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You’ve Got 5 Seconds

If your single most persuasive idea takes more than one sentence to explain, it probably isn’t single. Or persuasive.

—Lee Clow’s Beard from Twitter, January 14th 2010

We make a habit of telling everyone that they’ve got 5 seconds to convey your keynote brand message. We work very hard to achieve this and to make sure it communicates an essential set of truths that answer the questions really being asked. Why do you matter and why should I care? If you cannot answer this with precision and persuasiveness, you may have already lost them.

5 seconds web design

You’ve got 5 seconds.

If the headline does not grab you, the battle is essentially lost. According to research cited by The Tides Foundation, “most of the time 8o% people read, hear, or remember only the headline, not the story.” Furthermore, “four of five people will never go further.” On your website, you have to articulate your essential brand messaging in 5 seconds, or you lose the opportunity to connect. If you fail, they are gone, most likely never to return. If, however, you are able to capture their attention, strike a chord, and fulfill an expectation in this initial brand assertion, you are given additional time to make your case and they will read on. Here again, you must deliver in accordance with the expectations set up by the initial brand assertion. The truth helps a lot. Real substance helps a lot.

This task of honing and sharpening your message so that it is compelling and true is at the heart of effective brand messaging. It’s true for nonprofits as much as for for-profit businesses. It’s a challenging and essential branding task for everyone.

We are finding creative ways to help our clients make the world better.

We are no exception. We think we finally have it: “We are finding creative ways to help our clients make the world better.”

If you previously read this post you will notice that this has changed from what it was back in the beginning of 2010. We have evolved and gotten better at talking about ourselves. This may be in order for your brand as well.

Everyone must keep learning.

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