In today’s large world of consumer bias, it’s more important than ever that your brand stands out from the rest of the crowd. Effective brand messaging can propel your business to the forefront of the marketplace and communicate to consumers why your brand is unique. But before you can share your company’s story with the world, it’s important you understand what sets your brand apart.
Strong brand messaging is one of the key components of any successful marketing strategy. Brand messaging refers to the language used and underlying value conveyed throughout your content. It’s what captures consumers’ attention and allows them to recognize what your company stands for. All of the content you publish must tie into your brand’s message. That doesn’t necessarily mean that each piece of content you develop must have the same message on the surface. But rather within all of your content, the common thread should articulate your brand’s key purpose and message. Examples of brand messaging you may recognize are:
- McDonald’s: I’m lovin’ it
- Capital One: What’s in Your Wallet?
- BMW: The Ultimate Driving Machine
- Bounty: The Quicker Picker-Upper
While these taglines have a catchy ring to them, brand messaging is much more complex than just coming up with a clever statement that consumers can easily memorize. This is where many marketers fall short when building an effective brand message. Product position, key benefits, value propositions, tone, and targeted audience are all factors that need to be evaluated in the messaging development process. When successfully combined, these elements can create a complete messaging framework that can lead your marketing strategy across every piece of content and every channel.
A brand can’t create effective content until its key messages and values have been identified.
The Three Viewpoints of Your Core Brand Message
The Customer Viewpoint
What matters most to consumers? What pain points do they face? What features do they look for in their shopping journey? Brand messaging should always be customer-centric. This means viewing the world from their perspective and understanding what motivates their purchasing decisions.
The Internal Viewpoint
Now you want to view your brand from the inside out. What values or features really help salespeople drive prospects through the funnel? What are the goals of your brand? A year from now, or maybe even five, how do you see your brand growing?
The Competitive Viewpoint
Finally, evaluate who you’re up against in the marketplace. Your brand message needs to be unique because it will help your brand stand out from the rest. The last thing you want is consumers confusing your brand with a competitor’s because your key messages and values are too alike.
Crafting Your Messaging Framework
Once you’ve gained a solid grasp of these three viewpoints, you can begin crafting your messaging framework. However, capturing the right tone and language to convey your brand message means building out your framework through a 7-step system. Utilizing this system and going through each step ensures that you’re developing the most effective brand message possible. The 7 steps to building an effective brand message are:
1. Brand Promise
The part you were most excited about, right? Yes, this is where you get to come up with your clever tagline! Your brand promise should:
- Target your ideal customer;
- Illustrate your brand vision;
- and convey what products and services you offer.
It can be tough to come up with a tagline that checks every box, not to mention one that gets the job done in 7 words or less. But don’t worry if it takes some extra time, because investing in your brand promise will support your success down the road.
2. Positioning Statement
Your positioning statement highlights your key differentiators in the marketplace. It outlines where you fit among your competitors, and acts as a guide for internal and external messaging.
3. Targeted Audience
Don’t just think about who might buy your product, define your ideal buyer, because this will help you tailor the product or service to those most likely to benefit from it. Effective brand messaging will resonate with their needs, interests, motivations, and pain points.
Your mission statement should be a summary of the values and goals of your company. Specifically, what are you looking to accomplish; how will you accomplish those goals; and what are your company’s core beliefs?
5. Tone of Voice
This step is imperative and will influence all of your future copywriting — it’s your brand’s personality. Is your audience made up of young adults? Maybe your tone of voice will be trendy and bold. Are you marketing to a more affluent audience? Maybe it will be high-end and elegant. The tone of voice you choose should reflect the targeted audience that will interact with your content.
6. Elevator Pitch
In many networking cases or pitching opportunities, you may only have 60 seconds to describe your brand to your audience. This can be a very useful step in simplifying your brand message, because it forces you to get down to the essentials. When you’re showcasing your brand, particularly online, it pays to keep it short and sweet.
7. Brand Pillars
Lastly, brand pillars will run through the above-mentioned points and provide a summary of the most important characteristics of your product or service. These points should relate to what your customers feel are most important in the purchasing journey such as on-time delivery, convenience, reliability, etc. It’s typically recommended to identify only three brand pillars and support them with essential benefits and examples. Ultimately, these should be used to inform the focus of your marketing content.
Once you’ve gone through each step you’ll have a solid messaging framework in place that drives effective and consistent brand messaging. By using key terms and audience-specific messaging, you’ll quickly develop a brand messaging strategy that’s nimble and effective.
Stand out in today’s highly competitive marketplace. Schedule a conversation with one of our marketing experts today.