To succeed as an entrepreneur in today’s economy, you must have a brand that resonates with your target audience. The key to resonating with your target audience is in a clear brand message. Read on to learn about how you can create a stellar brand message that attracts the right customers to your business.
Your brand message forms a communication channel between your business and your target audience. It is aimed at appealing to their values and desires, and is conveyed by the content and information you put in front of them.
Your brand message is related to your brand identity and brand personality, but it’s not the same. Your brand identity is the overarching umbrella. It’s who your business is at it’s core, while your brand message is how you take control of that narrative. Your brand personality is the means by which you express that message. It’s the tone you take, the activities you perform, the colors you use in your logo, and more.
For example, one of FedEx’s slogans is “We Live To Deliver.” Their brand message is that they are committed to one thing: getting your packages to you and to your intended recipients. If you take a look at their website and other content, you will notice that their brand personality helps to communicate this message. They don’t use flashy colors, sarcasm, wit, or fancy animation. They stick with a clean, classic, and rather serious tone that supports their messaging. Also, their logo has an arrow in it which helps to convey speed and precision.
Consumers in today’s economy want a brand message. With the number of options they have to choose from for any given product or service, they need a specific value, belief, or passion to relate to help them make their decision.
Your brand message strengthens your company’s values and reputation to the outside world and allows you to resonate with your ideal audience. For example, Levi’s uses the slogan “Quality Never Goes Out Of Style,” — appealing to customers who value quality and perhaps also image over price.
One of the biggest benefits of developing your brand message is that it helps inform all of your future product, content, and asset decisions. For example, Walmart’s brand message centers on saving money. If you go to their website, you see words like “discount”, “rollback”, and “clearance,” and their email call to action is “Be the first to save!”. Their paid search ad copy says “Start with every day low prices” and includes “free shipping” and “no membership fee.”
When you have an established brand message, you can more easily make decisions for your content and make your content more effective as a system. Whether you’re writing block posts, landing page copy, ad copy, Instagram captions, emails, or more, you have the guidance you need through sticking to your brand message.
Once you create a brand message and stick with it, it will strengthen the trust that you are building with your audience and help you foster customer loyalty.
Developing your brand message takes some time and soul searching. Here are some initial steps you can take if you’re just starting out:
• Look at what you are selling and who you are selling to.
You want to make sure that your brand message makes sense for your product and audience. For example, Nike’s slogan “Just Do It”makes sense because they are selling workout gear to fitness buffs. If Nike were selling cereal to kids, the brand messaging of being proactive and bold doesn’t make much sense.
• Ask for help from your audience.
Use a poll or survey to ask them what your business makes them think and feel, and how they perceive it in comparison to other businesses. You may even want to ask customers in person or over the phone while you are interacting with them.
• Ask your family and friends.
If you have not yet built up a significant audience or have a diverse audience, perhaps start with your family and friends. Don’t ask them to define your brand message. Ask them to define you as a person and as an entrepreneur.
With feedback and suggestions you collect, as well as your own input, brainstorm about how all of those pieces fit into a cohesive message. This brainstorm may just be you yourself or a larger session with your team.
For example, let’s say you sell makeup to women in their 20s. When you asked your family and friends, many of them described you as a positive ray of sunshine in their lives. You might then add a positive and uplifting tone to your brand personality, and convey the brand message that you want to help each customer to be a bright light in others lives, or perhaps their own lives, every day. Now your words and images can follow a bright and shining theme, and you can develop a message around helping individuals feel bright and uniquely beautiful every day.
Still not sure what your brand message should be? Here are some additional tips to guide you in the right direction.
What is important to you? You are a big part of your business, and your customers love and value what you do. Your core values should be at the center of your brand messaging so that they are as authentic as possible. It is not possible to develop a strong brand message that is the complete opposite of who you are as a person.
It’s hard to keep up with a million brand messages. As a business owner, you should not be trying to think about every customer under the sun; you will not be as sincere that way. Pick just one or two concepts to convey, so that you can concentrate your content and make it most effective.
Let’s look at Ulta’s messaging for a second. They have two messages, but they all revolve around beauty. One is “All Things Beauty. All In One Place” and the other is “Welcome To The Fun Side Of Beauty.” Ulta doesn’t try to appeal to anyone who doesn’t love beauty and having fun with beauty products. They don’t try to incorporate home goods or sports into their messaging; they are all beauty all the time.
Having more brand messages won’t make your products more successful, they will just confuse your core audience and make them want to shop at a company who has a better understanding of who they are.
A good brand message is easy to spot. Check out your favorite brands to see what their messaging is, and get inspiration to create your own.
Your brand message is key. Discovering and communicating that message to your audience will help you make future marketing decisions and build a greater bond with your target audience.