3 essentials to a strong brand message
: : messaging : :
by Garrett Curry
80% of consumers say authenticity is the most influential factor to becoming a follower.
The bad news? The world is becoming more and more brand savvy, meaning, your competitors are likely way ahead of you. Before you throw your hands up in dismay, it may be worth considering your own message and how you're coming across. These are three common barriers that stand between you and reaching your audience: you're invisible, you're a commodity and you're really boring.
Some of this might not be entirely your fault (even the boring part, truly). People may just have difficulty paying attention in general, as research shows that the average attention span is decreasing by 88% per year. Additionally, consumers may be distracted by their own personal lives and their brains are easily fatigued, with 43% of working adults reporting being sleep deprived. What does this all mean? Your content needs to be fresh, appealing, and easy to relate to for readers and clients. For this reason sales aren't necessarily won with elaborate designs or big marketing spends. Sales are typically won with words. But are you losing the battle?
Here are three important qualities that will help you overcome these barriers and build a killer brand message.
1 // Clarity
Although most businesses are commodities, the ones that communicate clearly are the ones that sell even if they're not the most qualified. A common way that businesses lose their audience is by speaking in jargon or using insider language. These may be terms that you or others in your industry understand, but your audience may not. The use of acronyms and technical terms can be disorienting to those not in the know.
Try to speak to people in a plain and concise way, explaining how your product or services can help to solve their pain points. If you fatigue people by offering up a message that gets muddied in long-winded technical language you very well may end up losing potential customers. It's time to trade the jargon of your industry and speak the language of your audience.
2 // Brevity
When I ask clients to share about their business, it's typically a meandering stream of consciousness that goes on for several minutes. And by the end of it, even they know they've blown it. In order to avoid boring people or losing their already short attention span, your words must be few and carefully chosen. That's no easy task.
Studies show that the majority of customers have already performed basic research prior to engaging with a brand. They need messaging that convinces them on an emotional level to choose your products or services over competitors, Developing this approach is a distilling process that must reduce, nip and tuck until what you have left is something you can express within moments on a sales call, at a networking event or on your website.
3 // Meaningfulness
It's likely that a good portion of what you're saying about your own business isn't really that important. It may matter to you, but not necessarily your audience. Most companies have the bad habit of talking about themselves, flexing their muscles and unintentionally removing the needs of their audience from the conversation.
Examine any "About" page on a website and you'll get my drift. Not exactly compelling pieces of human literature, are they? The only thing any business needs to talk about is what genuinely matters to the audience they're addressing. Consider the customer experience and what their pain points and needs are. Your content and brand messaging need to demonstrate true value. If it doesn't, you're going to end up wasting a lot of breath and money boring people to death.
You believe in your business. The services, solutions, and products you deliver exist to help someone solve a problem. But if you're not communicating your brand message with clarity, brevity, and meaningfulness, your value can be lost to short attention spans or an already cluttered marketplace.