In my last post of this 3-part series entitled “Brand Strategy simplified for Competitive Businesses, Part I” I talked about brand positioning and why it is important. I also highlighted a basic framework you can use to help you determine the unique brand positioning to help your business stand apart in a crowded marketplace.
Now that we’ve covered what, who and why, our next move in brand development strategy is implementation. Implementation is important as it will make our brand come alive, it answers “where” and “how” during the development of your brand.
And, for this post, I will focus on implementing the visual and the message.
- The Visual: Includes the design and feel of your website, product packaging, logo, specific images and photos as well as communication tools, such as flyers, posters, business cards and even t-shirts and other clothing for staff.
- The Message: Messaging includes the tagline, slogans, copy for flyers, adverts, brochures as well as web content and social media.
Let’s look at an example of a company that brought their brand to life using visual branding and messaging.
Zulily is an online e-commerce site dedicated to moms.
Their brand positioning, the online deal site for moms, is created visually through images and the copy on their website. They visually showcase their positioning by using images of who moms shop for, the use of warm yet bright colors and welcoming font types.
Their slogan – Daily deals for moms, babies, and kids – is simple, likable and easy to remember, which I’ll expand on later in this post. Zulily’s simple slogan helps to solidify its brand positioning, and as I stated in my previous post, positioning is your product or services main differentiator where premium brands can command at least a 25 % to 30% higher price than value brands.
Let’s take a look at brand messaging a little deeper. Messaging is the verbal showcase of your brand. Messaging should communicate to the world what you are, who you are for, what makes you special, why customers should choose to buy your product or service, and how they can buy.
Brand messaging can be daunting to develop.
As I mentioned above, brand messaging includes the tagline, slogan as well as copywriting. In truth, not only is there is a lot of work before copywriting can begin, but it also requires a specific style of writing and unique content that relates to your brand. And, there needs to be the foundation for copywriting before we begin to develop the brand messaging.
The copywriting foundation includes these three steps:
- Break down your brand: Break down your brand structure to ensure that messaging reflects the brand, main benefits attributes, and unique positioning. We do this using the Brand Outline and Messaging Matrix process (email email@example.com to learn more).
- Messaging framework: This is to make sure that the messaging is in keeping with your overall marketing goals, objectives and follows rules common to the messaging structure. One rule is that at least one messaging property should be descriptive of your positioning, at least one likable, and at least one easy to remember.
- Bring it all together: Use the brand breakdown together with the messaging framework to developed your messaging properties (the copy): The Brand outline, messaging matrix and messaging framework are your road map of your brand and will ensure that the copywriting is articulating your brand positioning properly and consistent. If you need professional help with your copywriting, hire a professional marketer – The Marketing Boutique!
Brand’s True Mission
At the end of the day the true mission of brand messaging boils down to a coined term by American advertising and sales pioneer Elmo Lewis in 1898 that describes how smart marketing communications should:
- Create awareness so that your target audience notices your brand, who,
- Develops an interest for your brand, that,
- Turns interest into a desire to have the product or service, which,
- Leads to an action – the purchase of your product or service.
The right and relevant Brand Messaging is incredibly powerful. You need to make your unique brand positioning come alive through visual brand identity, a simple and clear message backed by unique copywriting that turns the desire for action.
Brand messaging creates awareness, which turns into a desire that leads to action. The reason why we feel and relate to certain adjectives when we hear different brand names is not by chance. It is a deliberate message directed at you. It has been strategically planned by premium brands to do so through consistent brand identity and messaging year over year.
You now have developed your unique brand positioning, brand look, brand feel and brand messaging. How will you get this brand out into the world? I’ll cover that in my next and final post in this series called ‘Brand Strategy, Go-to-market.’ Don’t miss it!
Brand Strategy Simplified: When and How (Part 3)
In my previous two posts, I talked about brand positioning, highlighted a simple framework to help you determine your business’s unique brand positioning and the implementation; which answers “where” and “what” during the development of your brand.
For our last installment of this blog series called, “Brand Strategy Simplified for Competitive Businesses, I’ll discuss the “when” and “how” that can be the basis of your GO-TO MARKETING PLAN.
Because even with a great, competitive brand positioning that differentiates you from the competition, your target audience still needs to learn about you, find you and be convinced that they need to choose you over the other guy.
GO-TO MARKETING PLAN
Today, there are many channels to chose, and selecting which ones to invest can be daunting. First, you’ll need to know where your target audience lives. For example, let’s say they are on LinkedIn, your next step is to understand how this platform, its technology works as well as how people use this platform before investing in this platform.
Even though trade shows are an expensive investment, these are still very popular, and a good investment should you have a long sales cycle with a high-priced product or service.
Develop a yearly budget. Test out the different channels, which are within your budget, keep track of the conversion numbers. You can also try to be proactive by researching average cost per acquisitions by similar companies in similar industries using resources such as the Direct Marketing Association. So, make sure to track everything, to learn and improve.
BRING SALES, PRODUCT, AND MARKETING TOGETHER
Best go-to-market systems include off and online tactics, an integrated program that is developed based on the overall company’s goals and vision — decisions based on where to compete, why are we relevant and how to win—with exceptional customer experiences that are the ultimate path to success.
This type of go-to market program enables a company to identify the right target customers and design value propositions tailored to those customers’ needs and company’s strengths. You can learn more about this service, here.
BRAND STRATEGY FOR TODAY’S MARKET
At the end of the day, it is most critical that all businesses who want to be successful develop a brand strategy. A strategy that involves a simple framework, which I have developed over the past ten years of studying and conducting brand strategy for Fortune 50 companies to start-ups, and it is one that has helped my clients achieve differentiation, customer acquisition, and profit.
You can find me on LinkedIn or reach me here, firstname.lastname@example.org.