabbergastingly amazing, you’re dooming yourself if you try to spew all of them out at once. Instead, demonstrate just a piece of what you can do for the person, in an interesting way.

The most engaging way you can give your consumer a teaser of your value is to tell a story. And it doesn’t even have to be a realistic one, as long as it coincides with the identity of your brand. What you’re trying to do is hook someone’s attention in regards to one major aspect of brand or product. Of course you could make it boring, but why not make it interesting?

In my blog post What is Branding and Why Does it Matter?, I talked about the ever-increasing noise of the marketplace, and how we must adapt to pierce through it.

You have to imagine there are ten other companies just like yours out there. What’s their idea for a TV spot? Probably the same as your first idea. How would they talk about their product? Probably the same way you’re talking about your product. In this case, paranoia is a good thing, because it will keep you from being predictable and “lost in the noise” within your market.

So tell a gripping story about how your product really solves a problem, and you’ll get the opportunity to explain the details of your product to someone who really needs to know.

Get a head start on branding your business.

The effectiveness of your brand determines the success of your business. Now more than ever, we buy things because we first trust the maker of those things. That trust is earned with a carefully crafted brand identity that is tailored to address the needs of your ideal customer. Let me help you get closer to the people that need your product.

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