Do you have a clear (and effective) messaging strategy for your brand?
It’s important that your brand has a consistent message that resonates with your target audience. Brands that don’t have a clear message can either come across as bland and forgettable or as confusingly chaotic.
Getting your brand message right makes it easier to win loyal customers and attract attention to your business.
What Is Brand Messaging?
Brand messaging is about having a clear, coherent personality and value proposition for your brand. It’s about what your brand offers and your unique way of offering it.
Your messaging strategy can help your business bring in customers, keep them coming back time and time again, and prompt them to spread the word about your brand to their friends and family.
So how can you create a strong message for your brand?
Start with Your Goals for Your Brand
Before you dive deep into your messaging strategy, get clear about your goals. For instance, perhaps you want to make 50% more sales during the next six months.
The best goals are clear and specific, rather than vague. They have a deadline or timeframe, and they can be quantified.
If your goals are currently things like “grow our brand” or “make more sales” then get specific about exactly what you want to achieve.
Understand Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
What makes your brand different from all the other brands offering similar products and services?
Figuring out your USP is a crucial step toward developing your brand message and creating an effective messaging strategy.
Your USP could be almost anything that makes you stand out. For instance, it might be one of these:
- The quality of your products—they’re better/more durable/longer lasting than your competitors’ products.
- The health benefits of your products.
- The environmentally friendly nature of your products.
- The fast turnaround speed of your services.
- The personal, friendly, one-to-one nature of your services.
- The way your business supports charity with every sale.
- Or even your brand’s voice and approach, if those stand out in your niche.
The UK company Deadhappy, for life insurance, is a great example of a unique brand voice with its use of dramatic some language, “death wish” and colour styling.
Your USP needs to give customers a reason to choose your brand instead of someone else’s.
Get Clear About Your Target Audience
Along with knowing your USP, you need to know your target audience before you can fully develop a messaging strategy.
Who are you talking to, when you post on social media, send out an email, or create a video for your website? Who’s looking at their phone or computer screen as they decide whether to see more from you—or click somewhere else?
You should know your target audience in terms of key demographics, such as their:
- Age and gender
- Geographical location
- Level of education
It’s also important to know their values, aspirations, attitudes, and more—often called “psychographics.” These can have a huge influence on the type of brand voice you adopt.
Establish Your Brand Voice
Now that you’re clear about who you’re serving and what you’re offering them, it’s time to establish a tone of voice for your brand’s messaging.
Is your brand irreverent and silly? Or quietly serious? Your brand might be thoughtful and introspective—or tough and no-nonsense. All of this will come across in your tone of voice.
It’s also worth considering what types of language you will (and won’t) use in your brand. Perhaps you’re happy to use slang but you want to avoid any swearing. Or maybe you serve an international audience, so you’re careful to avoid idioms that might not be well-known elsewhere.
Think About Visuals Too
Your brand message isn’t just about the words you use; it’s also about images and video content. If you’re publishing these on your website, make sure they’re well designed for sharing on social media and sharing on WhatsApp.
Would cartoon-style images suit your brand? Repurposed memes? Or arty black-and-white photography? You can see how all those would send a different message to customers about what type of business you are and what you offer.
You might also want to think about how visuals and text will interact. Will your brand use emoticons when talking with customers, for instance?
Craft Your Brand Story (So People Care)
All brands have a story. Often, though, brands end up burying their story in a mass of formal text on their About page, detailing a list of dates and facts—when the company was founded, awards won over the years, and so on.
Instead of a dull About page, craft a brand story that makes an emotional connection. You might talk about how your brand grew out of a specific passion or value that you held. You could focus on the people who are part of your brand story, whether that’s founders or current employees.
Your brand story isn’t something you’ll repeat all the time in your messaging, but it’s important that your message strategy incorporates elements of your story. This could influence everything from the photos you share from your company away day to the content you curate.
Finally, make sure that everyone in your company is on the same page when it comes to your brand messaging. This means having clear, written guidelines (even in a small company). That way, you can make sure that your brand message comes across clearly through all your content, whether that’s a tweet, customer service response, or a blog post.