Cutting Through the Fog of Business

business fogYou’ve heard the expression “the fog of war,” right? It’s all about the ambiguity and uncertainty that comes from limited knowledge and battlefield chaos.

Static plans on paper never translate well into the dynamic timeline of active conflict. Everyone is now trying to make high-stakes decisions with fragments of incomplete information, further influenced by the noise of uncontrollable distractions.

Does that last sentence describe your workday, or the frequent mindset and experience of your (potential) clients? It’s the fog of business. And, it’s your biggest competitor.

That’s right. That other company you’ve always considered to be your biggest competition? Pffffft. Both of you are competing with something far bigger. Noise and fog.

When it comes to the domain where your business operates, it’s very likely that your clients and prospects live in a perpetual fog of business. They barely have time to process all their responsibilities – how can they process and remember everything that YOU are, and can do for them?

So how do we become fog-lifters? It boils down to this: a simple, vivid, clear and memorable message. Which is preceded by this: a clear focus.

Jot down, in the next 60 seconds, all the kinds of work you can do for a client. Now circle the ONE which you’d like to be doing most of all. Or, alternatively, the ONE thing at which you are absolutely the best.

That’s the starting point of your core, fog-lifting message. Consider it your foot-in-the-door offering, your differentiator, your strong suit.

Now, it’s time to steal. And by that, I mean to find a great, memory-grabbing analogy. What you want to do is hijack is a pre-existing idea, image, or thing in the mind of the person, and make it yours.

Consider these two approaches:

“Our state-of-the-art coffee grinding, brewing, and dispensing solution combines leading technology with consumer-friendly aesthetics in order to provide an optimal beverage experience.”

– vs. –

“We’re the BMW of coffeemakers.”

What have you done? You’ve “stolen” (OK, borrowed if you like) the BMW reputation for high-end quality, sleekness, and luxury pricing, and bridged it to your product/company in the customer’s mind. Your offering, by association, moves from unknown and commodity status to an aspirational identity.

You’ve lifted the fog by giving the customer an easy shortcut to understanding. You are now placed on an existing memory hook. And, you’ve also potentially gained some reverb marketing – that is, every time this person sees a BMW on the road, guess what just might reverberate in their mind? That’s right – you!

You can only occupy a very small space in the memory of a client. And first, you’ve got to cut through the fog with a clear ray of light. Focus – or you’ll be forgotten in the noise and fog of business.


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