Brand messaging is a deceptively simple subject. It can be really easy to decide what you want your brand to say, but when it comes to actually getting it across to the customer – the words just don’t flow. But it is worth doing, as it is critical to your business’s success.

Your brand messaging is so much more than your services and deals – it is one of the most effective ways of building a customer base.

Some key stats around brand messaging include:

  • 64% of customers say the primary reason they connect with a brand is due to shared values
  • An average increase in revenue of 23% if you can achieve brand consistency
  • Research shows that people rely more on emotions and experiences when evaluating brands than they do on facts and logic

So, it is essential that your brand messaging encapsulates the core elements of your brand in order to appeal to your target customers’ hearts – rather than their minds – and this can be really challenging (especially for science-based businesses).

Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about brand messaging in order not just to earn a sale but a loyal customer as well.

What is brand messaging?

Salesforce defines brand messaging as “the underlying value proposition conveyed and language used in your content.”

In simple terms, this means that brand messaging is the skill of using the right words to communicate the essence of your brand to potential customers.

Think about it this way. In an ideal world, you could sit with your customers over a cup of tea and discuss why they should do business with you. In reality, you only have a split second to capture their attention online and encourage them to decide whether you are worth their time and money.

You may think that your product or service speaks for itself, but ensuring you have clear, strong messaging is the only way you will get your products or services into the minds of your customers.

So, brand messaging is about determining exactly what you want to communicate to your customers.

But where do you start?

Two parts of brand messaging

Brand messaging has two main parts – how your team perceives you and how your customers perceive you.

Branding starts from within.

Your company culture, mission statement and values set the tone for how your customers will experience your brand and where you will sit in the marketplace.

  • Internal brand messaging. How you and your team define your brand. Company culture develops directly from the circulation of internal brand messages to your team, so it is important that these are defined early on in the development of your brand. These messages tend to revolve around ideas.
  • External brand messaging. This is the messaging aimed at your customers and is what most people think about when they think of brand messaging. These messages tend to be informational and actionable rather than revolving around ideas. External messaging covers things such as your positioning statement, value propositions, and strapline. All your marketing campaigns should be developed based on these statements to ensure your messaging stays consistent.

Nine main components of brand messaging

#Component One: Mission Statement – the “why”

Your mission statement is a short sentence (or two) that answers the question, “Why do you do what you do?”

To answer this question, you can think about filling in the blank: “Our company exists to……” Sit down with your core team and brainstorm several ideas until you find the one that captures what you want to say perfectly and communicates why you believe in your work.

There are plenty of examples of fantastic mission statements out there, such as The Alzheimer’s Association’s “A world without Alzheimer’s disease” and Facebook’s “Connect with friends and the world around you on Facebook” or even TED’s “Spread Ideas.”

One important thing to remember when coming up with your mission statement is that it will often be used internally and externally (unlike other messaging pieces) so it needs to be clear and simple.

#Component Two: Vision Statement – the “where”

Your vision statement is different from your mission statement in that it is a forward-looking statement that sets the future goal of what you want to see happen in the world because of the work your company does – i.e. where is your company going?

To answer this question: “Our company will be…..” Again, brainstorm many ideas before you choose the one with all the right pieces.

Some great vision statements include: “To make people happy” (Disney), “A just world without poverty” (Oxfam) and “To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected” (Facebook).

#Component Three: Values – the “how”

Your values are the statements that determine how you do business. If your vision statement shows your ultimate destination, then your values are the map that you use to guide your company’s journey to that destination.

To answer this question, think about “We believe…..” Write down as many as possible, then edit this to a shortlist that relates closely to your core business and mission.

Again, there are lots of great examples of company values out there, such as “Focus on the user and all else will follow” (Google), “Learn and be curious” (Amazon), “We are customer-obsessed” (Uber) and “Craftsmanship” (Slack).

Your values should then guide the work you do every day and form the basis of all your messaging.

#Component Four: Positioning Statement – the “what”, “who” and “how”

Your mission statement is your “why”, so your positioning statement is your “what”, ”who” and “how”. This makes it critical to the success of your brand as it is the statement that most people will see.

Your positioning statement should include your audience, industry, promise, and evidence. So, fill in the blanks “For (your audience), (your brand) is the (your market) that best delivers on (your brand promise)”

Let’s take Amazon as an example. Their positioning statement is “For customers who want to purchase a wide range of products online with quick delivery, Amazon provides a one-stop shopping site.”

Or Nike: “For athletes needing high-quality, fashionable athletic wear, Nike provides customers with top-performing sports apparel and shoes made of the highest quality materials.”

Again, great external marketing should always reference your positioning statement.

#Component Five: Differentiators

Your differentiators are the things that set your brand apart from your competitors. Your business model and brand strategy will help determine these, but your brand messaging needs to be able to convey these to customers.

You can define your differentiators by listing what makes you better and different to others in your industry. Think about things such as your target customer, your ingredients or materials, your service, your price point, and your values. Anything that you do differently from everyone else can be a differentiator.

Once you have a list, pick three or four of them that you think will be most meaningful to your audience and then concentrate on communicating these through your marketing materials.

Whenever potential customers give time to your brand, whether skimming your website or scrolling through your social media posts, they need to be sure of your differentiators.

#Component Six: Value Propositions

Value propositions are short statements that define what you do or what the value of your business is for customers. You will probably have more than one value proposition, and if you have several target customer segments, you may have different value propositions for each segment.

Uber has a great set of value propositions:

  • One tap and a car comes directly to you
  • Your driver knows exactly where to go
  • Payment is cashless

Once you have your value propositions, make sure they are listed on your homepage – it’s a great place to share them all. You are then introducing all of your website visitors to the basic overview of who you are and what they can expect from your business.

#Component Seven: Voice

Components one to six have been about what you want to say, so now we understand how you say it.

Your brand voice is the thing that brings the personality of your business to life.

One way to think about your voice is to liken it to a celebrity. Are you casual and funny like Jamie Oliver, or professional and passionate like James Martin?

Craft a voice with your inspirational personality in mind and consistently use it in your brand materials so your customers can start to connect with your brand emotionally.

#Component Eight: Strapline

Your company’s strapline is one of the most important elements of your external brand messaging. You need to compose a message that echoes in the reader’s brain for as long as possible in just a few words.

Your strapline can make people laugh, elicit emotion from them, or just describe your business – it depends on your brand personality. Just make sure it is simple, short and memorable.

#Component Nine: The Elevator Pitch

This is an old-school business concept, but it is still relevant today.

Imagine yourself in an elevator with a potential customer. You only have a few seconds to convert them to your brand. What do you say?

The goal of the elevator pitch is to describe as much as you can about your business with as few words as possible. Think about your positioning statement, add your differentiators and value propositions, and you should have the basis for a 30-second pitch that conveys all of the important information about your brand.

Conclusion: Brand messaging matters

Your brand messaging is the essence of your brand put into words.

The team at Zool can advise on your brand messaging and the crucial part it plays in the success of your business.  Get in touch today to find out more.

The importance of brand messaging

  /  

Brand messaging is a deceptively simple subject. It can be really easy to decide what you want your brand to say, but when it comes to actually getting it across to the customer – the words just don’t flow. But it is worth doing, as it is critical to your business’s success.

Your brand messaging is so much more than your services and deals – it is one of the most effective ways of building a customer base.

Some key stats around brand messaging include:

  • 64% of customers say the primary reason they connect with a brand is due to shared values
  • An average increase in revenue of 23% if you can achieve brand consistency
  • Research shows that people rely more on emotions and experiences when evaluating brands than they do on facts and logic

So, it is essential that your brand messaging encapsulates the core elements of your brand in order to appeal to your target customers’ hearts – rather than their minds – and this can be really challenging (especially for science-based businesses).

Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about brand messaging in order not just to earn a sale but a loyal customer as well.

What is brand messaging?

Salesforce defines brand messaging as “the underlying value proposition conveyed and language used in your content.”

In simple terms, this means that brand messaging is the skill of using the right words to communicate the essence of your brand to potential customers.

Think about it this way. In an ideal world, you could sit with your customers over a cup of tea and discuss why they should do business with you. In reality, you only have a split second to capture their attention online and encourage them to decide whether you are worth their time and money.

You may think that your product or service speaks for itself, but ensuring you have clear, strong messaging is the only way you will get your products or services into the minds of your customers.

So, brand messaging is about determining exactly what you want to communicate to your customers.

But where do you start?

Two parts of brand messaging

Brand messaging has two main parts – how your team perceives you and how your customers perceive you.

Branding starts from within.

Your company culture, mission statement and values set the tone for how your customers will experience your brand and where you will sit in the marketplace.

  • Internal brand messaging. How you and your team define your brand. Company culture develops directly from the circulation of internal brand messages to your team, so it is important that these are defined early on in the development of your brand. These messages tend to revolve around ideas.
  • External brand messaging. This is the messaging aimed at your customers and is what most people think about when they think of brand messaging. These messages tend to be informational and actionable rather than revolving around ideas. External messaging covers things such as your positioning statement, value propositions, and strapline. All your marketing campaigns should be developed based on these statements to ensure your messaging stays consistent.

Nine main components of brand messaging

#Component One: Mission Statement – the “why”

Your mission statement is a short sentence (or two) that answers the question, “Why do you do what you do?”

To answer this question, you can think about filling in the blank: “Our company exists to……” Sit down with your core team and brainstorm several ideas until you find the one that captures what you want to say perfectly and communicates why you believe in your work.

There are plenty of examples of fantastic mission statements out there, such as The Alzheimer’s Association’s “A world without Alzheimer’s disease” and Facebook’s “Connect with friends and the world around you on Facebook” or even TED’s “Spread Ideas.”

One important thing to remember when coming up with your mission statement is that it will often be used internally and externally (unlike other messaging pieces) so it needs to be clear and simple.

#Component Two: Vision Statement – the “where”

Your vision statement is different from your mission statement in that it is a forward-looking statement that sets the future goal of what you want to see happen in the world because of the work your company does – i.e. where is your company going?

To answer this question: “Our company will be…..” Again, brainstorm many ideas before you choose the one with all the right pieces.

Some great vision statements include: “To make people happy” (Disney), “A just world without poverty” (Oxfam) and “To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected” (Facebook).

#Component Three: Values – the “how”

Your values are the statements that determine how you do business. If your vision statement shows your ultimate destination, then your values are the map that you use to guide your company’s journey to that destination.

To answer this question, think about “We believe…..” Write down as many as possible, then edit this to a shortlist that relates closely to your core business and mission.

Again, there are lots of great examples of company values out there, such as “Focus on the user and all else will follow” (Google), “Learn and be curious” (Amazon), “We are customer-obsessed” (Uber) and “Craftsmanship” (Slack).

Your values should then guide the work you do every day and form the basis of all your messaging.

#Component Four: Positioning Statement – the “what”, “who” and “how”

Your mission statement is your “why”, so your positioning statement is your “what”, ”who” and “how”. This makes it critical to the success of your brand as it is the statement that most people will see.

Your positioning statement should include your audience, industry, promise, and evidence. So, fill in the blanks “For (your audience), (your brand) is the (your market) that best delivers on (your brand promise)”

Let’s take Amazon as an example. Their positioning statement is “For customers who want to purchase a wide range of products online with quick delivery, Amazon provides a one-stop shopping site.”

Or Nike: “For athletes needing high-quality, fashionable athletic wear, Nike provides customers with top-performing sports apparel and shoes made of the highest quality materials.”

Again, great external marketing should always reference your positioning statement.

#Component Five: Differentiators

Your differentiators are the things that set your brand apart from your competitors. Your business model and brand strategy will help determine these, but your brand messaging needs to be able to convey these to customers.

You can define your differentiators by listing what makes you better and different to others in your industry. Think about things such as your target customer, your ingredients or materials, your service, your price point, and your values. Anything that you do differently from everyone else can be a differentiator.

Once you have a list, pick three or four of them that you think will be most meaningful to your audience and then concentrate on communicating these through your marketing materials.

Whenever potential customers give time to your brand, whether skimming your website or scrolling through your social media posts, they need to be sure of your differentiators.

#Component Six: Value Propositions

Value propositions are short statements that define what you do or what the value of your business is for customers. You will probably have more than one value proposition, and if you have several target customer segments, you may have different value propositions for each segment.

Uber has a great set of value propositions:

  • One tap and a car comes directly to you
  • Your driver knows exactly where to go
  • Payment is cashless

Once you have your value propositions, make sure they are listed on your homepage – it’s a great place to share them all. You are then introducing all of your website visitors to the basic overview of who you are and what they can expect from your business.

#Component Seven: Voice

Components one to six have been about what you want to say, so now we understand how you say it.

Your brand voice is the thing that brings the personality of your business to life.

One way to think about your voice is to liken it to a celebrity. Are you casual and funny like Jamie Oliver, or professional and passionate like James Martin?

Craft a voice with your inspirational personality in mind and consistently use it in your brand materials so your customers can start to connect with your brand emotionally.

#Component Eight: Strapline

Your company’s strapline is one of the most important elements of your external brand messaging. You need to compose a message that echoes in the reader’s brain for as long as possible in just a few words.

Your strapline can make people laugh, elicit emotion from them, or just describe your business – it depends on your brand personality. Just make sure it is simple, short and memorable.

#Component Nine: The Elevator Pitch

This is an old-school business concept, but it is still relevant today.

Imagine yourself in an elevator with a potential customer. You only have a few seconds to convert them to your brand. What do you say?

The goal of the elevator pitch is to describe as much as you can about your business with as few words as possible. Think about your positioning statement, add your differentiators and value propositions, and you should have the basis for a 30-second pitch that conveys all of the important information about your brand.

Conclusion: Brand messaging matters

Your brand messaging is the essence of your brand put into words.

The team at Zool can advise on your brand messaging and the crucial part it plays in the success of your business.  Get in touch today to find out more.