We’re always being told to “Live in the Moment”.
Some of my clients take this a little too literally.
When I ask them to describe their role, or what their company does, they might answer “I’m running the Sales Team” or “My company is designing software for the construction industry”.
To a native English speaker, this conveys a pretty weak message – as though they’re only doing it at the moment. It’s temporary. That’s what the Present Progressive conveys.
If you circulate at a party/networking event full of Native English speakers, you’ll hear the following a lot: “What do you do?” The answer will sound something like “I run the Sales Team at Company X” or “My company designs construction software”.
This sends a far stronger message: “This is who I am/we are.”
This is what the Present Simple is all about. Definition. Identity.
It’s interesting to note that many of the world’s most well-known, successful brands will frequently use the Present Simple in their advertising campaigns:
Coca-Cola: “Coke Adds Life” (rather than “Coke is adding Life” – like, now? This week? How long for, exactly?)
Avis: “We Try Harder”
Levi’s: “Quality Never Goes Out of Style”
The running theme here is: “This is who we are. This is what we’re all about.” It’s branding to the max.
So – whether you’re describing what you do, or what your company does: for high-impact branding that sticks, stick to the Present Simple. It wins every time.