Should a 12-Year-Old Write Your Elevator Pitch?

In the last installment of our blog, we finally set out on “paper” what Insight Safari does and what we stand for. It was a blog post 9 years in the making, and we lamented about how, even though it’s part of our job to help clients position themselves and communicate their value to their customers, it’s a tough, tough job.

What’s hardest for us, and for many of our clients, is focus. If you’re like us, you probably do a lot of stuff. You’ve tried a lot of things in the past, and there are a lot of directions your company could go. Maybe the idea of nailing down what you do and who you sell to feels like nailing Jello to the wall. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, maybe every taco truck that goes by gives you new ideas about what your company might be in five years. We sympathize, trust us.

We work to help our clients leverage custom primary research, and data that already exists out in the marketplace, to hone in on their “just right” message. We help boil it down to the essentials, and then translate it into language that is succinct and easy to latch onto.

Underneath it all, what makes you tick? What makes you special? What do you do that no one else can? (Gah. Admittedly, I need a nap just thinking about these questions.)

Easy as pi

Recently, however, I had an experience that reminded me that it isn’t always easy, but it isn’t always hard.

I overheard my 12-year-old daughter talking to a friend about what I do for a living.

“What does your Mom do for work?” the friend asked.

“Oh, she and her friend are the bosses of a market research company.” (#girlboss #yasqueen)

“What does that mean?” asked the friend.

“They help companies grow bigger.”


My daughter thought a minute. “She does a lot of presentations. Mostly giving people the information they need to make things better.”


My 12-year-old, and now her best friend, understand our value and were able to condense it into a succinct statement.

Would she get your elevator pitch?

I’m not saying your target market is a bunch of 12-year-olds. I’m also not saying you turn yourself into a meme, a pop-culture reference, or a dirty joke. And I’m certainly not suggesting you hire my daughter as a copywriter, although her college fund could use the dough.

But can you explain what you do in such a way that it makes such natural, intuitive sense? So that those inside and outside your industry can latch on to what it is you do, and hopefully then refer you to people who will value your work?

Give it a try. Ask your tween for their thoughts, or try to write an elevator pitch you could deliver at Career Day at the local middle school. Maybe you’ll get a little closer to the heart of what you deliver.

Sara Collins is a founding partner at Insight Safari, where she also holds the “no-pressure-at-all” title of The Narrator. That means it’s her job to tell consumer stories in a way that brings deep-seated truths to life. In between earth-shattering insights, she repeatedly loses her diamond sword in Minecraft to that one creeper she didn’t see out of the corner of her eye.