How to Explain a Complex Product or Service (so people easily understand)

networking elevator pitch

Here’s a little technique called the Anchor and Twist that’s used in marketing a lot. It’s been used in practice going way back, but I think the Heath Brothers actually coined the term to define it.  Achoring is just comparing it to something that’s already well-known. Something doesn’t have to ‘be’ something else, but it can be ‘like’ something else, and used in comparison. And the Twist refers to how it’s different, or your new angle.

A perfect example was in the Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe (that I hope everyone watched because it was hilarious!) when Nikki Glaser said that Peyton Manning was “like the Tom Brady of being in Commercials.” Haha (I don’t follow football at all, but even I understood that one.)

Or, Netfix is like a library for movies.  We all know what Netflix is now, but when it first came out, that description helped them a lot.

The basic formula is:


So, basically, you’re riding the coattails of the hard work of another product or service. But you do want to make sure that whatever you’re comparing yourself to is something positive and well-liked, not just something that is well-known.

By comparing yourself to something else, you’re making it easier for people to mentally catalog, making it easier for them to understand.

​Was this helpful?  Let me know by 'Liking' the button below.

About the Author Melanie Downey

I'm Melanie Downey, small business brand innovator and public relations expert. I like to teach and write about what I've learned in 20 years working in brand development, PR, and marketing. And when I'm not doing that, I cook, drive my kids around, hang out with my hairless dog, Penny, and practice playing my ukulele.

follow me on: