How to Create a Brand Message in 5 Simple Steps
Crafting a message that grabs attention and communicates your unique value isn’t easy. This 5-step framework will simplify the process.
Are you struggling to connect with your target audience?
Do you get discouraged when no one responds to your content, social media posts, or ads?
A compelling brand message is critical to your success. But developing one that resonates with your audience and prompts a response isn’t easy.
Most promotional content is designed to generate leads and sales. Yet, many businesses find it challenging to create effective marketing messages. However, this task is so difficult in many cases because they don’t know how to create a brand message.
A brand message is not the same as marketing or advertising copy. Instead, it is an overarching theme that conveys your purpose and helps build your brand identity. A compelling brand message tells your audience what you are all about.
In this post, you will learn a five-step process that will enable you to create a powerful brand message that will transform all of your marketing content.
Let’s get started.
What Is a Brand Message?
It is easier to explain your business’s purpose and value in a person-to-person call or meeting. But most of your prospects want to know more about you before they talk or meet with you.
A brand message is a primary theme that conveys your business’s purpose. This theme communicates your unique value (how you help the customer). It should also be stated or implied in every touchpoint with the audience, such as your website, social media, advertising, and even customer service.
A brand message is not the same as a marketing message. Marketing messages are broad, while others target specific audience segments. But each marketing message serves a purpose and will change based on your objectives.
Your brand message never changes. It serves as a foundation for all business communication.
The Secret to Successful Brand Messaging
Here’s how every successful brand message works: think of a movie you have watched again and again or a book you have read several times.
Every time you see that movie or read that book, you pick up on something new. But, despite being new to you, it was there all along.
Brand messaging works the same way.
It takes a while for people to absorb the totality of your brand message. Therefore, brand messaging must be consistent to make an impact. Consistency is the secret ingredient of every successful brand message.
Messages that constantly change never resonate with the audience.
Many businesses struggle to connect with their target market because they change messages too often. As a result, they confuse the audience with mixed messages. And a confused mind says no.
What About Slogans and Taglines?
Many slogans or taglines are catchy and easy to remember. Some, like Nike’s “Just do it”, have become famous.
Slogans are only part of your brand messaging. Unless yours becomes well-known, you will have to do much more to get your brand message across.
If you have a slogan, it should create a direct link to what your business does. The purpose of having one is to help people remember your company when they need your product or service.
To illustrate, I will use two examples.
Here is the first:
“A diamond is forever.”
This one-liner is a famous slogan and one you may have seen before. It isn’t bad, but it doesn’t tell us who the company is.
Now, let’s look at one from a competitor:
“Every kiss begins with Kay.”
This slogan is an excellent example. Here is why:
- The word kiss triggers thoughts of romance. Any romantic occasion might trigger brand recall in people who are searching for a gift idea.
- The word kiss begins with the letter K.
- It just so happens the name of the company is Kay Jewelers.
How to Create a Brand Message
Before you can learn how to create a brand message, you need to consider the perspectives of each element involved.
Let me explain.
To create a brand message that resonates with the target audience, you must examine every angle. You must think about what you want to say and how your customers might receive it. It is also helpful to be aware of your competitors’ messages.
Typically, there are two points of view or approaches for brand messaging. Let’s examine each one.
The Customer-first Approach to Brand Messaging
The more you know about your ideal customers, the more effective your brand message will be.
Why do people buy from you?
Many business owners focus too much on what they do and how good they are at it. As a result, their message comes across as bragging instead of showing a genuine interest in helping the audience.
What problems do people have that your business can solve?
Of course, your brand message will make even more impact if you consider how solving those problems will make people feel.
Remember Kay Jeweler’s slogan from the previous section? It communicates a sense of romance. This emotion is a powerful buying motivator for people who are in love.
Your brand message can have the same kind of impact on your audience.
The Business-first Approach to Brand Messaging
How do you want your audience to see your business? What impression do you want to make?
Your message is a part of your brand’s identity.
