Developing a brand strategy is not a “once and done” thing. Like your business, your brand and your voice will adapt and change over time. It won’t be a drastic change, but it will be designed to hone in more on your target audience and what you have to offer them, as well as adjust your message to align better with their needs.
But despite the fact that brand messaging is a crucial part of every business’ development, there are some times when it can do more harm than good. Here’s when you need it, and when you don’t:
You Don’t Need Brand Messaging If:
- You haven’t figured out who your target audience is, or you have very broad brush strokes, like “moms” or “dentists”. You have to narrow down your audience into smaller, more targeted segments in order to get the kinds of results you want.
- Even if you think every dentist in the world could benefit from your product or service, it’s best to hone in on who you think would make your best possible customer first and foremost, and then spread out from there over time as you begin to rack up results.
- Conversely, your niche is hyper-targeted, like “underwater-basket-weaving” levels of targeting. Brand messaging won’t do you much good because chances are, you’re the only one (or one of a handfull) of brands operating in this incredibly narrowly-focused space.
- You haven’t discovered what your brand does differently than anyone else. There are a million examples of “me too” brands out there. Twenty-five years ago, there was no perceived need for a portable music player, but Apple’s iPod sprang onto the scene giving us precisely what we didn’t know we needed. What are you doing differently than everyone else, and why should people care?
- You haven’t given people a reason to act. This doesn’t just mean pasting up a call-to-action button and calling it a day. Why should they buy from you versus a competitor? Why should they buy from you versus doing nothing at all? Those are the real questions you have to ask yourself if you want your brand messaging to gain traction with its intended audience.
- You haven’t spoken to them in a way they understand – Brand messaging is more than just a logo, a color scheme and a corporate identity. It’s about more than a style guide. It’s about formulating in such a way that your target audience not only recognizes you but understands that you’re speaking to them on a level and in a way that they can resonate with and accept wholeheartedly.
In other words, you’re not only using the kind of language they would use, but you understand the same fears that are keeping them up at night. In other words, you “get it”.
With these points in mind, it’s very possible that you’ve done your homework in terms of securing a brand identity, but you’re still falling short on what it really means to create brand messaging. Although they sound similar, they’re not the same thing. Your brand identity is how others perceive you, like a first impression. Your brand messaging is about them understanding you.
If you’re wondering whether or not you’re actually at that point in your business, consider the following:
You DO Need Brand Messaging If:
- You’ve got your “brand pillars” nailed down. These are the three most important aspects of what you want your brand to convey. These aren’t just wishy-washy terms like “honesty”, “hard work”, “old-fashioned values” but really giving those terms a foundation that’s solid. What is your mission statement? What do you promise your users? How are you positioning your brand in that respect to deliver on those expectations?
- You can deliver a flawless elevator pitch. You’ve got 30, 60, or 90 seconds. Give me your best elevator pitch. Not a sales pitch, but tell me why I should listen to you. Can you do it perfectly every time? Then you’re ready to step up to the mic and announce your product or service to the world.
- You understand the difference between a mission statement and a positioning statement (and you have both) A mission statement is a more philosophical approach to understanding the types of goals you want to achieve with your brand, while a positioning statement is more about how you fit in the marketplace. If you have a fairly good idea of both parts, you’re ready for the next step: brand messaging.
Even if you don’t have the aforementioned points honed to a precise and definitive art, it’s a good bet that you’re ready to focus on brand messaging. You may just need a little help focusing and putting into words what it is you want to convey to your audience.
The good news is that you have an entire Workdom at your fingertips, ready to spring into action to help you define and differentiate your brand messaging so that it’s on point and ready to exceed your users’ expectations. It’s the kind of on-demand marketing that saves you time and gets the job done right — right from the start. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive brand messaging and development services!