Branding is part of the survival of any business on the market. Every company must know what it will communicate to its audience since this will shape people’s perception of the company.
The effort to develop and implement a communication pattern is called brand messaging, and it can create a standardized way of conveying the brand’s values to the public.
Whether in online advertising or TV ads, companies need to convey a single idea even if the message used in each broadcast is different. Consumers are looking for stronger relationships with brands, and this also depends on communication.
Through brand messaging, it’s possible to transmit values, inspire, and generate the desire to buy. We will talk more about this concept in this content. To detail the subject, we will cover the following topics:
What is brand messaging?
Brand messaging refers to the definition of the tone of voice, the line of communication, and the main messages that a brand establishes when communicating with its audience.
Determining this standard is crucial so that every time the company positions itself, the public can easily perceive its identity. That is only possible with a thorough definition of ideas, always based on values.
The brand’s proposal towards the public is what will influence the message conveyed. Therefore, the company’s segment, the products it sells, and the services it provides will have a direct impact on brand messaging.
By structuring this message content pattern, companies can convey what it is that the brand wants and what its core values are.
Slogans are a good example
A slogan is that catchy phrase that is repeated over and over again in advertising pieces and campaigns. Every brand has one.
That resource is part of a brand messaging strategy, and its role is, directly and succinctly, to generate an immediate idea about what the brand can offer to the public.
The brand’s personality, its market, and its line of communication shape the slogan. Some other famous slogans are:
- Nike – Just do it.
- AT&T – Your world delivered. Connecting you to your world, everywhere you live and work.
- Tylenol – Feel better, Tylenol.
- Red Bull – Red Bull gives you wiiings.
Slogans are mechanisms of immediate association to brands. But they are not necessarily the only way to transmit values and offers through communication.
Brand messaging is a combination of factors, such as language, specific terms, and the tone of voice used every time a company communicates.
It’s precisely the repetition or standardization that will create an identity for each brand. That makes the communication effective not only to the target audience but to anyone who comes across the message.
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How to create a successful brand messaging framework?
Defining the brand message is a process that demands in-house, audience, and market analysis. Many factors impact the way companies position themselves and determine their form of communication. Taking care of all these points ensures a more precise strategy.
Below, you will read about all the necessary phases for your brand messaging framework!
1. Identify your audiences
Who is your company talking to, exactly? The audience is the initial question when it comes to defining your brand message.
That is a process that will influence people’s perception of your company, but it’s also an engagement strategy that will often trigger the desire for consumption. It’s much easier to achieve this among the brand’s audience.
Therefore, a well-defined persona is the first step. Some companies already know their brand’s average consumer profile. But if this is not the case, it’s essential to conduct research on preferences, analyze buying behavior, and understand these people’s expectations.
From this, the persona model will be aligned with the company’s reality.
An important point when understanding audiences is to know that, in each segment, there is an audience. A company that sells sports equipment does not talk to the same public as a sofa cleaning company.
This variation has a significant impact on the brand’s tone of voice, the choice of terms, and generally on the style of communication to be used.
2. Look for references
Learning from success cases is always a good idea when developing your company’s brand messaging. It’s not about copying an approach and reproducing it for your brand but looking for solid references that make sense for your business.
Of course, the best thing to do is observe and analyze the companies’ brand message in your industry.
Many large companies invest heavily in maintaining this standardization of message content in their communication strategies.
Thus, it’s easy to identify what resources and mechanisms they use to convey their value in ads, social media interactions, and other opportunities. Ideally, you should conduct a broader study with several examples.
If your company is in the media and entertainment industry, a success story is Netflix.
Famous for its younger, cooler, and closer-to-the-public language, the brand manages to maintain this in almost every interaction and promotion. References will always be useful to help you understand how your company can structure brand message patterns.
Push notification to announce the new season of “Narcos” brings an objective description of what the subscriber can expect.
3. Observe market trends
The market always brings good trends that can be of great help to your brand. However, you should not see these practices as opportunities to change and lead to an escape from the company’s values.
It’s not because Netflix has a younger communication style that your law firm can do the same. They have different audiences with different expectations.
Still, trends are essential to understand how brand messaging has evolved. Communication is an industry that reflects changes in society, values, and technology, which makes it a true laboratory of practices.
Trends are not limited to language but also include the ways of applying the brand messages in campaigns.
