How to Define Your Brand Message

How to Define Your Brand Message

Sometimes having a clear, well-defined brand message makes a bigger impact on sales than the price or even the quality of your products. Donald Miller puts it this way:

“People don’t buy the best products and services. They buy the ones they can understand the fastest.”

With any given ad, blog post, landing page, or email, your audience should immediately recognize what you’re offering and why it matters.

But that kind of messaging clarity can only happen when you’ve clearly defined your brand. You need an internal definition your staff can refer to whenever they interact with your audience, and you need an external definition that concisely communicates that idea.

The problem for most organizations is that they over-explain their brand message, and let too much of it slip into their marketing. This makes it harder for their audience to understand why an offer is relevant and valuable.

We want your campaigns—and your brand—to be successful. So to help you define your brand message and help your audience understand you better, here are three questions you should be able to answer succinctly.

Why does your organization exist?

Everything you do, and every product or service you offer should come back to this. What’s the purpose of your organization? The overarching problem you’re trying to solve or aspiration you want to help people reach?

A lot of brands try to cram everything they do into a single, convoluted sentence. That’s an OK place to start, but you don’t want to make your audience try to navigate all that. It’s fine to come up with several reasons why you exist that you can refer to internally, but when you talk to your audience, you want to have one reason that encompasses (or at least surpasses) the others.

This is an important anchor your audience will use when they think of your brand, and it should come through in subtle ways in the things you offer, and the way you frame those offers.

Who are you trying to help?

If you want people to see your products and services as relevant to them, you need to be intimately familiar with their interests, problems, goals, and the way they see themselves. You likely already have a good grasp of who your target audience is, but if you want your messaging to always be relevant and clear, you need to take the time to develop personas.

Personas are hypothetical representations of the main types of people your organization serves. Developing personas is an important exercise in empathizing with your audience and applying your brand message to a specific context, like this:

SermonCentral persona

Or this:

ToSaveALife persona

Your audience is made of many individual people. If you want them all to connect with your message and see your offers as relevant, you can’t talk to them all the same way. So take the time to flesh out some of the main types of people you’re trying to reach and really consider what it is they value most.

What do you do?

When your organization has been around for a while, it’s easy to lean on your industry experience, your credentials, or your accomplishments, and forget to emphasize what it is you actually do. This is especially common in digital ads, where space is limited, and it can be a struggle to find the most compelling angle to talk about yourself.

But unless you’ve completely saturated your market and everyone in your audience already knows your brand, your strongest messaging is going to stem from what you do, be informed by the reason you exist, and be contextualized for who you’re trying to help.

Your message starts here

You probably can’t answer all of these questions in a single headline. And in most cases, you shouldn’t try to. (In fact, that’s one of the more common mistakes we see brands make!) But every message and every offer should be filtered through those three questions before it ever winds up in front of your audience. That way your message and its relationship to your products and your brand will be as clear as possible, and hopefully, your audience will understand your products the fastest.

2019-10-24T18:08:47+00:00

About the Author:

Ryan Nelson
Ryan Nelson is a writer for Overthink Group, where he helps brands tell their stories and climb search engine results pages.