No matter how large, small, established or new your business may be, you have a message to share with the world - so what is it? Can you answer that, off the bat? And no, not a list of your product benefits or a stock description of what your business does. I’m talking about the single most important message you have to tell the world.
So, what is it? If you can’t answer that right now, that’s OK. But what it means is that you might need to turn your attention to your brand messaging. And when you do that, it can open up a whole treasure trove of ideas for creating brilliant content and connecting with people in a new way.
What the heck is brand messaging, though?
A brand is so much more than a logo. A brand is a combination of visual cues, messages and values. So, as you work with Drew London on your rebrand, for example, you’ll find yourself talking about archetypes and values and characteristics, and all of these will build into what your brand is really about.
When I talk about brand messaging, what I’m talking about communicating what underpins your brand. What makes it tick, what gives it credibility, what made it come to life in the first place. I’m also talking about what’s important to the people behind your brand, what makes your product or service so noteworthy and why your customers need you. When you can articulate these informational gems clearly, you’re on the right tracks to having a sophisticated, coherent and compelling brand.
Why is it so important?
As I mentioned in my previous post, I like to do some work on messaging with new clients before I create content for them. For start-ups and new brands, this is useful for focusing the attention on what’s important, getting crystal clear about what we’re articulating and to whom and for getting everyone on the same page about what the brand is trying to achieve.
For established brands, it’s just as enlightening. Often, when we revisit existing messaging, we can find areas where we can revitalise, improve or innovate on what exists. Yes, sometimes we might start again from scratch. But by asking the right questions, we can uncover some important truths and gain strategic clarity - as well as the fresh ideas for communicating messages that I just mentioned.
Where do we even start?
Usually, I work with clients on their brand messaging by guiding them through a series of questions and discussions in a workshop or phone conversation. I’m pretty specific about the information I want to uncover and the insights I’d like my clients to access. That’s because we’re digging for gold at this stage - the crux or the heart of what your brand needs to tell the world. We’ll also talk about your multiple audiences and how your messages can be adapted to different types of customers, journalists and influencers, suppliers, partners and your wider industry network. When we look at it this way, it enables you brand to speak confidently and consistently. And that’s what gets you noticed.
What if we want to do it ourselves?
It’s never a bad idea to make a start independently, and draw in further help as and when you need it. My golden rules for brands are these:
- Brand messages belong to everyone in the business, so make sure that you include all of the relevant people in the process
- Think iteratively - you might not get it right first time, so try, test and revise
- Think in terms of your audiences, their own challenges, biases and desires, and what they need to know above all else
- Don’t worry about wordsmithing it perfectly from the start. A roughly drafted set of messages that hit the nail on the head is of more value than a beautifully poetic set of messages that are ambiguous or generic - get to the truth of the matter first, then beautify it
- Revisit your messages regularly - nothing stands still, and neither should your messages
- Not all of your brand messages necessarily need to be communicated externally. Sometimes, brand messages serve an important role in bringing a team together or getting everyone clear on a specific brand objective