You may well know the frustration. A rogue webclick and you are deluged with ads all over every site you visit from a company with absolutely nothing of interest to you.
In my case, a misloading Google Canary browser threw me to Hewlett Packard’s recently formed standalone Enterprise division. The kind of banner you see up top now appears on every page I visit. Crumbled by cookies.
I was aware of this new entity. Although in my – admittedly now aged – experience, HP and Enterprise seemed an oxymoron.
This corporate restructure happened about a year ago. HP were keen to position themselves as silicon valley’s oldest startup.
Actual startups – not just those clinging onto the lustre such as Amazon and Google, think rather current b2b unicorn star Slack – are incredibly well positioned to chomp huge pieces out of their traditional marketplace.
Nothing necessarily wrong with a restructure. I wondered how they were pitching themselves anew. I’m often involved in ‘new product’ so can the new company treatment teach anything here?
In the particular ad above, they go for the volumes. Five thousand people across ten places. I’m not sure these work today.
What about response? What about edge? What about results?
If numbers are all you have, then numbers it is. But consider which type carefully.
Then you see their preferred terms of action.
From their website;
We Are In the Acceleration Business.
We help customers use technology to slash the time it takes to turn ideas into value.
They like the word accelerate. It’s prominent. In the adstream above it’s followed by protection and next.
Then there’s the pledge to help you fearlessly innovate. Oh dear. Watch those adverbs.
On their site, they begin with tomorrow belongs to the fast. And also talk on to transform.
As can occur in this genre, there’s thin line between masterly and parody.
Yet do you really feel that any of these phrases hits the button of what a potential client of theirs is truly after?
It misses the mark for me.
The concept of speed feels stuck. Yes everything’s getting quicker, but it’s surely the instancy that’s key nowadays? And swiftness alone is perhaps secondary to ‘success’. Ask the hare. Or tortoise. Scaling through rapid multiple iterations where unpenalised trial and error wins through. The ability to decide and act without damage until you prevail.
Still, whilst these are maybe philosophical points of debate – at least they are trying to say something – a culture of excellence will surely shine throughout beyond longlisting.
For solution selling new product, there’s a test here. What do prospects (or your raft of currently ecstatic customers) think of such language? Which chimes with them? Which belong to you alone? Understand those, and transform your deals with several coats of their paint.