Identifying your brand message is an integral part of having a successful marketing strategy.
Routed in figuring out what you want to say and who you want to say it to, your brand message can be thought of as the communicative bridge between you and your customer.
But why does brand message matter?
Think of your favourite brands – those that you feel most connected to, most represented by, and most aligned with. That connection, representation and alignment comes down to the brand’s key message.
Yes, you like their product or service but it’s likely that numerous other companies provide the same product or service. It’s also likely that what swayed you, as a consumer, to choose one brand over another is their messaging, their voice, their communication.
In fact, Sprout Social Index found in a recent survey on what makes brands memorable, that 40% of consumers said memorable content, 33% said distinct personality and 32% said compelling storytelling – none of which are possible without clear brand messaging.
Without a clear message, yours is just another one in an ocean of brands.
So, where should you start?
A strong brand message boils down to just two things; you and your audience.
It is by understanding who you are, who your audience is, and who you are to each other that you can create a brand message that is authentic and convincing.
Let’s start with you.
What is your brand? Is it a start up selling organic smoothies? Is it a high-powered law firm?
Whoever you are, your brand message can be thought of as the way you present yourself to the world. It is threaded into everything you do, all the content you produce, and all the interactions you have with your audience.
Some brands have a strong brand message from the outset while others take a little while to find theirs.
If you relate to the latter, we recommend starting with your influences.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flatter and while we are not suggesting that you copy your competitors, it’s definitely worth figuring out which brands leave you feeling inspired.
It’s also worth noting that your influences and your competitors are not synonymous. You can be influenced by any matter of brands be they your direct competitor or something entirely different.
What’s more, your influences can be anything from publications to Instagram feeds, large corporations to small businesses, even individual people. What you’re looking for are brands that you have a real relationship with – brands that make you feel something.
And speaking of real relationships, perhaps above all else your brand message needs to be authentic.
We are living in a world in which paid advertising and paid endorsement is rife and consumers are growing increasingly sceptical. So, honesty is always the best policy.
Having an authentic brand message is the best way to build trust between you and your audience. Not only does this help you build a trusting and honest relationship with the people who want your product, it also helps you weed out the people who don’t.
A clear brand message helps you get in front of the right people – people who share your values and are far more likely to buy into your product or service.
Now that we’ve talked about you, let’s talk about your audience.
It’s important to remember that one customer’s favourite brand is another customer’s next ‘unfollow’. And, the most established brand message in the world means nothing if it does not resonate with its target audience.
So who is your target audience?
We recommend creating a customer persona which breaks down the key elements of your ‘target customer’, giving you insight into the way they think and the way they buy. From age to gender to income, you need to be aware of any factors that will affect how customers respond to your brand message.
You don’t want to be using Gen-Z references if you’re targeting Baby Boomers.
Once you have established who your target audience is, you can start to think about who you are to them.
Why would they choose to buy into your brand? Why do they trust you? What needs of theirs does your product fulfill? What pain points of theirs do you soothe?
All of these questions feed into the information you can gather in your customer persona.
They choose to buy into your brand because it’s cost-effective and they don’t have much disposable income. They trust your brand because your message is relevant to who they are and resonates with them.
By examining your target audience and finding out what their needs or desires are, you can tailor your brand message to highlight the specific parts of your product or service that meet those needs or desires.
All in all…
You can start to see how the most successful brand messages are a marriage of what the brand is and who the audience is.
Understanding your consumer helps you predict their behaviour and thought process so that you can position your brand tactically to help reach your goals – your brand message being a key part of that.
Staying true to your brand in the messaging that you produce helps you establish a sense of trust and gain loyalty from your customers.
Here at The Good Marketer, we understand the importance of a brand message and exactly what is involved in keeping that message alive, from our in-house copywriters working with you to get to know your tone of voice to our marketing strategy aligning with your brand values.