Lesbian dumplings - a lesson in branding

Struggling with your brand / key messages / communications? Take a lesson from a small local business just started here in Fuzhou.

Play along here - I want you to forget your product benefits, forget your USP or key messages or whatever else you would put in your 30 second elevator pitch, and concentrate on only this: Lesbian Dumplings.

For a while now, I've been trying to distill my business into words: words that I can communicate simply and quickly to new customers. I worked through lots of online guides (and this Mixergy interview helped a lot), but it just felt like there was something still not right.

If you've tried this yourself, it's actually pretty difficult. Most of us are poor at writing and speaking succinctly, and asked to explain our business to a stranger, we'll blab on for hours given the chance. But you have to remember, you have literally seconds before their attention goes. So what do you do?

Lesbian Dumplings (蛋蛋家水饺) - simple, right?

I have no affiliation to these girls by the way. They're just a couple of young lesbians who opened a shop in Fuzhou (where I live) selling dumplings (a popular Chinese lunch/snack). Amid the competition from big national brands, and hundreds of local dumpling stores (Fuzhou people love eating, and dumplings are a favourite), they've managed to stand out.

They stand out because their initial message, the crucial idea is so simple and 'sticky' - "we're lesbians, we make dumplings". It doesn't even make sense, but it stays in your memory. Like remembering acquaintances you meet at a party, you might say "oh, the guy with the blue hair?" Simple but unique things stick in people's minds.

So you can do this too - try to rethink things. Once you've captured someone's attention, then you can explain your business in more detail, but can you sum up your whole idea in 2-3 words? And drop the business language - can you do it in the kind of 'party' or 'everyday' language so customers can say "oh, the colourful calender app" or "yeah, I know - the super-fast reminder widget"?

ps. if you're still thinking about Lesbian Dumplings in a week's time, don't blame me.

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