Do you think your brand messaging is up to par? When’s the last time you took a good look at your brand messaging?  When it comes to running a business, it can be easy to let your marketing fall to the wayside when you’re so preoccupied with numbers and operations.  But if this occurs, you run the risk of potentially causing confusion among your customers and creating other avoidable issues.  By giving your brand messaging a little TLC, you can ensure that you have a cohesive brand that resonates with new and old customers alike.  When I work with new clients, one of the first things we do is take a look at their brand messaging.  This is the core of what your business represents, and a key player in what attracts customers to your brand.  For this reason, don’t delay any longer!  Take the time now to ensure your messaging is consistent and actually says what you want it to say.

Whether you’ve made recent changes to your brand or you’re considering a brand refresh, I’ve created the following checklist for you to consider.

Have you highlighted your unique selling proposition (USP)?

You’ve likely heard this before, but your USP is what makes your business unique compared to your competitors.  While we may think we know what separates us from other brands, we may experience issues relaying it to our customers, or we may even be off the mark completely.  Luckily, there are two key things that can help you define your USP.

  1. Conduct market research.  Who knows your brand better than you?  Your customers, of course!  Their firsthand experience with your brand can provide invaluable information for you.  Instead of guessing why your customers choose you, you can find out exactly why they choose you straight from their own mouth.  Moreover, you can find out why they didn’t choose your competitors, which is just as valuable.  A reputable marketing agency can help you conduct this research from a third party, unbiased perspective. 
  2. Conduct a brand audit.  A brand audit can tell you if your messaging is consistent among all platforms, what your competitors are doing that you’re not, and how well your online marketing efforts are doing overall.  By knowing this information, you can better tailor and differentiate your messaging from your competitors.

Is your messaging benefit-driven?

While features and specs are important for your customers to know, this information is not effective in selling your brand.  When you think about messaging, think about it in two parts.

  1. Primary message, or benefits.  I recommend your primary message focuses on why and how the customer will benefit from your product or service.  Think of your primary message as “selling a dream.”  When your customers experience this message, they should feel a certain type of way based on the content they’re engaging with.
  2. Secondary message, or features.  Now that you’ve intrigued the customer, you must satisfy their needs.  If a customer is looking for a specific product based on size, capacity, or other specs, it’s important for them to easily access this information.  This information should be included in your secondary message.

Effective messaging will include both a primary and secondary message, but your primary message should be what grabs your customers’ attention.

Is your messaging consistent across all channels?

There’s nothing worse than confusing your customers with mixed messages.  If you’ve made changes to your products or services, it’s important to ensure that these changes are reflected across all channels and collateral.  For example, if you’re updating your service offering, changes should be made on your website, advertisements, brochures, sell sheets, social media sites, and communicated directly to your customers.  In doing so, you’ll eliminate any potential issues or conflicts arising from mixed messages.

Additionally, I encourage all of my clients to ensure their branding is consistent across all platforms and mediums.  To help you accomplish this, I recommend creating a branding guideline that is shared across your organization.  A branding guidelines outlines the “rules” that must be followed when using a brand asset such as a logo.  Most importantly, it contributes to having a clean, professional visual identity.  I also recommend incorporating rules specific to brand messaging, such as words to avoid in your copy.

Are you due for a brand review?  Use this checklist to help guide you in the right direction, or contact the branding experts at CreativeWorks Marketing instead!