brand messaging

What Goes into Kick-Ass Brand Messaging?

Your company’s brand is about much more than a logo, colors and a tagline. Your brand is what people say about it when you’re not there. Kick-ass brand messaging ensures they say the right thing – not the first thing that pops into their head or what they think you do. Maybe? I’m not sure.

 

Don’t leave anything to chance!

 

(Of course, you can’t account for people who don’t pay attention. You know how many times people have heard I’m a copywriter and then asked me about copyright law?)

 

Accurate and authentic brand messaging ensures people know what you do and what you stand for. This is especially important when you work in a competitive or crowded market.

 

Say you’re a financial advisor. Don’t you want people to know that you’re “a financial advisor who helps people plan and save for an early retirement”? And that most of your clients retire before the age of 55?

 

What goes into kick-ass brand messaging?

 

Brand messaging is composed of seven pieces; this article covers the four main building blocks. But before we get into those, I could never forgive myself if I failed to mention my first rule for brand messaging:

 

You must write in plain English.

 

Imagine saying “I’m a financial advisor who optimizes my client’s retirement strategy using proprietary methods that maximize returns across various assets year over year.”

 

First of all, your big words and long sentence confused me. Second, that sentence is more about you than your clients (people don’t care how you maximize returns). Third, I am now left with the impression that you have a huge ego and will likely talk over me.

 

That leads me to my second rule:

 

You must know your target market.

 

What are their characteristics (demographics, interests), what are their challenges and what are their goals?

 

Funny as it might sound, not everyone wants to retire early. Some people love the work they do (like my uncle, who still works full time at 82 years old). Some people want to sync their retirement with their spouse’s timeline.

 

Now let’s look at the building blocks. I’m going to use our make-believe financial advisor as an example for each block.

 

Brand Promise

 

This is a tagline that inspires people. It could be a phrase or a sentence, but either way, it begins with a verb.

 

Example: Helping clients retire early – on their terms

 

Positioning Statement

 

Also referred to as your value proposition, this single sentence summarizes what you do and the value you deliver.

 

Example: We help clients plan and save for the retirement lifestyle they want, when they want it.

 

Mission

 

I love this one. It’s your big, hairy audacious goal. This is what you read on a down day when you need a little kick in the pants.

 

Example: We are turning financial planning into an empowering, motivating experience for anyone who wants to retire early.

 

Brand Pillars

 

What are the top three reasons why people work with you? These are not adjectives or verbs – these are nouns.

 

Example: Results, Trust, Integrity

 

These four main building blocks are a great start to creating kick-ass brand messaging.

 

Want to take your brand messaging to tippy-top level of kick-ass? We help growing companies create on-point brand messaging guidelines that can be used online, in print and in person. Give us a shout to learn more.

 

Image by INVICTUS Tailoring via Unsplash 

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