What is the one thing that should tie together every piece of content you create? Brand messaging.
Brand messaging refers to the underlying value proposition conveyed and language used in your content. It’s what makes buyers relate to your brand because it’s inspirational, persuasive, motivational and, well, sticky. Ultimately, it makes customers want to buy your product.
Whether it is a tagline (company centered, static) or slogan (product/campaign centered, changeable), the brand message is something others recognize and relate to.
Here are a few examples of well-known brand messages:
- “Break out of the inbox” – Slack
- “Imagination at work” – General Electric
- “Shave time. Shave money” – Dollar Shave Club
- “Just do it” – Nike
- “We bring companies and customers together” – Salesforce
- “Save Money. Live better” – Walmart
Let’s focus on taglines, since they encompass the overall company vision.
Taglines tell the world who you are and what you stand for. Although they are catchy, there’s a lot more that goes into your brand messaging than stringing a few illustrative words together with enough flair to make them memorable.
Consider the following factors when creating a tagline:
- Product positioning
- Key benefits
- Brand pillars
- Value proposition
Together, these elements combine to create a full messaging framework that can guide your marketing across every piece of content and every channel.
So how do you get started?
View your brand from the outside in. Get inside the mind of your customers before you begin messaging development exercises.
How do I create brand messaging?
1. Identify what customers want.
Be customer-centric in approach. View your brand from the outside in. Get inside the mind of your customers before you begin messaging development exercises. Do you have survey data that can tell you more about what matters most to your customers?
2. Consider where your brand is headed.
Examine your brand from the inside out. What is the vision for your brand? Where do you see your brand going over the next year? The next five years?
3. Examine how the brand fits into the marketplace.
Consider your marketplace. You don’t want your buyers confusing your brand with a competitor. Be unique and authentic.
Now, let’s start building your messaging framework!
What are the elements of a brand messaging framework?
1. Brand promise
Your brand promise should be targeted toward the customer, convey your vision, and clearly state what you actually do.
2. Positioning statement
Your positioning statement defines where you fit into the marketplace. This can help guide both your internal and external messaging.
3. Target audience
Throughout this process, it’s important to keep your ideal buyers in mind. Always work toward messaging that will resonate with their needs, wants, and pain points. Are you going for a more playful, fun brand? Does your audience require a more serious take?
Your mission statement takes a more visionary angle. What do you hope to accomplish? What’s your ultimate goal? What are your core beliefs?
5. Tone of voice
Define the tone that you want to use for your brand. Are you going for more of a fun, playful brand? Is your audience made up of c-level execs and requires a more serious tone? Don’t be afraid to research those within your industry and find what you like and dislike about their tone. This may spark some creative ideas!
How would you describe your brand in 30, 60, or 90 seconds to your audience? Practice it on your coworkers.
6. Elevator pitch
How would you describe your brand in 30, 60, or 90 seconds to your audience? Practice it on your coworkers. This helps you to succinctly state your brand message.
7. Brand pillars
Get granular and start breaking your brand promise, positioning, and mission statement into “brand pillars” that describe the three most important selling points of your product.
Each brand pillar will also be supported by a key benefit statement or headline benefit with supporting examples. These pillars inform the focus points of your marketing content.
Once you chart your brand message, you’ll have a solid messaging framework in place as your guide. Reference it frequently to make sure your go-to-market messages and content remain consistent. With solid brand messaging, customers will be clear on who you are, what you do, and where you stand.