How to Create a Brand Message That Connects
Craft a brand message that sets grabs attention, communicates your value, and improves marketing and advertising conversions.
Most advertising can be categorized as a marketing message, primarily used to generate sales. Some marketing messages target specific segments of your audience, while others address another group altogether and will change or evolve.
Brand messaging is unlike other forms of marketing or business communication. It is the key to creating and building your brand identity.
In this article, you will learn how to craft a brand message that sets you apart from competitors, improves marketing and advertising conversion rates, and promotes customer loyalty.
Your brand message never changes. It serves as a foundation for all business communication.
What about slogans?
Some slogans or taglines are catchy and help people remember your business. But developing a slogan that aligns with your brand is not always easy.
Your slogan should create a direct link to your business. Its purpose is to help people remember your company when they need your product or service. This is known as brand recall.
To illustrate, I will use two examples.
Here is the first:
“A diamond is forever.”
This one-liner conveys two truths—that diamonds themselves last forever and that giving someone a diamond is an unforgettable moment. It is a good slogan but doesn’t tell us who the company is.
Now, let’s look at another one:
“Every kiss begins with Kay.”
This is a fantastic slogan because it communicates to a target audience on multiple levels.
- The word kiss triggers thoughts of romance. Any romantic occasion—Valentine’s Day, an engagement, anniversary, birthday—could trigger brand recall in the minds of people who are searching for a gift idea.
- The word kiss begins with the letter K.
- And it just so happens that the name of the company is Kay Jewelers.
It is not mandatory for a slogan or tagline to state what you do, who you help, and include your company name. But this is a great example of how a slogan can generate brand recall for a business.
The Customer-first Approach to Brand Messaging
People want to know that the businesses they buy from care about them as human beings first and their money second.
The better you know who your ideal customers are, the better you can communicate with them. Do your homework. Find out what matters to them, what they care about, and what makes them tick.
Survey your existing customer base to find out why they bought from you. Asking them why they almost didn’t buy from you can offer even more valuable insight into improvements you can make in your brand communication and business processes.
Many business owners focus too much on what they do and how they help their customers. As a result, their brand messaging ends up being more about how great the business is, which ends up sounding like an opinion more than proof.
Though you may genuinely care about your customers, they won’t connect with you based on how good you think your business is or how much you say you care. Develop your brand message around the feedback you receive from customers.
The Business-first Approach to Brand Messaging
Once you have an idea about what your customers want from your business, it is time to start thinking about what matters to you, the owner. You want to build a brand—something bigger and better. To do that, you must consider what your business needs as an entity to thrive.
What do you want from your business? More freedom? To build a reputation of excellence? To be known as an industry leader?
You must create a link between what your customers want from you and what you want your business to be known for.
While focusing on the customer should always be top priority, giving in to every customer demand, taking on anyone who will buy from you, and going against your core values and beliefs never ends well.
At some point you must find joy in what you do. That is why it is so important to maintain a healthy balance between what your customers want from you and what you want from your business.
What Are Your Competitors Saying?
It is easy to get into the habit of comparing what you are doing to what your competitors are doing. Many times, when we see the competition doing something we like or that appears to be working well, we are tempted to copy them.
The true art of the brand message is to position your business in a unique way. You can’t do that when you are mimicking the competition. What you can do is take inventory of what your competitors are saying in their brand messages and find your place among them.
Most businesses make many of the same claims and statements. It may be easier than you think to come up with a message that sets you apart.
The Structure of Your Brand Message
In this section, I will list the components of a brand message and how to integrate them into your business communication.
Step 1: The Brand Promise
The brand promise summarizes what you do, who you help, and how you help them. This could be accomplished with your tagline or UVP (Unique Value Proposition). Be sure it includes your ideal customer and links them to what you do, wrapping it all in your business’s purpose.
It may take some time to find a strong brand promise, but keep trying new things and making improvements until you land on the perfect fit.
Step 2: Positioning Statement
This is where the rubber meets the road. Your positioning statement specifies how you uniquely solve your customer’s problem. This defines your business and helps you stand out from competitors.
Like the brand promise, you may need to refine your positioning statement several times.
Step 3: Your Brand Mission
Your brand’s mission is the real why—the reason you exist—your core philosophy and big-picture vision.
Earlier in this article, I stated that people want the businesses they buy from care about them as human beings above all else. The brand mission helps you communicate to them that you care about the problems they have and that you exist to help them solve those problems.
Step 4: The Target
What you say will only matter to the people who care.
Your brand message will only resonate with the group of people for whom it is created. With the information gathered during the customer-first and business-first approaches to messaging (see above), your message should connect with the group of people you want as customers.
Here are some tips for making a great connection:
- Stay away from industry terms and jargon—your customers won’t understand them.
- Use empathy and show them you understand what it is like to walk in their shoes.
- Say things the way they would say them. Use their language.
Step 5: Brand Voice
Have you ever attended a conference and felt that the speaker was talking directly to you? That is because the person knew exactly what to say to get your attention (see Customer-first Approach to Brand Messaging, above).
But they also knew how to say it.
Your brand voice is what you use to deliver your messages. This is where consistency is vitally important.
Many businesses don’t think about how they are communicating and of those that do, only a minority understand how critical it is to remain consistent. Messaging that sends mixed signals is “wishy-washy” and confuses your audience.
And remember, a confused says no.
Your brand message will define the perception people have of your business. When you have perfected the process, you will see the returns on your marketing skyrocket. Ad responses and closed sales will increase. Customer loyalty will take on a whole new meaning.
Premium brands are experts at creating brand messages. But this isn’t easy to do. Don’t rush it. Take your time, continue learning and improving until you have created a brand message that sets you apart.
If you have questions, email me personally at email@example.com, or visit our website to learn more.
Until next time,
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