Many will tell you something different, but the largely unrecognized truth is that substance sells. Not benefits.  Not emotional connections.  Not great experiences.  Not even great products and services.  Customers, investors, recruits, and sales teams all crave substance.

You need substance to realize a benefit.  Without it, the benefits are just words. You need substance to form an emotional connection, otherwise the desired emotional connection is just marketing noise. Great products, services, and acquired businesses have no value if they’re not used, and no one will use them if they’re not understood. Substance is at the core of it all.

What does your company, product, or service really do?  And, what will your company, product or service really do for the customer?  That is substance.  Answering this question gets harder and harder as the richness, sophistication and price tag of your offerings rise.  Answering this question when you merge two or more companies – along with their offerings  raises the degree of difficulty even higher.

The strategic value of your business is the substance challenge and the opportunity.  What do the many products, services, technologies, features, advantages, uses, examples, benefits, business units, and companies add up to?  And how can that be made simple, clear, and compelling:

– As an entire company, including your acquired business

– Within your key product lines, services, solutions, and business units in ways that can       stand alone and also reinforce your company value

– Across your sales teams, elevating skills sets and arming them to engage in a higher-       level and more strategic dialog with customers

– Throughout your marketing, providing simple yet compelling, plainspoken yet desirable     substance to feed your promotions teams and investments