Every brand needs a good opening line, but writing one isn’t as easy as it seems. What looks like a few nicely worded sentences on a brand’s homepage is actually one of the most important and carefully crafted marketing messages. And, for the keen observer they also reveal a huge amount about a brand’s market position.

The best opening statements are fanatically tuned to the needs of the customer. A good example I’ve come across recently is on Telsa’s homepage (as I type) – “Quickest Acceleration. Longest Range. The Safest Cars Ever.” Being such a strong brand it would be easy for Tesla to add a fourth, fifth or sixth message, especially given its corporate mission “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”. Instead, Tesla’s opening statement focuses only on the benefits that matter most to customers…and it’s a good lesson for us all.

In contrast, many opening statements are packed full of messages that don’t cut it with customers. Having the discipline (and guts) to edit back comes from having a good brand strategy and understanding what really interests the target market. Knowing what customers care about gives marketing teams the authority to say ‘no’ (more than ‘yes’), and to create opening statements that are uncluttered and good to read.

Writing opening statement takes time and skill, it’s not easy. The best ones are able to address the needs of the customer and go beyond the competition, all in just a few words. What looks effortless on the surface, is the result of great customer insight and a dedication to meet their needs. My top tips are 1 to understand your target audience and their needs, 2 to clearly state and rank the benefits that appeal most to that target audience, 3 to maximise your competitive advantage and 4 to keep it short.

It’s time to get the red pen out!