Yesterday I was driving behind a produce truck that had an interesting, albeit somewhat disturbing message: “XYZ produce…From Farm to Fork Handled by Professionals.” Now I ask you, do you want your produce handled by professionals? What comes to mind? Did they wash their hands? Is the produce bruised from all the handling? Did they mean the truck driver or the farmer? Did they mean handled as “carried”? Personally, I think I would have preferred to read “Cared For by Professionals.” Or “Grown by Professionals.” Just because your company is a produce handler (NAICS code 42480) doesn’t mean your tag line has to mimic the term.

 

So many companies are eager to come up with a tag line that they are not thoughtful enough about the wordsmithing and the potential interpretation by the viewer.

 

Here are a three tips for you to consider when you want to convey either your value proposition or your key differentiator:

 

  1. Be Clear: Make sure the phrase or sentence isn’t carrying clichéd phrases: “All our clients experience successful results.” This really has no meaning because the interpretation of “successful results” may mean many different things to a variety of buyers. Clarify, quantify and explain what successful means in your case.

 

  1. Create a focus group: Get some potential customers to read what you wrote and ask them “what does that mean to you?” You did a great job if they respond with the message you intended. However, you are back to the drawing board if the interpretation is not what you intended. This happens more often than you may think.

 

  1. Grammar Counts: Be sure you are grammatically correct, or there can be big misinterpretation. For example, on the lighter side, seen at a restaurant recently:

“Please don’t take a drink if you have a car after meal.”

Sooo, what did you have for dessert?

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