Like a human being, your business has a personality called a brand persona. The way you communicate—in voice and tone—helps create this persona.
Write down words (most of these will be adjectives) that describe your brand persona. Consider these as you craft your brand message.
Remember, it isn’t just what you say but how you say it that matters.
Now, as you craft your brand message, how could it be interpreted? Does the tone and voice of the brand message align with the impression you want to make on the target audience?
What Do Your Competitors Say?
It is easy to get into the habit of comparing your business to competitors. When they do something we like or that appears to be working, we are often tempted to copy them.
But many times, this is a mistake—especially when it comes to brand messaging.
To learn how to create a brand message that impacts the audience, you must know how to position your business uniquely. Of course, you can’t do that when you are mimicking the competition. But analyzing their brand messages enables you to improve on them.
Most businesses make many of the same claims and promises. As you analyze competitors, create a list of promises they make to the audience in their brand and marketing messages. Can you find a unique way to state or imply benefit claims?
What Is a Premium Brand?
The Structure of Your Brand Message
In this section, we will explore how to create a brand message.
Step 1: The Brand Promise
The brand promise summarizes what you do, who you help, and how you help them. Every customer should be able to depend on you to deliver. So what commitment or guarantees do you promise?
It is essential to have your brand promise in place before moving on to the next step. A strong brand promise may take some time to develop, but it is the foundation on which the other steps are built. Keep trying new things and making improvements until you find the perfect fit.
Step 2: Positioning Statement
Your positioning statement implies how you uniquely solve your customer’s problem. This value statement is your chance to connect your offer (product or service) to your customer’s wants or need. Analyzing your competitors’ positioning statements will reveal how they attempt to reach the audience and may provide valuable insight into creating yours.
If you cannot discern a difference, go back to step one and develop a stronger brand promise.
Step 3: Your Brand’s Mission
Your brand’s mission is the reason why you exist—your core philosophy and big-picture vision. This is not the same as your brand promise. Your mission is the overarching goal you want to achieve through your business.
A little human psychology comes into play when developing your mission.
It is not a secret—people know you want to make money. But they don’t want you to care more about money than you do about them. So championing a cause or mission is an authentic way to show customers you care about solving their problems.
Businesses can get into trouble when they use their mission to manipulate sales. Though they may be sincere, they can also appear to be tapping into customer emotion for the wrong reasons. These companies may get away with manipulating a good cause for a while, but eventually, the truth will come out.
Step 4: The Target Audience
Your brand message is like a calling card for like-minded customers. To connect with those ideal customers, your brand message must resonate with them.
Follow these rules:
- Stay away from industry terms and jargon—your customers won’t understand them.
- Use empathy and show them you know what it’s like to walk in their shoes.
- Say things the way they would say them. Use their language and words.
- Position your product or service as the ideal solution for their problem. As you do, think of functional and emotional reasons they should buy from you.
Step 5: Brand Voice
Have you ever attended a conference and felt the speaker was talking directly to you? That is because they knew exactly what to say to get your attention.
They also knew how to say it.
Your brand voice is the tone you use when delivering your messages. It is how you communicate.
Many businesses don’t think about how they are communicating. Of those that do, only a few remain consistent. Messaging that sends mixed signals is “wishy-washy” and confuses your audience.
It is easy to get bored saying the same things again and again. But remember, most people in your audience will be hearing it for the first time.
Your brand persona and target audience should already have some common ground (if not, you have bigger problems than brand messaging!) Therefore, use a voice and tone that makes sense for both.
The purpose of your brand message is to connect you to the customers you want. It also shapes your brand identity and makes your marketing more effective.
Premium brands are experts at creating a compelling brand message. Don’t rush it. Keep working at it until you have made a message that resonates with your ideal audience.
If you have questions, email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website to learn more.
Until next time,
More Branding Insights
By Chris Fulmer |
Learn more about brand strategy.
Are you struggling to connect with your audience? Do you want to show them how you're different from competitors?