Brand Responsibly Manifesto: 7
The goal of a strong brand is quick recognition and concise messages that will motivate your target audiences. With memorable messaging, organized in a clear messaging hierarchy, to support a strong identity design, the verbal and visual brand are defined.
Positioning is articulated through messaging
Positioning is holding a place in the mind of your prospect. Defining what you stand for. What audiences can count on. It summarizes what makes your product or service better, different, special, unique. With the foundation of clear positioning articulated in a messaging hierarchy, a brand program will have long-term impact. Positioning unifies internal and external messages and adds energy and excitement to the visual system.
Telling the story so audiences understand
People want stories. They want pictures in their mind that will engage. They want ideas to help them understand why. They want to know enough to share. They want to understand why your products or services are better than the other choices.
Messaging articulates what matters to your audiences, what sets you apart. A messaging hierarchy summarizes essential elements, from the brand promise (also known as a tag line) to adding more detail through the value proposition and value description. Choosing three key messages helps everyone focus. Providing supporting detail as proof points builds the story further.
When developing messaging, work from the audience’s point of view
What matters to them? What words resonate? Avoid standard descriptions such as “quality” or “great service.” Dig deeper to create ideas that stand out, that represent what the brand stands for.
Messaging isn’t about listing the products or services offered, or about describing how the products work. A messaging hierarchy uses benefits to respond to the question all audiences ask, “what’s in it for me?”
An article titled “2 Simple Keys to Define Your Brand” in Inc. magazine stated: “Rule No. 1: It’s better to be clear than to be clever.” We couldn’t agree more. Direct, straightforward, simple, clear.
Messaging hierarchy is the foundation for the verbal brand
A hierarchy of messages summarizes the unique position and story. Messages are prioritized to distinguish the ideas that resonate with your audiences. Messaging is the blueprint and foundation for all communications, from website to literature to advertising and social media. The messages crafted in a messaging hierarchy will guide content for all communications.
When messaging is crafted to define the brand story, you’ll have built a brand that is focused and easier to manage. Communications will be clear and will build on the foundation you have established. You’ll be branding responsibly.
We offer eighteen proclamations in our Brand Responsibly Manifesto.
- Download our Brand Responsibly Manifesto here.
- Read more in Proclamation 9, the visual and verbal brand
- Read Proclamation 5 to learn more about positioning
Messaging is essential to an optimized brand
An optimized brand is focused carefully on the target audience that will deliver success. Messaging is the verbal brand. But it doesn’t stand alone. It must work as part of an optimized brand to generate the biggest impact.
Jennifer Larsen Morrow
Jennifer founded Creative Company with two partners in 1978 in Salem, Oregon. Her training as a graphic designer has guided the company's focus on brand persona founded in design and message, generating the brand optimization methodology. Award winning design, on point messaging and strategic positioning have generated response for clients since 1978.
- Creative Company
We create brands that demand attention, inspire response and voice a story worth sharing.