I was at a meeting this morning where the speaker advised adherence to one simple message in your marketing, citing the example of Heineken, who, discovering that the one purpose of lager was to refresh, came up with the famous campaign about Heineken 'refreshing the parts other beers do not reach'.
It was an inspirational talk, only slightly marred by the fact that the speaker went on to discuss a mind-bogglingly confusing array of products and services, some current and some in the pipeline, relating to their own business.
It's challenging inside our own business, when web design isn't a new thing and there are so many new companies barging in on the market. Do we find a niche, like websites relating to care of aardvarks, or do we stick to what we do best, designing, building, and improving websites? And where's the USP (unique selling proposition)? Surely that's what everyone else does - isn't it?
Niches are very important, but it's not necessary to have just one, and at Oxford Web we have been digging fairly deep niches in four main sectors - membership organisations, education, small to medium sized businesses, and public sector - and so we like to think that we have something to talk about in each of those niches, and that we understand the needs of customers in those sectors.
So what's our one simple message? "Making websites work".
When people ask us for a website, be it "only four pages" or "hugely complex" (our customers' own words, which were turned on their heads) we help them think about who they're aiming at, and how to say it on the home page with a simple message, leaving the "inner" pages of the website to explain everything in more depth.
What's your one simple message?