There are painfully few brands in this world that have taken the idea of brand messaging to heart. Oftentimes, they get so bogged down in data and numbers that branding takes a back seat in their overall campaign focus — permanently.
But companies that have made great strides in their brand messaging are those that consistently stay one step ahead of their competitors. They bring something to the table (or often, more than one thing) that their competition simply can’t match, because the company becomes known for it; everyone else is just a copycat.
That’s why companies that invest in brand messaging and sincerely make a concentrated effort to keep it consistent while making sure it resonates with their audience are so few and far between. We’re not going to lie to you — it takes dedication and lots of it.
There’s a lot of probing into the core of what makes your company unique. And the answers can’t be found just by skimming the surface and saying things like “we have the best selection” or “we have the lowest prices.”
So how do you get started? Leave it to the advertising professionals at Workdom to walk you through the process.
Creating an Identity that’s Uniquely Your Own
The first step is to get to the heart of who you really are and what you want people to think of when they think of your business. This is as much about connecting with your ideal customer as it is about really knowing your brand. This identity also ties in with your USP or Unique Selling Proposition — the “thing” that your business does better than anyone else.
The problem with this step is that oftentimes, businesses create their brand messaging based on what they think people want, but they don’t actually listen to what those people want. One of the many reasons Apple floundered in the 80s and early 90s was because they were trying to get people to “Think Different”.
Back then, all people wanted was an affordable computer that ran the software they needed. They didn’t want to be thought of as different or unique in any way. They wanted a computer that just worked, without a lot of hassle and without a high price tag. Apple computers at the time were incredibly expensive and their operating system didn’t work with many outside software products. They thought people wanted something different, and people clearly did not.
Remember McDonald’s Arch Deluxe of the late 90s and early 2000s? They thought people (adults) wanted a sandwich that was a cut above the average cheeseburger. Turns out, they want just a plain, old, comfortable, familiar McDonald’s cheeseburger like everyone else. Now if only they’d bring back those salads or pizza!
The issue here of thinking you know what people want affects large companies just as much as small start-ups, but at the core of it all is one big lesson to learn: test the messaging and test how the brand resonates with people. You might even find out some things you never knew about the things customers associate with your brand!
Questions to Ask as you Uncover Your Brand Messaging
With that being said, you don’t have to conduct brand messaging blindly. In getting started, you’ll want to ask a few important, deep, and profound questions. Don’t hesitate to have a brainstorming session with everyone on your team to pull out the really good gold nuggets from the exercise. Some of the things you can ask include:
What differentiates you from your competitors? What really sets you apart? Don’t glaze over this as things like “price” or “quality” or “selection” because those can change overnight. What is it that really puts your brand above and beyond the rest? Does the customer care about that?
What kinds of messages resonate with your target audience? Who do they look up to? Why should they turn to you? What messaging gets them to identify squarely with a brand and say “That company GETS me.” Like Patagonia does for hikers and climbers, be the brand that people love simply because they listen, they understand you, and you both have the same goals and beliefs in mind.
What are your goals and values as a company? What do you stand for? What do you truly believe in? How do you demonstrate that to your customers and prospects? People’s B.S. detectors are naturally on high-alert for businesses that like to talk the talk, but not walk the walk, so be careful with this one and make sure that it’s something the company is wholly committed to.
The bottom line when it comes to creating brand messaging that your customers will love and stick with is that it not only has to be memorable, but it has to tick all of the boxes for them as a lifestyle brand. Something they can be proud of wearing, eating, or otherwise making a part of their life. Always ask yourself whether or not the benefit you’re talking about is something your customers would care about too. Just because you do, doesn’t mean they will.
And if you need some help coming up with concrete brand messaging that gets results, reach out to us at Workdom. Our on-demand marketing team is always available to help with all things branding, helping you to create a voice and tone that gets customers’ attention and speaks their language in a way that reflects all the best reasons to do business with you. Speak to one of our senior advertising professionals today!