How to use or facilitate:
- Give each participant a blank sheet of paper and a writing utensil.
- Pick one brand for the group, or have all participants choose their own brand for the exercise.
- Explain this scenario to the group (or choose one of your own): Imagine that you’re trying to explain your chosen brand to a 5-year-old child. How would you explain it? What metaphors or analogies would you use so they understand it?
- Set a timer for 5 minutes, and have the group capture all words and phrases that come to mind.
- When the timer is up, explain this second scenario to the group (or choose one of your own): Now imagine that you’re at a family party and your great uncle Bill that’s never had a computer asks you about your brand. How would you describe it to him?
- Set another timer for 5 minutes, and have the group capture all words and phrases that come to mind once again.
- When the timer is up, select a few participants from the group to share.
- After each participant has gone, explain the takeaway: By looking at one group that doesn’t yet understand complex objects and ideas (a 5-year-old), and another group that doesn’t have a strong understanding of technology or contemporary business (Great Uncle Bill), you’re forced to drop the buzzwords and jargon and find simple, easy to understand metaphors or objects that describe who you are and what you do. This is how you can articulate your brands or ideas to audiences who may not have the same level of understanding as you did when you created them.
When you’re trying to gain traction for your brand or business idea, being able to clearly communicate your value proposition to investors and customers is mission critical. Sometimes the simplest explanations are the most effective.
ELI5 or (Explain like I’m 5) is great exercise for helping really get down to the nuts, bolts, and metaphors that help you figure out the most effective articulation of your brand.
In some cases, these metaphors can be so powerful, they can actually serve as a north star for your entire brand or perhaps give you wings for your next marketing campaign.