1. DEfault language
Compelling brand messaging requires a deep understanding of your history, your vision and the products, people and technologies that comprise your brand. In the absence of this understanding, brand messages tend to be built with familiar phrases. World’s leading this. Truly innovative that. And solutions that drive productivity and efficiency. You know the words. You’ve heard them a million times.
Here’s a simple test to determine if your brand suffers from this: Grab your most used marketing materials — websites, presentations, ads, news releases, collateral. Pull snippets of content from each one and see how unique it is to you, your story and your brand. Does it describe you — or could it describe any brand? If you find lots of terms like world leader, innovator, solution, customer-centric, productivity or cutting edge, it’s a bad sign.
There are lots of examples of great brand messaging. Some focus on technology, some on products and services and some on thought leadership and innovation. But the one characteristic all great brand messages share is audience empathy.
Great brands are articulated with a deep understanding of their target audiences. The owners of those brands understand that to connect with an audience, you must start from their point of view and draw a line back to your brand story — not vice versa. Most brands start with an internal view of the world and attempt to connect with audiences by drawing the line that starts inside the company. Those connections are very rarely made.
4. CONSISTENCY V. REPETITION
The distinction here is critical. Consistency helps build credibility and understanding among customers, prospects and other target audiences. Repetition causes audiences to tune out.
Consistency is difficult because it requires original thought and the continuous generation of differentiated content. It also requires remaining true to the core story. Executed effectively, marketers can build a unique and compelling brand that builds over time in the minds of customers and prospects. Simple repetition is often used in an attempt to achieve the effects of consistency. This rarely works.