Your Brand in 17 Syllables

Branding ExerciseBeing articulate sometimes means less is more. When someone asks what you do, they don’t want a dissertation on your specialty. They want a sentence or a paragraph at most! The first 30 seconds of your response will either create curiosity or shut it down.  This post is designed to help you clearly express your identity in 17 syllables!

It’s easy to become tongue-tied if you haven’t done the work to drill down and refine how you define the value you bring to others. (Truth is, sometimes we all become tongue-tied anyway.  It’s so frustrating to miss opportunities by not being prepared.)

Clear branding is important regardless of your profession; doctor lawyer, Indian chief, consultant, business professional, educator or pastor.  I typically work with my clients on clarity of vision and mission  before we start work on their HUB (Hot Undeniable Benefit) statement. Some people call this an “elevator speech” or a USP (Unique Selling Proposition). It doesn’t really matter what you call it, as long as when you get in front of a potential client, you can express clearly and concisely what you can do for them.

So here’s an exercise to help you on your way to clear branding.

Most school children are asked to dabble in Haiku – a Japanese poetic form that’s based on the number of syllables per line, 5,7,5 respectively. Maybe you weren’t brilliant at Haiku then, but this exercise promises a much richer reward than a gold star – it can lead to more clients.

To create a clear elevator speech, I’m challenging you to answer three questions, which must be answered with the specified number of words

  • Who do I help? (Answer in Five Words)
  • What do I do for them? (Answer in Seven Words)
  • Why do they need me? (Answer in Five Words)

An example response to these questions from a business lawyer could be:

I help small business owners

incorporate their businesses and protect their assets

so they can sleep better.

Here’s mine:

I help entrepreneurs and leaders

innovate, communicate and activate vision and strategies

so profitability and satisfaction soar.
Your turn! I hope you’ll take a moment to leave yours in the comment section.

Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation. Dig in.



12 thoughts on “Your Brand in 17 Syllables”

  1. I help families and business owners by teaching them about wealth transfers because everyone could use a 34.5% raise..

  2. Hi Beverly
    I loved your article. Thank you for sharing. After reading
    This is mine

    I help individuals and professionals
    Incorporate money risk principles and good habits
    living a journey to wealth

  3. Hi Bev
    This is fun…here is another
    I help individuals and professionals
    Incorporate risk principles and good trading habits
    To be comfortable with money

    What do you think?

  4. Beverly Lewis

    Great job, Bonnie! Since so many promise wealth, the wording “be comfortable with money” resonates with me.
    Also “incorporate risk principles and good trading habits” is more specific.

  5. Beverly
    Thank you so much for sharing the exercise and helping me gain clarity
    and have a brand in 17 syllables today 🙂 🙂

  6. Really cool post, Beverly!

    Nice to meet you (thanks to my fellow carnival blogger, Sharon Hurley Hall). 🙂

    I reach out to solomompreneurs
    to help them market their biz start-ups
    on a shoestring budget

    Keep crankin’ out the good stuff!

  7. Beverly Lewis

    I get it, Dorien! I love the term “online engagment”. That’s so much deeper than marketing.
    (More effective too!) Thanks for joining in – a pleasure to meet you.

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