Elevator Pitch

October 05, 2011
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How would you describe your company, product, or service? Specifically, how would you describe it to a potential customer or investor if you only had 30 seconds or a minute? The answer to that question is the elevator pitch or elevator statement.

Not to be confused with a mission or a vision statement, an elevator pitch succinctly summarize your business. One way to organize your thoughts and consider your elevator pitch is with Geoffrey Moore’s template, from his book Crossing the Chasm:

  1. For (target customers)
  2. Who are dissatisfied with (the current market alternative)
  3. Our product is a (product category)
  4. That provides (key problem-solving capability).
  5. Unlike (the product alternative),
  6. Our product (describe the key product features).

Notice how, unlike with a mission statement, this elevator pitch is customer-focused. It describes how the product solves a problem for a particular group of customers, as well as the benefits of the product. This is similar to the concept in Theodore Levitt's "Marketing Myopia," in which he puts forth the idea that businesses need to think about their products in terms of what it gives the customer. Think about what Charles Revson said about his product, "In the factory we make cosmetics; in the drugstore we sell hope."

Of course, this is just a template. Some tailoring to make it more conversational will provide more impact for the pitch. But this template helps ensure that you touch upon the major points, and it gets everyone in your organization on the same page. It is amazing how many times people who work for the same company view their products completely differently. Just like advertising has both an internal and external audience, the elevator pitch helps organize the internal perception, as well as the external.

In the end, the pitch should provide the audience with the critical information about purchasing the product: What is the product? Who is it for? What does it do? How is it different? Isn't that what you are trying to communicate to customers?


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Jeff Francis is a marketing geek who would never refer to himself as a guru. He is that weird sort who enjoys watching commercials and analyzing communication strategies. He is also available for hire and would love to hear from you. So, head on over to the contact page and get in touch.

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