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What’s your elevator pitch?

626 522 Wayne Lewis
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Just because you’ve never tried raising venture capital doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an ‘elevator pitch’ for your business. Imagine being thrust into an elevator (see creepy guy in video) with someone very important and you have just a few seconds to explain your business and its value proposition. That’s an elevator pitch and every business owner and marketer needs one. Sure, you might read how the elevator pitch is dead. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find this is just about finding new quirks or gimmicks to make them memorable.

If you’re a restauranteur you’re not likely to find yourself in a Silicon Valley elevator anytime soon. So why should you have one?  Simple – a good one will reinforce your brand intentions and value proposition to yourself, your employees and anyone you touch. It’s concise. It demands laser-like focus on what is most important.

So what might one look like? If you Google “elevator pitch” you’ll find countless tips and how-to guides on creating one. Ignore these. For our purposes there are only three must-haves:

Hook: if you can’t grab someone’s attention, the rest of your message is just a stream a CO2. You might start with a rhetorical question, a mini-rant about a commonly faced problem, a pop culture reference or soft humor. Whatever your approach, it should match the culture of your business. Remember to stay authentic. The bottom line: the hook should make you want to hear more…

Value: this describes your core or most important product or service. It’s the basis for what you want your brand to be identified for. i.e.: the most sinful burgers, reliable cars, live-in-ready homes, trendy fashion, etc. You get the point. It’s a combination of the product or service with adjectives or adverbs that give it value. If you have a target audience for your business (and you should), here is where you connect the value and customer. i.e.: “we outfit college women in the trendiest clothing.”

Emotion: here is where you connect the what with the why. What motivates you to provide your product or service in the way you do? Implied in this answer is also what makes you different than the competition. Here is where you tap into the emotional reason customers do business with you. Especially if you’re a consumer-facing business, forget appealing to logic. Emotion rules. Familiar and popular emotion, even better.

Remember, the pitch must work for your business. It’s something you will have to work and re-work. This isn’t a first-draft, throw it out there kind of thing. Done well, it can be a valuable tool in keeping you and your team focused on what matters most. Here is ours for 614 Media Group…

It’s a great time to be on ‘Team Columbus’, isn’t it? The city is running on all cylinders right now and our company is fortunate to be right in the middle of it all.

We’re 614 Media Group. Our beautiful magazines, popular websites and fun events cut through the noise of everyday life. They are built to share your unique story with over 120,000 of the city’s most active, educated consumers.

Hundreds of local businesses trust 614 to bring them new customers and tell their brand story. It’s because we do it with integrity and a genuine love for Columbus that our readers share back with us.


Wayne Lewis

All stories by: Wayne Lewis