When assuming a character, an actor defines and works on extensive personality traits, which include subtle tonalities and aspects of body language to effectively project the emotions that a role demands. Similarly, brand messaging aims at conjuring an image, or creating perceptions in the minds of consumers, and the general public to best articulate the value proposition, and vision of a business.
Brand messaging isn’t just a critical facet, but gives rise to the overall brand identity of a business. In competitive niches or industries, a robust brand identity creates strong moats and barriers to entry, making it increasingly essential for businesses of all shapes and sizes. In this article, we cover some tried-and-tested steps and best practices to craft your brand messaging framework from scratch.
Table of Contents
1. Establish The Goals
Before you can even begin in pursuit of your ideal brand messaging strategy, it is essential to have a clear picture of what the end goal is. It is around this goal that the rest of the steps and the overall strategy is built, so make sure to spend time, and decide on what a brand means to you and your business.
Ideally, any such goal must be based on the SMART concept, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based. Many entrepreneurs still struggle in this regard, and as a result, there are specialized agencies such as StorySells that offer StoryBrand Certified Guides for startups and small businesses.
2. Know Thy Audience
The opening act of any branding endeavor begins with an exhaustive understanding of the end user, consumers, or audiences. This includes their desires, belief systems, perceptions, inclinations, and more, roughly resulting in what is commonly known in marketing circles as the ‘Buyer Persona’.
It is imperative that you get this right since the entire framework ultimately revolves around the profile being created.
For example, General Mills’ Count Chocula has its color schemes, mascots, fonts, and the overall marketing mix aimed at kids, who are the end consumers, whereas engineering behemoth Siemens maintains a more somber profile, aimed at serious institutional buyers who expect professionalism, integrity, and certainty.
3. Constructing The Message
With a clear understanding of the end user, or consumer, the next step is crafting a message that best aligns with the persona. The key here remains effective articulation, with the use of explicit, implicit, inferred, and subtle messaging that alters perceptions while bringing about the desired outcomes.
This, of course, is a field of study in itself, and many businesses spend millions on crafting high-quality copywriting, branding, focus groups, and more, to arrive at the perfect message to suit their target audiences.
4. Test, Audit & Optimize
Setting a tone for your brand is an ongoing process that involves extensive testing, feedback, audits, and optimization to reach perfection. Brand messaging isn’t something that can be set, it merely defines the set of rules and frameworks that a company follows when communicating with the external world.
Professional organizations track enormous amounts of data to better understand consumer responses to their brand messaging, down to the subtlest levels. It is through this extensive and exhaustive process that a well-defined brand messaging strategy is finally arrived at.
5. Finalize Brand Positioning
Consistency and certainty remain fundamental for any brand building or marketing endeavor, and as such, once the brand message is finalized, it must be the framework or playbook that defines your communications, advertising, and marketing.
The brand messaging strategy should form a part of your brand style guide, which is essentially the single point of reference for all marketing communications, and activities, including social media, blogs, videos, and more.
Any variances in the execution must be tracked, with corrective steps taken to ensure they remain in compliance with the overall strategy and brand positioning.
Branding is essentially the process of creating a distinct identity for your products, services, or business, but at its core, a brand is a promise to the consumer, on what they can expect by consuming your products, or services.
When buying baby food from Plum Organics, young parents are promised a safe, healthy, hygienic, and organic product for their little ones even without explicitly communicating the same. The brand, color schemes, and logos define this, with the remaining messaging following suit.