Brand Responsibly Manifesto: 7
The goal of a strong brand is quick recognition and concise messages to 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 expressed 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 a foundation of clear positioning expressed 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. They want to understand why. They want to know enough to share. They want to understand how your products or services are better than other choices.
Messaging defines what matters to your audiences, what sets you apart. A messaging hierarchy summarizes essential elements–the brand promise, positioning statement, value proposition and value description. Choose three key messages, the essential ideas. Provide supporting detail as proof points.
Develop messaging from your 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. Craft the words that are memorable, not average. Expressive, not bland.
Messaging isn’t listing the products or services or 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. Messaging is the blueprint and foundation for all communications, from website to collateral to advertising and social media. The messages crafted in a messaging hierarchy guide content for all communications.
When messaging defines the brand story, you’ll have built a brand that’s focused and easier to manage. Communications are clear. Each message builds on the foundation. 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.
Read more about messaging, its context and its value, in this Flipboard compilation of articles. Good stuff!
View my Flipboard Magazine.
Discover more about how we approach messaging hierarchy for clients, and see sample charts, on our website.
Define your audiences first, before you begin messaging … download our worksheet and use its guidelines to clarify who you need to reach and what they expect.