How To Answer “What Do You Do?”: Refining Your Brand Messaging

Quick, tell me what your company does in 30 seconds or less. But make it interesting and worth my while! I’m waiting. . . If you can’t easily do that, you likely haven’t devoted the necessary time to defining your company’s messaging.

Clear, differentiating messaging provides a strong foundation for your business success by answering the critical questions of what problem do you solve, who do you solve it for, and what the resulting benefits are.

Your company’s ability to articulate its value proposition succinctly and convincingly can make the difference between making the sale or being lost in the noise. If it’s high time for you to spend some time on your messaging, here’s where to begin.

Must-Have Messaging Elements


You’ve got to weave your differentiators throughout your brand message. So, what are you yours? Let me tell you: Everyone says things like, “We’re different because we truly care about our customers. We act with integrity. We’re not like the other guys; this means something to us”. I’m working with the other guys and they are saying exactly the same thing. You need to be specific. What do you do differently? You don’t need to dream up a totally original product line or concept to stand out. Your unique process, philosophy, or guarantees can all be differentiators.

For example, maybe you’re a cleaning service that strives to use eco-friendly cleaning solutions whenever possible – that’s a huge differentiator! Take a step back and look at your business practices from a bird’s eye view; the things that make you special might have become second nature to you. Showcase what makes you unique, even if it seems small to you. By highlighting what sets you apart, you build an argument for customers to choose you over your competitors.

Target Audience

Being clear helps reel your target audience in. In your messaging, it is beneficial to talk to your target audience specifically – you can’t get much clearer than that. If your business serves single moms, say that. If you work with new homeowners, say that. Although it can feel scary to start gently repelling your less-than-ideal clients and intentionally honing your niche, you simply can’t be everything to everyone and still be effective. Spell out your target audience while still being sales-appropriate. You want to connect with them as people and not as their demographic traits.

The Problem You Solve

Once you name who you want to work with, tap into the central reason they should connect with you – give them a “why”. This is usually set up in terms of the problem you solve for them, or the need you satisfy for your clients. There are all kinds of problems businesses solve for their clients every day. Connecting with your target audience’s top needs and desires motivates them to action. What is the central pain point that you alleviate for your clients? In presenting the solution you provide to the problems they have, you deliver undeniable value. When you address their pain points with empathy and insight, you give credence to the idea that you can adequately serve them because you understand who they are. And you make your audience the center of your story.


Clarity is at the heart of good communication. Packaging your value proposition in easy-to-understand language. . . Well, it makes it easier for your audience to connect with your brand. Clear messaging breeds trust and confidence in your company, speaking directly to your ideal customer so they say, “Hey, it seems like these people get me. They can help me!” So, as you write, keep it simple. Your message doesn’t have to be complicated to be compelling.

Crafting An Elevator Pitch

As the elements of your messaging come together, begin layering them. When someone asks you what you do, that’s when you hit them with the elevator pitch we asked you for in the beginning. Your pitch should weave together the above elements, addressing who your organization serves, a central problem they face and how you solve it for them in a unique and interesting way. If you can’t quite nail the “interesting way” bit just yet, at least make sure everything else hits the mark. You can always improve it! If you were wondering, here’s ours:

Many small businesses struggle to survive – much less thrive. Fuzzy Duck helps those small businesses win by working with them to establish a strong brand, clear messaging, and an effective website before partnering with them to strategize, implement, and manage their marketing efforts.

It is essential to devote time to your business’ messaging strategy. Without the means to communicate it, your million-dollar idea will never be realized. Get your message out there and get some traction. In our content-craving marketplace, we come across a new message every second. Make yours clear and compelling. To your target people, the right message will differentiate you from the competition, connect with them on a deeper level, and drive meaningful engagement and action. Doesn’t all of that seem worth your time? If you need a resource to help you iron out the finer points of your messaging, we’re here to help.


  • Brenna Connolly

    As Fuzzy Duck’s copywriter, Brenna works diligently to make your brand voice shine. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, she honed her craft in the natural foods industry where she contributed to professional websites, industry-wide publications, and social media initiatives. Brenna has written for clothing companies and newspapers alike; she’s even edited a novel. A bona fide wordsmith, Brenna is eager to help you tell your story.