To shape people’s perception of a company, the company itself must first know what and how it will communicate to its target audience. This is why branding has become a very significant part of the survival of any business or organisation in the market, and why the world now needs agencies for digital marketing to assist businesses towards grasping the knowledge in this matter. Without brand awareness, how could a business successfully capture the attention of its target audience and stand out from the other competitors?
Brand messaging is the effort towards developing and implementing a communication strategy or pattern that will standardise a brand’s way of communicating its values with the public. It is the main message, line of communication, and tone of voice that a brand establishes when communicating with its target audience. It’s also crucial for a company to determine this standard in order to position its identity in the public eye with a presence that will be perceived and remembered. After all, a brand identity that manages to distinguish itself from competition would do the business great, but you must first understand how exactly you’re going to build this successful brand identity for your business.
As one of the digital marketing agencies in Malaysia, we at Cause Effect Digital are here to shine a light on how you can establish a strong brand message for your business to be remembered and easily identified by your target audience. Before we find out how exactly you can increase your brand messaging on social media platforms, you must first know the right elements that are needed to make it work. A brand’s core message and value should be conveyed through structuring its content pattern, and this includes the following elements.
Brand Messaging Elements
Your brand messaging framework should be made up of these several elements that would promote your values and services well apart from supporting the company itself.
What have you established for your brand? Are you starting from scratch? When you’ve figured out the peaks and valleys of your business, you’ll be able to plan out the right image and identity that would help in making your business stand out. Consider the following elements and their roles in successful brand messaging to ensure that you are optimising them for your own use.
This refers to the tone you use when marketing your brand. Your word choice, phrasing, and energy should be catered towards the kind of audience you want to reach out to. For instance, if you are targeting professionals, you might want to use a formal voice as opposed to a more fun and relaxed tone when your target audience consists of young adults or children. It’s even easier if you are consistent with your tone so people can immediately recognise your content because they have associated it with your brand.
Depending on the business, some brands even allocate a certain identity in their social media content that makes the audience feel like they’re interacting with a friend instead of another brand on their news feed. It works the way a mascot does, where audiences would see a certain mascot and instantly know what brand it represents such as the Koko the Koala, the Koko Krunch mascot. It’s so popular and heavily used as the Koko Krunch image that they even produce the cereal itself in the shape of the koala’s head.
As for social media identity, a good example would be D from The Duck Group. D represents the brand as a whole, signing off their social media posts and even website content as if she is a blogger interacting with her audience. In reality, it is the copywriter of the brand who plays the role of D. With an identity like this, it helps get the brand message across in a simpler manner because the audience will see your brand as human, and not another business wanting to get their attention. Get people to engage with your content because they trust your brand through the identity that you have established across your social media platforms. Sometimes all your potential customers want is just another familiar, relatable person acknowledging the problem they have and providing the solution.
Let your brand be that solution for them in the right way.
A slogan is not compulsory, but it can be a great tool to get your audience to remember you. When it comes to slogans, create a phrase that your potential customers can relate to or a simple one that you know will stick with them. The slogan can make them feel seen, accepted, and even happy. Associating a phrase with your brand will make them remember you and most likely buy your product compared to those who are not familiar with your brand without the usage of a catchy slogan.
When you think of a brand slogan, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
For us, McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” immediately pops up above the others, complete with the tune and everything. It’s simple, but it’s catchy and has very well resonated with almost every person that knows what McDonald’s is. Another great example would be Nike’s “Just do it” which has been incorporated into their marketing strategy in various ways. Do you remember that one Intense Motivational Speech video of Shia LaBeouf standing in front of a green screen and giving motivational messages that involved the “Just do it” slogan? No? Well, you can check it out here.
You might think that he’s doing a Nike ad here, but he wasn’t. It was just a video that he uploaded for fun on Youtube in 2015 that garnered millions of views. However, when you’re watching the video, what do you think of every time he says “Just do it”? That’s right. You think of Nike. Slogans are impactful and can spread brand awareness through a myriad of ways that you can possibly imagine. If your brand gets its value and message across through a slogan that catches the attention of your audience, then it will stick with them, and they will start recognising your brand solely based on the slogan alone.
Wonderful, isn’t it?
3. Positioning Statement
For an effective brand message, you need a positioning statement that will create an identity for your brand. It is essential to your marketing strategy due to the fact that you can include what you do and who you help in the statement in order to let people learn more about your brand. Use it to sell your product or service in a way that differentiates you from your competitors and makes your audience remember you first when it comes to the topic.
