Guess Who?

The greatest commercial value is to create value for someone.


I have a game to help my clients become more aware of their competitive landscape. I call it Guess Who? because the original Guess Who game somewhat inspired me to come up with it.

My game goes like this: I pick five to ten of my client’s competitors. Then, I copy some of the content of each competitor’s CEO communication, website, or PR material, and I paste it into a document without the company name, product, logo, or visual identity. All I keep is some of the content after I make it anonymous. I do that for each competitor. Then, I meet with my client CEO and the leadership team, and I ask that everyone reads those documents and guess who (which company) it is.

After that, we’re usually in for a very lively and insightful discussion.

Even when my clients know their market very well, this Guess Who game is a challenge. In any market or industry, companies that differentiate with their message are rare.

We should try it with your company, and I bet you’d be surprised. Let me know if you’re game.

However, one type of competitor always stands out. As a result, my clients can usually guess who they are more easily.

Do you want to guess who?

It’s the company that has made an effort to focus on who they serve. Even after I mask everything about their customers’ identity, they still stand out more strongly than the rest of the pack. You can picture, hear, feel, and sometimes smell their customers in your mind.


Because when you focus on the actual humans you serve, you come across and become more human yourself. You show up ten times more unique because you reveal your values and your identity through your words. Thinking and talking about people, what they do, what they think, how they feel, and what makes them excited will lead you to take a stand for them. You will naturally start to build a narrative about their situation. And that narrative is hugely valuable for everyone inside and outside your company.  It is the primary asset for how you create impact.

I have analyzed the strategic narrative of hundreds of companies, and I am always shocked by the lack of humanity I see in their communication, especially in technology.

When you talk about someone specific, you create value. So don’t forget who you’re helping.

If your customers are robots, forget everything I’ve just written. But otherwise, keep in mind that humans still decide to buy from you and work with you.

So, don’t make it hard to guess who.

Don’t Just Tell Stories. Build A Narrative.