Being Clear is Better than Being Good

Peter Drucker famously said that one of the hardest questions for business to answer is "What is our business?"  This is so simple and at first glance it seems every company could easily answer it,  yet my experience as a brand consultant tells me otherwise.

This month marks our 10th Anniversary as a company and as I reflect back, I am reminded of a time when I realized I had no way to answer the simple question of "What is your business?"  It was during our 3rd year as a company and I was with my very best customer as he introduced me to a mutual friend.  The conversation went something like this,

Hey! I want to introduce you to Craig Johnson from Inno Garage.  Inno Garage is one of the greatest upstart companies around, and we use them all the time.  They do…..uh….everything for us.

In that moment I realized I had completely failed.  Here I was with my very best customer who spent a significant amount of money on Inno Garage every year.  He was a raving fan of our business and wanted to spread the word.  However, there was one huge problem: he had no idea how to answer the question of "What is Inno Garage's business?"  "They do everything for us" might as well mean "they can do nothing for you."

That instance and many others led to our eventual decision to become A Brand Identity House in 2008 and begin to clearly explain what it is we do and help them understand why they might be interested one day to buy from us.  We learned a lot of lessons the hard way over the last 10 years and this one stands out as foundational to getting us on the right track.