The average elevator ride in New York City is 110 seconds and the average person’s attention span is 8 seconds. Put them together and you have the formula for the perfect pitch.
The concept itself was pitched by former Kodak CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett during his keynote speech at SES San Francisco. According to a report by ClickZ, Hayzlett really drove home the idea that elevator pitches are getting too long winded. He says that we need to tighten our focus and make every word count so consumers understand the value of the brand.
What is Kodak’s pitch?
“Only Kodak creates emotional technology that makes it easier to make, manage and move images and information so people can strengthen relationships.”
That one is a little corporate, but Hayzlett had a few more including:
“People don’t take pictures. They capture memories, moments.”
Ah, now that one is a hit.
Looking at these two pitches, you can see two very specific elements. The first one is very much about function. Kodak helps me “make” images, “manage” images and “move” images from place to place. In this modern world, those last two are particularly important. Back in the day, photos were shot, printed and stored in an album or box. The only way to share them was to mail them or open the album when folks came over. But with this pitch, Kodak is showing that they’re no longer old school. They don’t just help you take the pictures, they help you make the most of them using modern technology.
The second pitch steps away from function and goes to the emotional impact of the company’s products. “Capture memories, moments” just tugs at the heart-strings, doesn’t it? Visions of baby’s first step, graduation day, cutting the wedding cake. You get a whole flood of images and emotions in under 118 seconds.
The emotional pitch is one you often see being used by Hallmark and McDonalds. It’s not the burger, it’s the happy family time. It’s not the card, it’s the love.
Time to take a look at your elevator pitch. Sum up your business in under 118 seconds. Create a pitch that emphasizes function, then try one that hits the emotional outcome. Don’t sell yourself short on that last one. Giving customers a smile or a sense of accomplishment can be just as effective as serenity, security or love.
What’s your 118? We’d like to hear it.