In episode 5 of John Moore's video blog about business marketing, Brand Autopsy, John talks about optimizing organizations to serve the one boss that truly matters — the customer. This concept got me thinking about the way professional services firms formulate their messaging. Who are these messages meant to please?

More often than not, a company's core message consists of a bland sentence or two that might go something like “We provide innovative solutions, quality service, and a streamlined approach.” Almost by definition, all professional service firms provide “solutions.” But when marketing messages start sounding alike the customer stops listening.

I think too many marketing messages are inwardly focused. They are written by an internal committee without consulting the customer — the only boss that matters. I can assure you that prospects are NOT going to care about how long you've been in business or how many offices you have. What they will care about is the quality of their experience with your firm and the extent to which you address their needs and wants. So effective messaging needs to cover fresher territory and convey an aspirational message that clients and prospects want to hear.

What examples of professional services messaging (taglines, headlines, etc.) can you think of — good or bad?