brand messaging strategy

6 Steps to Create The Perfect Brand Messaging Strategy

By: Frank DePino | January 21, 2021

Think about the time and effort it takes to create a social media campaign and the posts that accompany it. Think about the time spent creating a video for your company. If you focus more on blog and pillar post creation, think about the time it takes to execute this content from start to finish. All of your content takes time, money, and effort to create and develop.

The last thing you want is for your pieces to be disjointed, not make any sense, or even worse, do nothing to support your brand and its overall message. 

Your brand messaging strategy should be able to communicate who your brand is – and make sure that every element of content does exactly just that. Use these steps below to make sure you have the perfect brand messaging strategy. 

  1. Establish Your Goals
  2. Establish your Tone of Voice
  3. Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  4. Identify Your Target Audience
  5. Establish Your “Brand Story”
  6. Keep Your Message Consistent Across All Your Platforms

Review Your Branding

Before you get started on your messaging strategy, take a moment to review the elements of your brand. If you haven’t reviewed your elements recently, take a moment to look them over and make sure they still work. These elements will need to match the message you convey through your strategy.

These are the elements you should review:

  • Your tagline and your motto
  • Brand positioning
  • Your logo
  • Any imagery you use
  • Brand colors
  • Brand personality

You won’t need to do this every time you launch a campaign, but it is wise to review these on occasion. Even though a business will love the elements they used to start their brand, as the company grows those things may not work any longer. If you find that the messaging you want to send doesn’t work with these pieces of your brand, consider taking the time to rebrand.

brand messaging

1. Establish Your Goals

You can’t have a successful brand messaging strategy unless you have goals for what you hope to accomplish.

The same rationale that you would apply to an ad campaign you will want to apply to your overall messaging strategy. Do you want more people to be aware of your brand? Are you trying to highlight how civic-minded your brand is? Whatever your brand wants to highlight about itself is what needs to be front and center in your messaging strategy. 

You can’t create and promote a winning message if you don’t know what you want to talk about in the first place.

Always create goals using the SMART goal format. 

S-specific
M-measurable
A-attainable
R-relevant
T-time based

You can determine if you have met your goals without a way to gauge your success.

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2. Establish Your Tone of Voice

To properly convey your brand’s message, you have to know what tone of voice to use. Just like people change their tone based on who they are communicating with, your brand will as well. Changing your tone or not having it align with the rest of your brand will prove confusing to your customers. Think of your tone as reflecting the personality of your brand. It will represent your company’s values as well. You may need to adjust your tone based on who your message is directed to, but for the most part, it will remain consistent. Consistency will help customers develop trust in your brand.

Here are some other tips for helping you strike the right tone in your brand messaging strategy:

  • Get to know your audience– if you don’t know your audience, you won’t be able to message to them
  • Communicate your brand’s values in your messages– your product is part of what draws people to your brand, your values are what help you keep customers. Studies have shown that 64% of customers say shared values is why they stick with a company.
  • Audit your content and communication– see what content and forms of communication drive the best results and trim back the rest
  • Define your brand’s tone of voice– is your tone friendly? Is it fun? Is it serious? Settle on what your tone is and stick to it in your messaging.
  • Implement that tone into your communications– your messaging needs to match your brand so take that tone and apply it across all channels and content. 
brand content strategy

3. Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition

What makes your brand different from anyone else out there? What about your company is different and how do those differences make you stand out from your competitors? How is your product different from everything else on the market? The answers to these are your unique selling proposition or USP for short. Your USP is your main selling point and is what you should emphasize in your messaging. 

Your USP is what makes you different from your competitors and is why customers should choose your brand

It sounds like creating your USP should be quite easy. Everyone should know what it is about your product and brand that makes you head and shoulders above the rest of your field. But the task can still be daunting and there are factors you may overlook. Consider these points when crafting your USP:

  • Analyze your competitors
  • Put yourself in your customer’s shoes
  • Brainstorm emotional concepts regarding your brand

Using these points should help you drill down on your USP and allow you to develop a stronger messaging strategy. 

4. Identify Your Target Audience

It is impossible to message if you don’t know who you are trying to talk to. While this may sound a lot like tone, there are differences. Tone means you are crafting your message properly based on who you are speaking to. You won’t know what tone to take without knowing your audience. 

content strategy

Knowing who you are talking to is different from knowing what tone to take with them. Additionally, you need to know not only who you are talking to, but you also need to know what they care about and value.

