Focussing Your Brand Message
My strong recommendation would be to listen to Laura Coleman's AMAZING audio meditations here before watching the video or doing any work on defining your Brand Message as it will get you set up in the right head space and ensure you get the most out of this exercise.
LISTEN FIRST | Your pre-training Meditation
YOUR BRAND MESSAGE
Hello and welcome back. This is part five and the final in this brand fundamentals mini series where we’ll be looking at your brand message.
By the end of this short tutorial you’ll have an understanding of what a brand message is, how you can determine your brand message and how to implement it. Now, like most of the things we’ve discussed, this is a huge subject that really requires very specific guidance…...best worked on at a 121 level But there are a few principles that I can go through that will help you get a clearer idea of your message.
WHAT IS A BRAND MESSAGE?
Your brand message is the one thing that should tie together every piece of content you create. It’s the message that underpins everything you put out into the world under the banner of your brand. That’s not to say that every piece of content you create has to have the same exact message on the surface. Brand messaging refers to the underlying value proposition conveyed in your content. The value proposition is the promise of value that your clients will receive from buying into your product or service. What will they get by investing in you?
The brand message is what helps buyers relate to your brand by inspiring them, motivating them, and ultimately persuading them to want to buy your product. There are lots of ways to convey what you’re about through your content; your brand promise, your positioning statement, your vision and mission, your elevator pitch and niche statement, even your tone of voice. These are all vessels for delivering your message.
So Nike uses the slogan ‘just do it’, Apple uses the slogan 'think different' and L’Oreal uses ‘Because you're worth it’. Your slogan is the most concentrated and concise version of your message. It essentially sells a lifestyle, a way of thinking, a transformation that is promised when buying into your product or service.
Slogans and taglines are catchy, but there’s a lot more that goes into your brand messaging than a memorable phrase. Your brand message is essentially the promise you make to your clients that your product or service will somehow change their life or solve their problem.
It’s quite easy to lose focus when coming up with your message as there are just so many paths to take, so many problems you could help your ideal client with.
But to give you some direction the first thing I want you to know about marketing is that people are looking for a very short list of outcomes when it comes to parting with money.
- To experience happiness
- To avoid pain or discomfort
- To experience a transformation
Avoiding pain will trump seeking happiness almost every time. If we had to choose between gaining £100 or not losing £100 we would always rather not lose the £100.
So helping your clients to avoid pain is a powerful selling point. Arguably however, transformation trumps them both as we are all seeking to do better, have better and be better. At the deepest levels, our ultimate goal is survival. It’s all very primal stuff but it’s ultimately what drives us.
So if transformation means we become a better self then we have a better chance of not just surviving in the herd but also elevating our position. This makes for an appealing message at a very base level.
If you can find a way to verbalise how you take your client from A to B then this would be a powerful marketing message. Let’s look back at those famous slogans.
Nike’s ‘Just do it’ is an inspiring message that promises to get you from here to there, to overcome the adversity, to move forward, to be better. Apple’s ‘Think Different’ hints at solving the problem of always doing things the same way.
It suggests a more forward thinking approach. One that appeals to those who want something new and interesting but also to those who already think differently. That new generation of creatives who wanted to identify as being different...and unique.
And L’Oreals ‘Because you’re worth it’ solves that pain point of insecurity based on our physical attributes. It speaks to the self esteem and lifts it up.
So how do you get started? As you can imagine, award-winning slogans don’t just come to you. You have to put in the work first, which means looking at your brand from three different angles. So in terms of getting your brand message together you’ll need to consider a number of things;
What does your client care about? It’s all about the clients needs and NEVER about your own. Be careful not to make assumptions about your clients needs.
Your brand messaging should be customer focussed, which means you’ll need to get into the mind of your audience before you get too far into message development. Market research is key in uncovering what your ideal client desires.
Have you run a survey to find out what your clients actually need? What they struggle with and on what level? When you really start to get into it, you’ll discover that humans have different levels to each problem. For example;
External - I need a new face cream
Internal - I feel my skin has lost it’s glow and I’m starting to look old
Philosophical - I want youthful looking skin so I can feel young again and feel more in control.
It’s important to understand what your client needs on each level so you can speak to these worries in your messaging and reassure them that you have the solution..
What brand messages have resonated the most in the past? Really monitor the comments, images, posts etc that have garnered the most engagement in the past.
Listen to what your audience is saying and highlight the commonly occuring themes. It’s so important to listen and read between the lines of what your followers are saying. This will give you great insight into what they want.
Consider your competitors but never mimic Make sure you consider your marketplace but do keep in mind that each brand can only have one message. And the message should be unique. Your audience may confuse you with your competitors if your messages are too similar.
Once you have a solid understanding of each of these three points, you can start building your actual messaging. Your brand message is the underpinning promise that you convey to your audience and a catchy slogan is a great way of decanting that message.
