Defining your business in three words

defining your brand
2 minutes read / Branding / Business

When it comes to telling people about your business, it always helps to be able to deliver a summary in just a few words. For example, Nike’s company mantra is ‘Authentic Athletic Performance’ – not only do these three words give you a clear idea of the service the brand provide and their aims, it is simple, memorable and will stick with people.

Having these definitions helps to create an easy point of reference to help guide company decisions across the board. These words can then be shared with investors, shown to customers or used by employees. So how do you find words to define your business? Many businesses, especially ones that provide a number of services or products, find it hard to narrow down their business to three words.

When considering what words you should use to define your business, you first need to assess your company values. What does your company stand for? What culture does it encompass? What’s your vision? Providing an accurate representation is important, but you also need to choose buzzwords which get people hyped up about your business and make it stand out.

What you should consider…

  • Keep a customer focus – business definitions should be created with your customers in mind. Having simple descriptions of your company are a good way of selling your company, increasing awareness of your brand and reassuring your customers that you’re trustworthy. If a customer has confidence and trust in you, then they are much more likely to buy your product or service.
  • Don’t make your words too sales focused – Technical vocabulary may be crucial for your business, but it isn’t an effective way of creating an emotional attachment or creating interest in your band. Google’s motto ‘don’t be evil’ is unique and characteristic of a public representation of the brand.
  • Make it unique – Don’t use words that everyone else uses. It could make you blend in, rather than stand out from your competition. Look at your competitors and see what they are doing, and then try and do something different. You have to be more than just ‘creative’ and ‘innovative’ to get ahead of the crowd.
  • Take your time – Thinking of three words to define your business can be difficult, and it should take time. These three words should be held like a coat of arms for your business, defining your operations and public image for years at a time. Rather than simply taking the easy route and plucking words out of a hat, take time to make each word count.
  • Keep it simple – If you are having trouble trying to narrow your complex business down, don’t be sneaky and use the longest words you can. Keep it simple. Each word is important, but the end result should be three words which flow together to give a clear impression of your company to anyone who reads them.

How do I go about this?

Once you’ve assessed what your company values and vision are, have an ideas session with your staff to see what they think is most effective, and trial using your top 10 words before finalising your final three. You could get your staff to pick a word to describe your company and create a word cloud to get a visual representation of how they would describe the business, making the decision process a little easier.

Use words that make your business sound like a company you’d want to do business with yourself; if you feel like you could, then you’re on the right track.

What’s next?

Overall, there aren’t any correct and incorrect words to use when you are deciding what to describe your business as. The key is to choose words that are inspirational, genuine and aspirational, showing the direction you want to go in, and the direction you’ve come from. Think of words to use that your target market will positively react to when searching for a product / service in your industry.

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