So often underused, yet so powerful. MESSAGING
Sure, messaging might not be as sexy as logo design or digital marketing but nailing your messaging can do more for your brand effectiveness than any other aspect of your brand strategy mix.
Many times, I work with successful companies that already have customers and are generating revenue, but they are revamping their messaging to accelerate sales, go after new markets, or stand out in a crowded market.
Did you catch that last one? Stand out in a crowded market.
Marketers often get too hung on thinking “rebranding” means the whole visual, verbal, and experiential kit and kaboodle. New logo, website, colors, stationery, signage, t-shirts, tchotchkes. But many smart companies know that simply revamping messaging can do wonders to accelerate growth and attention.
If you clarify your messaging and ensure it’s absolutely compelling to your target audience, I submit this will take you farther than a slick website or cool visual design.
Not at all to say those things don’t all work in tandem to tell a cohesive brand story. But if you’re looking for the lowest hanging brand fruit, start with your messaging.
Messaging is where my brand strategy works starts! Without clear messaging, how do you know what you are trying to communicate and to whom visually or experientially? (TWEET THIS!)
But how can you use your messaging to stand out and get noticed?
Here are 3 tips to differentiating your company messaging
(Warning: This will all sound great in theory, but your company leadership may not have the stones to implement them!)
- Adopt the language of your customer, not jargon: No one cares what the analysts call your category or what your CEO decided in a vacuum was the most important term for your space.
Your company should talk how your customers talk.
Ditch the jargon that (you think) makes you sound really smart. Talk to your customers and capture their exact words. Articulate the problem and solution in the words your customer uses inside their heads. When you talk how your people talk, they will connect with you. They will pay attention. They will say, “Hell, yes, that’s what I’m talking about!” and will clamor to learn more. If you only care about appeasing the Gartner analysts, ask yourself if Gartner pays your bills!
- Take the competitors stance – and twist it: Watch what your competitors are saying…but don’t worry about it. Find a way to turn it on its head and capitalize on how you do it better. Never adopt messaging simply it is because it’s how everyone else talks about your product or service. Of course, use the language of you industry but never second-guess yourself just because a competitor is saying something you are not. I’ve suffered through too many CEO’s who wanted “our website to have a section like their website.” No strategy. No vision. Just “do what they’re doing.”
Well, first, what if they don’t know what they’re doing? What if they’re wrong? And second, what if their brand voice and story is speaking to a different buyer than ours? Resist the urge to simply adopt messaging because it’s what everyone else is doing, unless there’s a strategic reason to do so. Remember, your mom’s advice whenever you wanted to do something all the other kids were doing? “Is all the other kids jumped off a cliff, would you do it, too?
- Develop a unique brand voice and tone: One of the best ways to differentiate your messaging is not in what you say, but how you say it. After a deep dive brand strategy exercise, determine the unique brand voice and personality that best serves your customers and genuinely reflects who you are. Method Cleaning Products does a fabulous job of owning a unique, funny brand voice on their products and it’s aligned with their culture of “being weird.” If you truly want to stand out, stop sounding like everyone else and develop your own viewpoint and personality so when people come across your messaging, they will know it is distinctly YOU.