A positioning statement is not for the customers, but for internal purposes. What the customers see as the brand tagline or slogan, you know the positioning statement behind it and the strategies that you created to cater towards the statement. What you need to prepare and know firsthand in order to figure out your brand’s positioning statement are as follows:
- Define your target audience
- Describe their demographics and psychographics by creating personas or user profiles to help you get to know their wants and needs better
- Describe your category of business
- The more creatively you can describe the frame of reference in ways that still apply, the better. Own who you are, but be creative at the same time.
- Acknowledge your point of difference
- Think about what your customers can positively evaluate and believe they could not find to the same extent with a competing brand. What makes you stand out?
- What is the end benefit?
- An end benefit is an advantage that a consumer gets from the product or service. So what’s in it for your customers? You need to be clear and precise.
- Why should your audience believe you?
- Back up your statement. The reason to believe must be rooted in the truth about this particular product or brand and its point of difference.
Once you’ve got all these points sorted out, then only will it be crystal clear to you what you should be showcasing to your audience. Besides, the positioning statement needs to be one that you can implement on most of your content if not all. It’s not something for you to use in a couple of strategies and abandon afterward; it’s a statement that holds the core values and purpose of your brand, and it’s best if you stay true to it throughout your business in the long run.
Creating a mission will help guide you throughout your brand message strategy and it should cover the big idea behind your business apart from the reasons why your brand matters. Make it in line with what your audience wants and cares about while also making sense of the industry that you are in. Your mission statement should also be supported by your actions, and not just stay as a statement.
When you have a mission statement, you are defining the culture, values, ethics, fundamental goals, and agenda of your company. It is good to know what your business is all about before letting the public know about it. Clarify what you want to achieve as a brand, including what you support and why you support it. This is a crucial step in building a good brand message because it has to be clear to your audience what your brand stands for. What is your brand setting out to do? This lets the public know the product and service you provide, who you make it for, and why you’re doing it.
Compared to a mission statement, your vision statement creates a goal for the future of the company, while the other shows the way to achieve said goal. If you craft your vision statement and follow through with how you position your company, you will be able to achieve the dream that you have for your business. This is more conceptual, as it’s a glimpse into what the brand can become in the eyes of the consumer and the value it will bring in longevity.
As the vision statement acts as a guide for an organisation’s efforts towards reaching the goal, you need to make sure that it is good, relevant, and aspirational for your business to move forward. Not only that, but it also has to be inspiring enough that your audience will resonate with it and believe that your brand will indeed achieve the goal you have set for yourself.
Let’s take a look at a sample vision statement. For Ikea, a retail business, its vision statement is to “Create better everyday lives for as many people as possible.” And it’s true, isn’t it? They provide the furniture and living space items that one would need in their everyday lives. Have you ever bought a table from Ikea before? Perhaps a shoe rack? If you have, then you must know that the furniture is easy to assemble in your own time. They simplify the job by providing their customers with ease, hence creating a better everyday life for them.
So when you are creating a vision statement for your brand, ensure its relevance and how it can portray what your business does and what you aim to achieve properly.
To connect with your clients and build trust among each other, you will need company values that resonate with you as a business owner and the consumers themselves. What do you and your audience think is important? Develop ideas around that subject and build your brand the core values that will have an impact on the right people that you are targeting.
For instance, if you think that making a difference is vital, then you can mark it as one of your brand values. How is your brand striving to work around this value and make it come true? That’s for you to arrange and see whatever works best for your brand and how it can stand by the values that it has. If breaking the mold is another value that you think best aligns with your business, then stand by it too. Think of how you can break the mold with your brand and disrupt the mundane ways of the industry to make you stand out.
7. Value Proposition
Think about what sets you apart from the other businesses in your industry. How do you let your audience know that you are the best among the available brands and make sure they choose you? That is where your value proposition comes in. Include some of your best-selling points and show them how valuable your products or services are. Once you find out what makes your company stand out and valuable, cater it around your marketing strategy and let your audience know just how much you can help them.
If you look at Lyft, for instance, its step-by-step value proposition is quite simple and straightforward:
By providing a step-by-step approach, as shown above, it makes it easier for the customer to visualise what a ride with Lyft looks like. The message is transparent, showing the customer exactly what to expect from their ride, and does not contain any vague messages that could mislead any of the users. However, if you check a fellow competitor of theirs such as Uber, the latter brand does not have a step-by-step value proposition like this one. In fact, they summarise everything up in a short copy for the customers to read, and their message is still clear and straightforward too.
