Who We Are
Let’s start with your “elevator pitch.” You know the concept, right? You have 11 seconds (roughly) to sum up everything about you and your business to someone unfamiliar with you and your work. It can be tricky, but to oversimplify, the idea is to take what makes you unique and sets you apart—your differentiators—and sum them up in a clear and concise way.
This is your business.
This is what you do.
This is how you stand out.
You say it, you say it confidently, and, I’m guessing, you believe it when you say it. I mean, why wouldn’t you? This is who you are, right?
Well, not quite.
Sure, this is your marketing message, the image you want to get across to people, but that’s all it is—a message, words, a schtick. A well-played phrase, advertisement, one-on-one interaction, etc. is likely enough to get someone through your doors. After that, it’s on you to execute on everything you promised.
That’s when you show who you are.
This month, our magazine is centered on a feature about two operations and their strategic brand makeovers. Because we try to keep our features and stories narrowly focused on the specific strategies that can push your business forward, we often skip mentioning a very important aspect about our subjects that we hope is often simply assumed or, better yet, trusted by you, our readers, to be true: These shops back up the specific strategies with all-around strong service and dedication to their customers. The two shops featured in our main story, “Design Your Brand”, certainly do, even if it wasn’t the exact focus of the piece. Their marketing and branding efforts are successful only because they are able to demonstrate that they are the company—and the people—they claimed to be.
I bet a lot of you can say the same, but that doesn’t mean we’ve reached the levels we all want to reach, nor that we can hit at our high standards in every moment of every day. Sometimes, particularly when things are going smoothly, it can seem easy. Other times—well, not so much. But it’s in those tougher times that we show more of ourselves. We show who we are when we face adversity, when we’re forced to innovate, when we’re put in uncomfortable positions.
This is one of the things at the top of my mind as we head into a new year: How can we, (Ratchet+Wrench) execute on all the promises we make as a publication to you, our readers? What can we do to improve and carry out our goals each day? That’s both internal with the way we operate, and external in the way we interact. I could tell you about all of our plans and our vision. I could give you our core differentiator (in 11 seconds or less!). But I’d rather show it to you.
We all want our “who we are” to match up with the “who we want to be.” I want to be the person, the editor, the writer, the manager, the leader, the father, the husband, the friend that I’d describe in my own elevator pitch. I’m not there, at least not all of the time, but every day, I hope to get a little closer. Here’s to that journey, and a new year filled with new beginnings.