Where do you fit in the conversation?

Customer Experience, Marketing Machine, Pitching | PlanHQ | 1 Comment

We spend a lot of time talking with people, and we also spend quite a lot of time designing product and marketing and communications stuff, and the thing thats really been driving a lot of thinking recently, is where do we fit in conversations?

Go with the flow

People are already having a tonne of conversations everyday, we all talk about things we love, and hate, our passions and problems, the language we use is already connected to how we feel, thats why we use it. So what does this mean for your branding, when you’re communicating your business, or your product experience is speaking to customers? Me thinks a lot.

We’re learning this as we go, and I’m thinking out loud here and drawing upon some recent experience we’ve had.

How We came up with PlanHQ and our main line

We came up with our business PlanHQ because we wanted to help people achieve their business plans instead of letting them sit as dead documents. We felt ourselves and heard the pain hundreds of times, the stories of people tired of business plans because they took ages to write and then never got used.

So we grabbed a company name which was small (especially a short and cheap domain name) and had the word plan in it, someone found PlanHQ. Then for our main one line that really locked in our value to custmers, we started with ‘bring your business plan to life’, something I’d heard a bit by people taking about what to do with their plan, but not hear it in conversation naturally. We moved later to ‘achieve your business plan’, definitely what you do when you come and make a plan with us, and thats different from other planning applications, a step in the right direction, but maybe still not bang on.

Make it Happen, yeah we wanna do that

Then the one term that came a lot more naturally, was Make it Happen. When I’m sick of talk, or fired up about something with other people, we all agree and say aloud “lets Make It Happen!”, its the moment that talk turns into action and plans into reality, now thats a place where PlanHQ fits into the world!

Because I’m tuned into it now, I hear how often this is used in passing conversation, which is about every second day, sometimes I hear it several times in a passionate conversation between entrepreneurs, and I smile and think, even if they don’t know exactly what I do, or what our product does, if its all about making it happen, then it will be on the right page in their book, and thats not everything, but it does mean we start on a common ground, a place where our worlds are the same.

Write as you would say

When you write something, you should do it as if you were saying it to someone while chatting to them, the words should just roll off your tongue as you open up and tell people what you really want to tell them. Often what happens is though, when people (especially when in business mode) write in a way they would never talk. Rowan writes about this in this post on Authenticity.

This is a journey, and we’re just on the path now, I think this concept is something that branding gurus probably know inside and out, but I think its one of those things that all of us need to know so we can get our stories, business or otherwise, out there and weaved into the world.

1 person has commented on this post

  1. Nice article Tim, some insteresting insight. I cant count the times I have seen the words “make it happen” and thought of this blog hehe

    Tim de Jardine | Apr 3rd, 2008 at 12:14 am

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