What's your brand messaging? If you're not sure, it's time to find out. The best way to do that is by using a Brand Messaging Framework. It will help you put together the pieces of what makes up your company and what makes you different from everyone else. You can create a plan for how you want people to perceive your business and then start executing it! In fact, if executed correctly, this could be the difference between success or failure in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Getting traction with customers today isn't easy so don't hesitate any longer—read on now!
A brand messaging framework distills your company's value proposition into cohesive, relatable themes that will resonate with customers. The core components of a messaging framework are usually contained in two or three lines so they can easily be shared and referenced across different platforms. Only the most powerful core elements of your company should go into this short, snappy message.
A strong brand messaging framework is clear, concise, and highly relevant to the customer experience. When you are crafting it for your business, remember that you will use it not just at launch but throughout your brand's entire life cycle. Be it on sales collateral like cases and brochures; in blog posts; on product labels; during conference presentations; anywhere you want to inspire your customers with your brand's vision.
How to Craft Your Brand Messaging?
Before you start, read through these tips for crafting effective messages first.
1) Start With Your Customer's Problem or Need
Every messaging framework starts with understanding the problem that your product solves for your customer. This can be done by deconstructing common objections and triggers that light up buying signals in people like pain points, apathy, excitement, etc. It may take some research on current market trends and listening to how customers are talking about similar products; this will help provide insight on where opportunity lies.
2) Use Common Language And Pay Attention To The Words That You Choose
Avoid jargon and be specific with the language you choose because language is important when it comes to crafting a framework. It is best to write out what you want the messaging to say. Then go back and edit it until you arrive at your end point.
3) Create Themes And Repeat Them
Your messaging framework should have themes that connect with potential customers in various ways; i.e., by the problem they are trying to solve. How do they feel about their current solution or product, etc. Repeating these themes in different words will strengthen its effectiveness because people tend to buy on emotion and justify purchases with logic later on. But if your messaging feels vague across all touchpoints, you run the risk of losing them along the way.
4) Measure Your Progress And Iterate
You can't know what works until you try. That is why it is important to measure your messaging work (without bias) and iterate or change things up based on what resonates most. You may find that some of your customer personas have a different perspective than others - are they asking for more specificity in your messaging? Or do they want to see an emphasis on speed? Once you have made these changes, test them out on new people until you get the results that feel right.
But First, Why Does Brand Messaging Matter?
It ensures your message is compelling, consistent, memorable, and authentic so everyone involved in selling your product can tell the same story about what makes it special. This consistency can be applied across all areas of communication with customers including website design, social media presence, customer service interactions, industry events, etc.
A strong messaging framework makes it easy for you to scale because your team will have a clear understanding of what the brand stands for and how it's differentiated from competitors. As you expand into new markets or launch new product lines, this framework will allow your organization to quickly adapt messaging while staying true to core elements that made customers originally fall in love with your business.
Unfortunately there are examples everywhere of companies who are doing messaging wrong. They don't have a clear definition of their value proposition or what differentiates them from other smart home devices or laundry detergents on the market. They are using jargony language which only confuses customers; their taglines are not memorable and their marketing messages sound like they were created by an overzealous marketer who is trying too hard to come off as "innovative." Or worse: they try to do everything for everyone which means nothing at all.
What Does Brand Messaging Architecture Look Like?
Before you can create a solid, effective messaging framework that resonates with customers, it will help to understand the components of a good architecture. This involves deconstructing what makes your product unique (and why people should care) into 03 main ingredients: your brand heart, position, and pillars. The way these elements work together is what creates a solid foundation that can adapt to future changes or challenges. Let's talk about it in detail now!
How to Create Your Brand Messaging Framework?
1) Your Brand Heart
Start with your value proposition because it's the starting point for everything you do in marketing communications. It should clearly state to your leads and customers of what you do and who you are. It should show how you are unique and different from the rest of your competitors. And why customers should trust you and purchase from you.
2) Your Brand Positioning
Once you know what makes you different (your unique selling proposition), then craft your positioning statement. This should put that into words which customers understand and align with what they are already searching for. The best way to do this is by keeping their perspective in mind when choosing the right words. That is, "no" words should be removed and the language should reflect what customers are already trying to accomplish.
3) Distill Your Tagline
While your value proposition communicates what the brand is about, your tagline communicates why it's different. Think of this as a "value proposition for the rest of the world." Again, you want to focus on how customers feel (i.e., positive, negative, or neutral). Then, transition into what makes this different via an unfair advantage - i.e., something that is not readily available or accessible elsewhere.
4) Your Brand Messaging Pillars
The pillars section is where you outline your key marketing messages. Think of these as mini-descriptions that break down how this product or service helps people solve their problem(s). For example, when people think about messaging framework, they may imagine everyone using the same exact words in their marketing copy but this is not always the case. Each pillar can be defined by a different set of adjectives so it is clear which group the message resonates with most.
So where do messages come from? One common source of messages is market research, which identifies customer values and expectations to help guide branding decisions. Another excellent resource for ideas is your own team - marketers, designers, copywriters, and others who are close to your brand. They will probably have some great ideas that you can use!
To get messaging right, it's critical to understand the customer experience. You must get to know what their journey looks like. Where do they hang out online? And how do they act on social media. What kind of words do they use when talking about your industry or category!
5) Refine Your Brand Messaging
This is where you take all three sections (Brand Heart, Positioning, and Pillars) and combine them together sharing a clear picture of what this brand is about and why it's different. Now, we are not talking about making this into a long copy ad (which you can do if you want). Instead, use this framework to organize your messaging then communicate the top 3-4 key messages in all marketing and sales materials.
What kinds of problems can messaging frameworks solve?
The concept behind a messaging framework is common sense - organizations have been doing it for decades. You start with the problem people are trying to solve right now so you connect with them on an emotional level through their words, feelings, and experiences. What makes a messaging framework more effective than just listing out features & benefits is its ability to provide clarity while also prioritizing key messages.
If you are struggling to create a clear and consistent brand message, and even if you are like most businesses who think that your messaging is already on point, then having a framework could be incredibly valuable. Messaging frameworks help clarify what is important about your product or service; why it matters to people; how it will do so. And who else is talking about it in similar terms as you are, etc. In other words, they give teams a common language to refer back to when developing content for ads, social posts, e-mails, videos, PR pitches, etc. This saves time and helps you create a unified message.
Who should be involved in the messaging framework creation process?
The process for creating a brand messaging framework does not have to take long or require a team of people. But it does need buy-in from key stakeholders. In other words, whoever is going to be using this tool on a day-to-day basis needs to have a say in its construction so that they are incentivized to use it moving forward. No one likes doing extra work just because someone else thinks it should be done their way, so put your people first and give them an opportunity to provide feedback before locking anything down! The more comprehensive your messaging framework is, the more likely it will be used - and that is what you ultimately want.
Most brands are defined by their messaging. Market research and internal team members can help craft great messages that fit within a brand narrative. Messages need to be crafted in-context with a larger story arc and should flow naturally from one another. Carefully crafting messages reflects who you are as an organization and will result in more effective marketing campaigns. So at the end of the day, it's worth taking your time to get them right!