The identity statement should allow anyone to understand or recognize your business as you would like them to. Taking this one step further, it should also answer the question – Who Cares? … If you are having trouble with your identity statement, ask your spouse, friend or colleague to tell you what they perceive your business to be. This may help you assess if you have been clear in your description of what you do. (Taken from “The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Thriving Business”, Yvonne Weld, 2007).
Simply put, your identity statement does precisely that; conveys to others what exactly your identity is. Your business name is a start to your identity, but is it really telling others exactly what you do? Your identity statement should not leave any questions in the mind of the person hearing it as to who you are and what you do.
There are five qualities to a good Identity Statement: it is memorable; it is purposeful; it identifies the quality of the service or product; it explains who is served and how; and, it answers the question “Who Cares?” In order to develop an effective statement make sure your statement contains all five of these qualities and to top it off, it should be no more than 3 or 4 sentences in length. Sometimes it is hard to be clear and concise within those constraints. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
If you identify yourself as simply a car salesman who will really care? You are one of thousands of other car salesmen, so what is it that sets you apart? What could you say that will set you apart and want others to do business with you?
An identity statement needs to stay on task – it is meant solely to get others interested in hearing more. Now is not the time to go on and on about why you are better than your competition. Instead sum it up in a two or three word phrase that contains a colorful and catchy verb. Keep the other party interested and wanting to hear more. Rather than telling them exactly what you do, give them a hook; a reason to ask more.
Identifies the Quality
What is it the single most identifiable quality that makes your product or service stand out from others offering the exact same product or service? Would you rather deal with an auto mechanic or an award winning auto mechanic?
Explains Who is Served
It is a well known fact that a particular product or service will not be the be all and end all to every consumer out there. Ensure that your identity statement focuses on who you are targeting. Make sure you have explained it so that your ideal customer will know you are talking to them.
Perhaps this is the most overlooked aspect to your identity statement. Why should the person reading or hearing your identity statement care? Explain what benefits you provide. Remember to think about this from your customer’s perspective because after all they are the ones we want to becoming interested in hearing more of what we have to say.
Let’s look at an example of a good identity statement taken from “The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Thriving Business”:
Jack’s Toy Shoppe specializes in unique and one-of-a-kind toys for all ages. All toys are custom designed and personally hand built by Jack and his team of toy designers. Toys can be delivered anywhere within Canada or the United States.
Memorability – “unique and one-of-a-kind toys”
Purposeful – “unique”, “custom designed” “personally hand built”
Identifies the quality – “all toys are custom designed and personally hand built”
Explains who is served – “Canada and the United States” “toys for all ages”
Who cares – for those in Jack’s target market they have heard enough to be intrigued to ask more questions
Your identity statement will be a continual work in progress. Don’t expect to get it right the first time you write it out. Remember that a good identity statement has the flexibility to grow as your business grows and thrives.