When you went through the branding process, you should have developed buyer personas.

You should also have a CRM that you use to compile and organize your customer data. If you didn’t already create an ideal customer during your initial branding process, you can take this information to devise one now.

If you have not already identified your audience, here are things you should include in your research:

  • Age range
  • Gender identity
  • Religious background
  • Ethnicity and race
  • Education level
  • Economic status
  • Location
  • Career choice

All of this can help you build the model of your ideal customer. 

Once you know who your ideal customer is, you can craft a message that connects with them.

If your product connects best with women ages 35-45 you want to create content and try to reach that group. It would be a waste of money to try to connect with men ages 18-25. Knowing your audience will help you not make that mistake.

content strategies

5. Establish Your “Brand Story”

Every brand has a story of how it came to be. It normally covers things like why they were founded, why they started making the products they now carry, what this brand means to the employers, testimonials from customers, etc. All of these will strike an emotional chord with prospective customers. You will want to make these a part of your messaging strategy. Your brand story is one more way to connect with your customers. Emotions make a powerful messaging tool.

If you have never pulled together a coherent brand story, you need one to effectively message to your customers. Emotions are key to customers. Purchases and brand loyalty can be heavily driven by emotional connections. 

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Here are some things you should include or consider when developing your brand’s story to share with customers:

  • Talk about any obstacles and challenges your company had to overcome to get to where you are today. 
  • Make sure to include examples that show how your company is different. You can’t just say it; you have to show it.
  • Why does your brand even exist? Why is there a need for it on the market?
  • Tell your story in such a way that customers are buying into the story, not just your product.

There are so many other parts that may be important for your brand to include in their story. However, including this information is essential to include if you are building your story from scratch.

6. Keep Your Message Consistent Across All Your Platforms

It should go without saying that your message should sound the same across all your platforms. But this can be easier said than done. A brand can get a little overwhelm dealing with all the avenues on the web to share their message. This becomes highly challenging on social media. There are dozens of social channels to choose from and not all of them speak to the same audience.

Even with all the ways a brand can get its message out, it needs to sound like it came from the same person. 

brand messaging

Your website, your social channels, your blog posts, and any traditional print campaigns all need to sound like a customer is “talking” to the same person. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about where the content is being shared. Snapchat and LinkedIn will have a different feel if you post on these networks. But if your brand is more serious, then your posts should reflect that to some degree no matter where it is being shared. 

If your brand goes off message, this can be bad for your company. These mixed messages can confuse customers, at best. For many, this will sow seeds of distrust in your brand and make customers less likely to purchase from you. Consistency in your message will grow your brand and increase your sales. 

Examples Of Great Brand Messaging Strategy

There are some brands that really know how to drive home their brand message. They stay consistent across all their channels, they stay true to their brand story, they know who their core customer is and they make sure to communicate with them in a way that connects with them emotionally. Let’s take a look at these brands and see what they do well.

lush brand messaging strategy

Lush

Lush is a Canadian company that sells bath and body products. They pride themselves on having a considerable amount of vegan products and trumpet that none of their products are tested on animals. They share on their social channels causes they support such as gender and marriage equality or banning shark fins.

These things are what make their company stand out from the countless others who sell similar products. Their commitment to social issues and the quality of their products have endeared them to their customers who stick with them and make them their first choice. Their customers care about social and environmental issues just as much as the company does, which made them a natural fit.

toms brand messaging

Toms

Toms is a shoe company in the United States. The founder was inspired by a trip to Argentina to create the brand. The initial shoes the company offered were based on styles he saw during his stay in the country. He was also deeply impacted by the poverty he witnessed on his travels. So when he created Toms, the premise was that for every pair of shoes purchased, another one was donated to children in impoverished nations. When the company expanded its product line into eyewear, the donations switched to a one for one match on eyewear as well. Customers support the company’s philanthropic endeavors and show their support through continued purchases. 

Final Thoughts

Creating the perfect brand messaging strategy doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. With some planning and research, you can craft that perfect message that is true to your brand and that resonates with your customers. 

Make sure you know your audience and how to communicate with them. And most importantly, keep your message consistent across all your channels. This will help you connect with your customers on a deeper level and keep their trust. 

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.

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