A good idea is to perform this analysis through social media channels. It’s important to understand how companies have used these platforms to convey their values.
It’s much more about understanding how it has been done rather than exactly what style is used.
4. Have a value proposition
The value proposition will be the basis of your communication strategy. What your company does, offers as a brand, and intends to bring to the market make up this concept, which should always be very solid.
That will be the starting point for a concise brand messaging plan that will generate the intended impact. Each company has its value proposition.
For example, a digital solutions company has as its value the delivery of software based on innovation. In this case, it will reinforce that every time it sells a product, engages with consumers, or simply advertises and executes basic marketing strategies.
Every company needs to be true to its value proposition to have a solid and effective brand message.
After identifying your audience and the market, the value proposition is the starting point to determine what exactly the company will bring to the public.
It doesn’t matter if the idea is innovation, sustainability, practicality, or low cost – the value that the brand holds will be your guide when it comes to defining the tone of voice, choice of terms, and general communication approach.
5. Define terms that will be used
An important mechanism for brand messaging is the choice of terms. Some are strategic and help brands to transmit their value proposition more clearly, facilitating understanding.
In general, those are words, expressions, and phrases that refer to the company’s core business but always addressing the specific values that each company embraces.
At this stage, the company must already have its value proposition defined, which will allow it to know precisely what it will bring to the public. When it comes to determining the terms, it’s necessary to perform a simple reflection exercise on which words generate a quick association with what the company sells.
If we are talking about veganism, terms like “sustainability” will work out well and generate a strong connection with the brand. From this, it’s essential to build a true bank of terms, creating a solid standardization that will serve to guide all communication efforts.
It’s important, however, that this bank is extensive to guide various contents without being repetitive.
6. Define your brand’s tone of voice
The brand’s tone of voice is the final touch. It’s an essential part of branding that will guide the message delivery solidly.
If you already have your persona well-defined, have studied the market, and searched for references, you know exactly which paths you can follow when speaking to your audience. The tone of voice needs to be aligned with all those points.
This approach cannot fail to consider what the company sells and its values. It’s fundamental to understand that tone of voice is a mechanism that helps create a corporate personality when communicating.
Being fun, cool, serious, or creative are possibilities, as long as there is an alignment with the persona and the company’s value is prioritized.
With digital on the rise, companies have more significant channels to apply their brand messaging and, especially, to explore this tone of voice in a diversified manner. There are more opportunities to establish a brand’s personality, always considering the need to communicate clearly.
7. Establish communication guidelines
Communication guidelines are a great help for the company to set an important standard that upholds the compliance to essential issues, such as:
- prohibited terms;
- recommended terms;
- the tone of voice;
- how to refer to the public;
- value to be applied;
- length of text;
- pronunciation of product names;
- the spelling of product names.
Precision is one of the fundamental factors in brand messaging. It’s what will ensure that the brand manages to maintain consistency in communication. As a result, it’s easier to create an approach style, which will generate faster identification with the public.
To facilitate the task, the company should create a brand message guide. That is a common mechanism in marketing, just like the brand manual. But it will be focused only on brand messaging.
What are the best examples of brand messaging for inspiration?
Some brands have been showing how it is done in a didactic and high-quality way. They are great sources of inspiration for your company to implement qualified brand messaging. You may want to think about the value proposition and the delivery of precise communication.
Get to know two success cases and understand which paths these companies have followed.
Dove has stood out for its more sensitive, humanized, and closer approach to the public. The tone of voice is softer and milder but not so cheerful. Their message is that their products are not only for beauty, but a source for confidence.
The sensitivity that the brand applies in its campaigns allows it to work with brand messaging that reinforces the importance of believing in yourself.
Apple’s brand message is quite clear: its products deliver sophisticated, minimalist design, innovative technology, and enhanced value.
The company’s consumers are nearly a fan club and fully understand the impact that the products have on their lifestyle. That is exactly what the company explores.
Its campaigns feature succinct messages, using direct but not too casual language. The focus is on aligning simple descriptions of features and functionality, illustrating how all this impacts the user’s day-to-day life.
Communicating well is about ensuring that your brand will deliver the value proposition and ensure a quick association between what is being expressed and the company.
Brand messaging is critical for businesses to keep their names relevant and increase their recognition in highly competitive markets.
Positioning brands and creating solid ideas about them is quite a challenge. Therefore, you need to have good planning to get the results you want. Check out our free Marketing Planning Bundle!