How can you convey your idea in three seconds or less?  One tried and true way is to relate your business to one that is already well-known. Rather than trying to explain that you sell coupons for a limited time at deep discounts for extreme sports and outdoor adventures, you can simply say you’re the “Groupon of extreme sports.”  Instead of trying to explain that you’re building a directory of all nonprofit organizations that volunteers can use to find, rate and review nonprofits, you can simply say that you are “Yelp for nonprofits.”  If your comparison is a good one, it will take a few seconds for your audience to understand what you do.

There are a few formats you can use to frame your concept properly.  You can say “X for Y,” where X is the comparable company and Y is the new category or space. Alternatively, you can say X meets Y, where you are combining services of both X and Y companies.  To elaborate, you can say X for Y, but with Z, where Z is your special sauce.

As effective as this tactic can be, it can also go horribly wrong.  Choose your comparison carefully, and pay attention to whether it helps or hurts your cause.  If you find yourself failing, then reframe and try again, or don’t frame it at all.  It won’t work for every company.

Matt Sand

Author Matt Sand

Passionate about making a difference through innovation and entrepreneurship.

More posts by Matt Sand