If someone asked you to define your business in one short sentence, how would you respond? Often called an “elevator pitch,” as if pitching your idea in a matter of seconds, your marketing message encapsulates your reason for existing in one quick assembly of words.

Words are more than descriptive; words of action imply power and intention, so choose your words carefully. If you say, “We own a dairy farm that uses the milk to make ice cream,” you have defined what you do, but nothing about why you do it. But if you said, “Think premium ice cream from contented cows,” you have expressed your intention to produce a quality product combined with good animal husbandry.

If you are unsure about your message, ask several groups or individuals who are familiar with your business to comment and make suggestions. Feedback from industry people and employees is helpful as well. Just remember to include action-oriented phrases which reflect a true measure of your business model.

If you tailor your product or service to fit more than one audience, you may need to adapt your message to fit each consumer group. Retain the same main message with variations, and you will establish a familiar pattern that audiences recognize.

Don’t be afraid to edit phrases to use fewer words that make a big punch. Think of brands you already know – what does their marketing message say about their company? For example, there’s “Mmm, Mmm Good” for soup; “Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz” for a cold remedy; or “Just Do It” for athletic wear. It’s the punchy little catchphrases which pull us in and then deliver more information we need to know.

Short, action-oriented messages work well for a variety of advertising mediums. And if you coordinate the message over a number of platforms, you can develop a strong tie-in among many different groups.

Your marketing message may eventually become a part of your overall company branding just like a logo or specific color does. When a consumer sees your product, they should be able to link the marketing message with it quickly. Bringing all marketing components together makes one cohesive branding package and provides a competitive advantage.

As you begin to define your marketing plans, develop a message that is both short and sweet – descriptive and encompassing – within a few words or active phrases. With some careful and creative wordsmithing, you can increase product identity and sales.

The above information is provided for educational purposes and should not be substituted for professional business or legal counseling.