What we’re trying to say here is that even when you and a competitor have the same content or message to get across to the audience, you can always make your brand stand out by doing things differently. The same message can be delivered in a labyrinth of ways, it’s up to you to find out which one fits your brand the most and is capable of delivering the message in an interesting way that makes the spotlight focus on your brand.
How to Increase Your Brand Messaging
Now that you know the elements of brand messaging and the benefits that they bring to your table, it is time to find out how to increase the activity of brand messaging itself on your social media platforms. You need to understand your own brand and audience inside out in order to deliver the right messages. You can even test the waters by running short ads according to the brand message that you think best fits your business and see how your audience reacts to it.
But how do you grow your brand messaging in a way that will reach and resonate with your audience more effectively?
1. Understand your own business first
In order for other people to understand your brand, you must understand it first. Consider other brands and their value propositions, and you might just find that what you’re doing is different from that of your niche. It’s okay if you find them similar too because you can find a way to make your brand stand out by coming up with something different from them. Use your own understanding of the brand to create the perfect message instead of following what the others in your niche are doing.
Take a look at what your competitors are doing and see how you can best them whilst sticking to your brand’s own values. Do not simply think of how you can beat them at their game, make your own stage instead and show your audience that they should be focusing on you instead. If they are all doing plan A, then you go with plan B, an entirely different approach to theirs that will significantly make you stand out. Learn about your business inside and out to craft a plan that utilises your brand’s strengths, showcasing to the audience what you have to offer and what you can do.
If you don’t believe in your brand, how can you expect your audience to?
2. Know your target audience inside out
You need to know your audience as well as you know your company. To help you with crafting the right brand, tone of voice, and written identity for your brand, you need to target your consumer demographics and comprehend their values. If your audience values self-love, then use a tone that is positive and empathetic to the subject so they can trust you before converting into paying clients.
Besides, the only way for you to know what to provide for your audience is by knowing what they want. So get to know them, build your target audience personas, and craft out user profiles; target their needs and investigate what your competitors’ audiences are looking for in the industry of your business. Then only will you be able to play your cards correctly.
3. Research your competitors
Take a look at your competitors’ brand messaging. How do they craft theirs? From their tone of voice, their language, their values, to their overall marketing strategy—what is it that they value and what do their customers see in their brand that attracts them? Derive your own ideas from the brand stories that you read and figure out a way to amplify your brand by making your brand message unique.
Capture your audience’s attention by pushing your brand to the centre of the limelight. Whatever your competitor is doing, you can learn their ways and try to improve your own brand’s language, values, or marketing strategies in order to level up your game in the industry and win over your target audience. If your competitors are doing the same thing, one after another, then perhaps you can come up with a way to improve what they’re doing and implement it in your own business. That way, their audience will also see your brand and what you’re capable of doing.
If you can steal the spotlight, you can drive their customers in too.
4. Relate your brand to your audience
If people can’t relate to you, they won’t buy. Think about what people want from your business. Survey your audience directly for their opinions on the things that make your brand such as your tagline. By knowing what your customers want directly from them, you’ll be able to craft out a good image for your brand and fit their desires.
Customers would want to trust a brand that makes them feel seen and understood. It is one of the few ways where you can show them that you care and your products or services are up to par with what they want. Convince them that they need your product or service through relatable content; allow them to engage with your content as well so you’ll get direct feedback from them.
5. Stay true to your brand
Always remember your values and what makes your brand what it is. Keep your message relevant to your business and it wouldn’t hurt to refer back to your mission statement, language, and voice whenever you are creating a new campaign so that you don’t stray away from your own brand marketing. They will see that you are not hopping on trends just to get people to notice your brand, and that’s what’s important in positioning your business in the industry of your choice.
Sometimes hopping on the bandwagon doesn’t always end up with good results. What if the trend isn’t something that aligns with your brand message? It doesn’t mean that you can’t implement current trends in the industry for your content; it only means that you must be smart with it. Know when to hop on the trends and how to make them work for your brand. Stay true to the identity that you have exuded much effort to build without compromising it for the sake of five-second fame.
You have done everything stated above in order to broaden your brand message and improve its quality, why not choose to stay true to it?
All in all, brand messaging can be difficult especially when you haven’t gotten all the elements quite figured out. By communicating well with your audience, you are building trust between you and them, which will be beneficial when it comes to selling your products and services. Ensure that your brand will deliver the value proposition that you have settled on and stay connected to your audience through the consistency of your brand message.
We know that positioning brands and creating all these solid ideas can take a toll on your mind if you are not familiar with the process. At Cause Effect Digital, we are one of the digital agencies in Malaysia, and we are more than prepared to guide you in the brand messaging journey towards giving your brand the recognition that it deserves.
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