Now the most important thing I need to tell you about your brand message is that it needs to be simple and glaringly obvious. Because the confused mind DOES NOT BUY.
So resist the urge to pretty it up with fancy words and never attempt to address more than one pain point. It should, essentially, say “This is what I can do for you”. Try coming up with a few slogans. Consider your brand values and your ideal clients one major pain point in this process.
It’s important to define all of the things we’ve outlined in these videos whether you’re a solopreneur, have a handful of staff and even for large scale companies.
Because once this work has been done and documented then it’s available for all staff members to see. It serves as a guide to make sure that everyone is conducting themselves on brand. So the last thing I wanted to cover in this whilst stop tour of your brand development is connection.
WHY IS CONNECTION SO IMPORTANT?
Connection is vital in terms of creating a successful business because without connection, there is no trust and without trust there is no sale. So the one big thing you need to be aware of in terms of connection is that you have to adjust your approach.
It can no longer be about getting merely clients and making money.\ Yes that’s the overall purpose of having your own business but the foremost objective is to serve your audience. Because the minute you ask for something, without creating that connection first, you’ll lose them. So build trust through connection.
Always be of service and add value to their lives. So adding value comes in all manner of guises, three helpful tips to make their lives easier, a freebie download, a bootcamp on facebook, a free bundle of stock images etc. There’s all kinds of things you can do,There is a formula in business to say that you should provide value four times and THEN ask for a sale.
In my opinion we should always be adding value and being of service because then we don’t really have to ask for a sale as our followers are already on board with us.
So imagine, at a networking event...you don’t know anyone, but you stand up and do your usual “I’m so and so from such and such and I help women grow their businesses”
After the intros you mingle, you turn on the charm, chat to loads of people and feel you’ve made some solid connections. But you come away and never hear from any of them. Feel familiar? Is this possibly because you only spoke to people who you felt could benefit you? Did you approach them with the mindset of, I can get work from this person? Were you essentially rocking up to them as human spam mail?
To be successful you first need to earn the trust of people. When people don’t know who you are, why would they want to work with you.
This is where connection comes into it and connection starts in a few different places. It can start with finding common ground; sharing values and ideas, political views, living in the same street as kids, sharing the same disdain of mushrooms!
We humans can bond over the strangest things but the level of bonding you have with someone who hates marmite as much as you do is very different to the depth of relationship that starts with someone who shares your values and worldview. But they are all valid points of connection. Similarity and understanding are what’s key.
So now imagine you’re at another networking event where you all stand up and introduce yourselves. You run through your elevator pitches and size each other up.
But this time when you get up…….you talk about WHY you got into what you do. Let’s say you tell a story about when you were young, how you lacked confidence as a child but at the age of 16 you were sat on a swing at the park feeling utterly lost when a thought crossed your mind.
You realised that your worth wasn’t determined by how other people treated you or made you feel, that those people had their own baggage and that it didn’t belong to you.
That it was ok that they didn’t know how to be the people you needed them to be because right there in that moment you realised that you had your own worth and that nothing could take that away from you?
You found a confidence that day in accepting that what other people think of you has got absolutely nothing to do with you or your absolute value.
What if everyone was listening now with a new enthusiasm and wanted to hear more because they too had been that person lost and alone on the swing.
They felt a comfort in knowing that you too had walked in their shoes, experienced the feelings they still experience and that you were standing up with absolutely confidence in your vulnerability and sharing this very personal story with them. Because ladies, vulnerability IS confidence and it is inspiring!
So you’re standing there, telling this story and you finish up by saying “I want every one of my clients to feel that confidence when they show up for themselves online and in person…….and that’s what I do”. With a big smile you take your seat.
You have opened yourself up to your audience, you have demonstrated first hand the work that opu do with your clients. Don't you think that people will want to know more? That they will be moved to speak to you? Connection is vital and actually really wonderful. If you’re brave enough to show a bit of yourself you’ll find that some many of your followers will really start to get on board with what you’re sharing and many will find comfort in the things you say.
The key to connection is vulnerability because when you drop your guard, they do too. But again, I reiterate that you can share as much or as little as you choose. It’s all within your control. One of the best ways to develop connection is through storytelling because storytelling doesn’t ever feel like a sales technique.
Stories are the way we have communicated for thousands of years. There’s something not only comforting but also intriguing about a story that encourages the reader to read on.
So start telling stories, talk about your values, speak to the pain points of your ideal client because these are all great ways to start developing a connection with your audience.
I’m going to wrap it up here but I hope you’ve found this super useful and if you’d like to know more, have any questions or would like to work with me then you’ll find a link to my website alongside the video.
Thanks so much for watching, now go get to work on developing that branding mindset and building an awesome brand.
“If you are looking for some empowerment to move your business to the place you wish for it to be...talk to Lauren. 40 minutes of GOLD is what I say!”
– Hanna, Hannacake –