One of the most painstaking tasks new entrepreneurs undertake, as well as business owners in the process of rebranding, is creating the right company description. Striking the right balance between practicality and originality in the description requires a thoughtful, strategic approach.
When creating this crucial part of your core messaging, it’s important to understand what resonates and stands out to today’s audiences in an age of information overload. The following steps will give you the proper motivation and mentality to craft a compelling company description.
Start With Why
In a well-known TEDx Talk, leadership expert and author Simon Sinek describes how great leaders inspire action. “As it turns out, all the great inspiring leaders and organizations of the world, whether it’s Apple or Martin Luthor King or the Wright Brothers, they all think, act and communicate in the exact same way. And it’s the complete opposite to everyone else,” said Sinek. He explains how average brands and individuals tell their stories by explaining what they do, how they do it and why they do it–in that order.
Sinek goes on to explain, “But the inspired leaders and the inspired organizations–regardless of their size, regardless of their industry–all think, act and communicate from the inside out.” These leaders and organizations tell their stories by first explaining why they do what they do, what gets them out of bed every morning and why people should care.
When writing your company description, identify what you’re fighting for, and articulate that from the very beginning. That’s the mentality it takes to distinguish your brand and inspire action.
Say What You Are
One of the most frustrating, enigmatic trends I see among small businesses, particularly those in professional services, is company websites that outright fail to say what the company is. The site will describe what they do, but nowhere does it define what they actually are.
Here’s an example: “At Company XYZ, we contribute to organizational success through our proven training and consulting processes, customized to help our clients reach their business goals. We identify opportunities to improve efficiencies and implement key business strategies needed to facilitate growth.” That sounds fine and good, but we still don’t know what they are.
Read it again, this time with a line added to define what they are: “Company XYZ is a management consulting firm for growing middle-market businesses. At Company XYZ, we contribute to organizational success through our proven training and consulting processes, customized to help our clients reach their business goals. We identify opportunities to improve efficiencies and implement key business strategies needed to facilitate growth.”
That one line eliminates confusion, making the description more powerful, direct and ultimately effective. While it might seem obvious to you, don’t assume your website visitors already know what you are or can quickly figure it out on their own.
Capture Your Culture and Values
Beyond the essential vision and background information, it’s important to open a window into your company culture and values. Lay out the distinguishing, uncompromising aspects of your brand.
HubSpot co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah took this to a new level by publicly sharing a 128-slide culture code. This culture code includes principles like “We share openly and are remarkably transparent” and “We dare to be different and question the status quo.”
This approach demonstrates trust, transparency and brand personality. While you don’t need to go the length HubSpot has gone, it’s important to include a few lines to define what’s important to your brand and what makes your culture unique.
By incorporating these steps, you’ll be able to create a meaningful company description; one that commands attention and separates your brand from the pack. Creating it doesn’t need to be stressful–just know what you’re fighting for, clearly define what you are and explain what’s important to you and your brand.