How to Create a Brand Message That Builds Connections
Crafting a message that grabs attention and communicates your unique value isn't easy. Here are 5 steps that will simplify the process.
Wouldn’t it nice if people wanted to buy from you before you ever meet them?
That’s what a compelling brand message can do for you.
Learning how to create a brand message is critical to your success. But developing one isn’t easy.
Most forms of advertising and promotion are marketing messages, used to generate sales. Some marketing messages are broad, others target certain segments of your audience. But each one serves a purpose and will change based on your objectives.
Brand messaging is not a marketing or advertising message. It’s a consistent theme that helps build your brand identity. A compelling brand message tells your audience what you’re all about.
Your brand message never changes. It serves as a foundation for all business communication.
What Is a Brand Message?
It’s a lot easier to explain your business’s purpose and value in a person-to-person call or meeting. But most of your prospects want to know more about you before they talk to you.
A brand message is an overarching theme that supports all your business communication. That theme should be clear in every touchpoint. These touchpoints include your website, social media, advertising, and even customer service.
It’s the consistency of this message that makes it so effective.
Why Is Consistent Brand Messaging So Important?
Here’s how it works: think of a movie you’ve watched again and again or a book you’ve read several times.
Every time you see that movie or read that book, you pick up on something new. Despite being new to you, it was there all along. That’s how brand messaging works.
It takes a while for people to absorb the totality of your brand message.
What About Slogans and Taglines?
Many slogans or taglines are catchy and easy to remember. Some, like Nike’s “Just do it”, have become famous.
Slogans are only part of your brand messaging. Unless yours becomes well-known, you’ll have to do much more to get your brand message across.
If you’re going to have a slogan, it should create a direct link to what your business does. The purpose of having one is to help people remember your company when they need your product or service.
To illustrate, I’ll use two examples.
Here is the first:
“A diamond is forever.”
This one-liner is a popular slogan and one you may have seen before. It’s not bad but it doesn’t tell us who the company is.
Now, let’s look at one from a competitor:
“Every kiss begins with Kay.”
This is a fantastic slogan. Here’s why:
- The word kiss triggers thoughts of romance. Any romantic occasion might trigger brand recall in people who are searching for a gift idea.
- The word kiss begins with the letter K.
- It just so happens the name of the company is Kay Jewelers.
How to Create a Brand Message
Before you can learn how to create a brand message, you need to consider the perspectives of each element involved.
Let me explain.
To create a brand message that builds connection, you must examine every angle. You must think about what you want to say and how your customers might receive it. It’s also helpful to be aware of your competitors’ messages too.
Typically, there are two points-of-view, or approaches. Let’s examine each one.
The Customer-first Approach to Brand Messaging
The more you know about your ideal customers, the more effective your brand message will be.
Why do people really buy from you?
Many business owners focus too much on what they do and how good they are at doing it. As a result, their message comes across as bragging instead of generating interest.
It helps to think about the problems people have that your business can solve. But it can make even more impact to think about how solving those problem will make people feel.
Remember the Kay Jeweler’s slogan from the previous section? It clearly communicates a sense of romance. This emotion is a powerful buying motivator for people who are in love.
Your brand message can have the same kind of impact on your audience.
The Business-first Approach to Brand Messaging
How do you want your audience to see your business? What should come to mind when they come into contact with it?
Your message is a part of your brand’s identity.
Like a human being, your business has a personality, call a brand persona. The way you communicate in voice and tone helps create this persona.
Write down words (usually adjectives) that describe your brand persona. Consider these as you craft your brand message.
Remember, it isn’t just what you say, but how you say it that matters.
What Are Your Competitors Saying?
It’s easy to get into the habit of comparing your business to competitors. When they do something we like or that appears to be working, we’re often tempted to copy them.
But many times, this is a mistake—especially when it comes to messaging.
To learn truly learn how to create a brand message that makes an impact, you must know how to position your business in a unique way. You can’t do that when you’re mimicking the competition. But you can analyze their brand messages and improve on them.
Look for unique angles. Most businesses make many of the same claims and promises. It may be easier than you think to come up with a message that sounds unique.
The Structure of Your Brand Message
In this section, I’ll go over each component that plays a role and how to create a brand message of your own.
Step 1: The Brand Promise
The brand promise summarizes what you do, who you help, and how you help them. Every customer should be able to depend on you to deliver. What promises are you making to them?
It’s essential to have this in place before moving on to the next step. Landing on a strong brand promise may take some time. Keep trying new things and making improvements until you find on the perfect fit.
Step 2: Positioning Statement
This is where the rubber meets the road. Your positioning statement implies how you uniquely solve your customer’s problem. This is your chance to set your business apart from competitors. Analyzing your competitors’ positioning statements helps you see how your business is different.
You may be unable to see a difference. This means you need to go back to step one and develop a stronger brand promise.
Step 3: Your Brand Mission
Your brand’s mission is the reason why you exist—your core philosophy and big-picture vision. This is not the same as your brand promise. Your mission is the overarching goal you want to achieve through your business.
This is where a little human psychology comes into play.
It’s no secret—people know you want to make money. But they don’t want doing business with you to be only about money. Having a cause or mission is a great way to show customers you care about more than making a profit.
Businesses can end up in trouble when they use their mission to manipulate sales. It isn’t that they’re insincere, but it’s tempting to leverage a good cause to tap into customer emotion. And emotion is a powerful motivator to get people to buy.
Step 4: The Target
Your brand message is like a calling card for like-minded customers. To connect with those ideal customers, your brand message must resonate with them.
Follow these rules:
- Stay away from industry terms and jargon—your customers won’t understand them.
- Use empathy and show them you know what it’s like to walk in their shoes.
- Say things the way they would say them. Use their language and words.
- Position your product or service as the ideal solution for their problem. As you do, think of functional and emotional reasons they should buy from you.
Step 5: Brand Voice
Have you ever attended a conference and felt the speaker was talking directly to you? That’s because they knew exactly what to say to get your attention.
They also knew how to say it.
Your brand voice is the tone you use when delivering your messages. It’s how you communicate.
Many businesses don’t think about how they’re communicating. Of those that do, only a few stay consistent. Messaging that sends mixed signals is “wishy-washy” and confuses your audience.
And remember, a confused says no.
It’s easy to get bored with saying the same things again and again. But remember, most people in your audience will be hearing it for the first time.
The purpose of your brand message is to connect you to the customers you want. It’s also helps shape your brand identity and makes your marketing more effective.
Premium brands are experts at creating a compelling brand message. Don’t rush it. Keep working at it until you’ve created a message that resonates with your ideal audience.
If you have questions, email me personally at [email protected], or visit our website to learn more.
Until next time,
We equip visionary entrepreneurs and small business owners with the knowledge and resources they need to stand out, communicate their value, and make more profit.