Branding 101: How to get your message right 

 June 12, 2020

By  Lou Marx

Having worked with countless businesses, one of the most common issues that I hear people struggle with is how to communicate their value to customers. They just can’t seem to work out their brand message.

Bridging the gap between the customer’s challenge and the solution you offer, almost always comes back to developing clear and confident messaging that communicates your value in an emotionally compelling way.

So how can you get your message right? In order to uncover how to do this, there are a couple of strategic exercises we can run through. 

Step 1: Get clear on your positioning

A positioning statement explains what you do, who you do it for, and the benefits of these products or services in a succinct and concise statement.

To develop this positioning statement, you first must assess

  • Your category, which is to understand the industry your company plays in.
  • Your core target market, which is to understand who they are and what matters to them.
  • Your competition, which is to understand how your company’s strengths and weaknesses measure up to those who offer the same product or service as you.
  • And lastly – your context and environment. This is to understand and align with any of the cultural movements that affect your company or influence your customers.

A positioning statement pulls in all of the relevant information into a simple statement that becomes a guiding compass for everyone in the organisation.

Here’s an example of a positioning statement used by Amazon in 2001.

Amazon 2001 – For world wide web users, who enjoy books, Amazon.com is an online bookseller that provides instant access to over 1.1 million books. Unlike traditional book retailers, Amazon.com provides a combination of extraordinary experience, low prices and comprehensive selection.

Here, Amazon address who they are and why they matter by using core positioning elements such as their category, their target market, what differentiates them from their competition and how they’ve aligned with the online boom at the time to connect with those who matter most – prospects and customers alike.

Note, your brand positioning statement is not for marketing or any public use. Instead, it is the guiding compass that steers your company in a certain direction while giving you clarity on who you are, why you matter and who you matter too. This is important when trying to communicate your company’s value.

Step 2: Develop a message framework

Once you have a positioning statement it becomes a lot easier to identify why you matter and who you matter to. The next step is to develop a message framework that can articulate that.

Establishing a clear company purpose, customer value proposition and core narrative around how you can communicate this value in a powerful and emotionally compelling way, is going to help you connect with and develop much deeper relationships with your core target market.

Because you’ve done the work to drill down on your core customers, you’ll be able to tie in the things that really matter to them and talk to them in a very personalised and customised way.

You can even go one step further and break this up into core communication themes (brand content pillars) which help direct content and marketing activities. The following is an example of the Branded X message framework:

image 1
Through this brand messaging framework we’re able to communicate who we are and why we matter.
image 2
Pillars of content can be developed to help businesses clearly communicate their core messages in a way that enhances and connects their brand with audiences.

Step 3: Create an elevator message

Once you have a positioning statement and a message framework in place, it becomes a lot easier to derive aspects of your value. From there, you want to develop a key message that all members of the team can articulate easily and that can be used across all communication and marketing touch points.

We call this an elevator message.

An elevator message is a congruent and easy to remember message that sums up who you are and why you matter all in the space of an elevator ride.

By utilising core aspects of your positioning statement and core message framework, you’ll be able to develop an elevator message just like the following example from Hubspot.

This elevator message clearly outlines who the company is, what the company does, who the company does that for, as well as the main benefits of the service. 

Example from Hubspot

As an account executive for AnswerASAP, I talk to hundreds of marketers per month. And 99% of them hate creating reports. It’s time-consuming, it’s tedious, and it’s usually not your highest priority. That’s where our tool comes in – it pulls from all of your data to create any report you want in less than the time it takes to pour a cup of coffee.

Now it’s your turn to develop your brand message

These powerful and strategic exercises are so important when it comes to getting your message right. They are great to do in teams and can be workshopped over time.

I see all too often businesses failing to communicate their value well to team members, customers and key stakeholders missing vital opportunities for growth and sales.

By taking the time to really drill down on your core messaging, you’ll feel confident communicating your value across your marketing and all other touch points.

For more help on getting your message right, for a limited time only we’re offering FREE Brand Breakthrough sessions.

A Brand Breakthrough session is an opportunity to speak to one of our qualified and experienced brand strategists to assess where your brand can gain even more traction, growth and momentum in the marketplace.

To secure your spot, click here to book a session now.

And while you wait for your appointment, the following reads will help you get started.

What is a brand? Everything you need to know

How to position your brand for market dominance

Lou Marx

Lou Marx is a storyteller at heart.

Her purpose is to create, build, promote and spread messages that connect and awaken.

Lou Marx

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