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BRANDING

Wednesday, 04 October 2017 11:42

Ways to Amplify Your Brand Message

By - Michael Rader

According to Jenna Hanington, senior content strategist at Pardot, “Brand messaging refers to the underlying value proposition conveyed and language used in your content. It's what makes buyers relate to your brand by inspiring them, persuading them, motivating them, and ultimately making them want to buy your product.” In other words, the purpose of your brand message is to connect with your target audience and thereafter convert them to customers.

Consider the following company taglines. What brand message do they express?

  • Nike: Just do it.
  • Subway: Eat fresh.
  • Adidas: Impossible is nothing.
  • Walmart: Save money. Live better.
  • Levis: Quality never goes out of style.

Most of you likely recognized more than one of the above instantly. How has that company been able to connect with you? When you hear Subway’s message, for instance, what comes to mind? Fresh sandwiches made to order? A departure from the often-greasy nature of fast food? Subway has created a brand message that distinctly identifies them as the leader in fresh fast food. What about “Just do it?” What message does that send? How do you feel about Nike? How were those connections made?

Most of you likely recognized more than one of the above instantly. How has that company been able to connect with you? When you hear Subway’s message, for instance, what comes to mind? Fresh sandwiches made to order? A departure from the often-greasy nature of fast food? Subway has created a brand message that distinctly identifies them as the leader in fresh fast food. What about “Just do it?” What message does that send? How do you feel about Nike? How were those connections made?

What should my brand message say?

Clever taglines are great, but it must be said that your brand message is much more than just a catchy tagline. Instead, your message is your promise to your customers. So how is a brand message created? One might imagine a bunch of executives sitting in a room and bouncing ideas off a white board, trying to come up with the perfect message. That vision is pretty far from the truth, although it could be happening somewhere as you read this. Chances are it is very ineffective if it is happening.

Instead, many messages are deliberately and calculatingly created using the concept of triangulation. By considering the following items and then determining where they intersect, you can create a message that is going to accomplish what you need it to.

  1. Customer perspective: Get into the heads of your customers. What do they want? What matters to them? What do they value? What are their hopes and fears? The more you can understand your target market, the stronger your chance of delivering what they want.
  2. Internal perspective: Make sure your message includes your company’s values. What tenets is your company built upon? What sets you company and your products apart? Make sure you are sharing the right message consistently across your company.
  3. Marketplace perspective: Look at similar companies or products and make sure your value proposition is distinct. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel, you want to make it better.

Once you have established these three items, find areas where they connect. Imagine a Ven diagram, with the center serving as that which your brand message should express.

I have a message, now what?

Once you have created a brand message that you feel will adequately connect with your target market, you need to find ways for that message to reach your customers. Having a brand message is one thing, but amplifying it is something different.

Entrepreneur and blogger William Morrow suggested several ways to accomplish that amplification in his article, “Four Ways to Amplify Your Brand Message.” Morrow believes that if you follow these four tips, you will be able to get the right brand message to the masses. Once you connect with your target audience, you can let the value of your product reel them in.

  1. Identify and incorporate your brand message into your design. From the feel of your logo to the look of your website, your brand message should be incorporated into everything your business does. All design choices need to communicate your brand.
  2. Tell your brand’s story through content. Incorporating your brand’s story into every content item can empower your brand. Customers have an innate desire to connect to the world around them. Telling your brand’s story can help you make those connections.
  3. Create a brand transparency culture. Morrow writes that, “Brand transparency is the era of customer-driven content and is the leading force behind how businesses and customers connect.” Give your business a human element and you will find connections with customers easier to create.
  4. Stay consistent with your brand message. Your brand message should stay consistent across your entire company. Everything you do needs to be steady. Changes in your brand message will lead to confusion among your target market. Confusion often leads to distrust.

What about social media?

It is impossible for a business to connect with customers if they do not utilize the power of social media. Word of mouth is still the most effective means of advertising and those conversations often take place on social media. It isn’t enough, however, to simply accumulate “followers” or “likes.” If you want to amplify your brand on social media, you will have to work at it.

Social analytics and reporting firm Locowise recently finished a study that involved Facebook. They found that Facebook pages with over a million followers reached only about 2.27% on average. In other words, building a following of over a million followers does nothing if you don’t engage with them.

For you to successfully leverage social media platforms like Facebook, you need to keep content fresh and relevant. It is not enough for users to “like” you, they need to form a relationship with you. That will not happen if you are passive or appear uninterested.

What does all this mean?

Your brand message is your promise to your customers. It should convey who you are as a company and what you can do for your customers. Once you have it established, you need to make sure the public hears it. Think of the old days when a person would stand on a street corner and shout through a megaphone. That was how they attracted customers at that time. Although you won’t be able to use a real megaphone to find your customers, you can use an imaginary one. Decide how best to use your megaphone and you will be able to begin forging relationships with your target market.

Last modified on Thursday, 05 October 2017 8:39

Michael Rader

With over ten years in web development and design, Michael Rader has expertise and technical know-how. But more than a skilled technician, he is an entrepreneur and innovator who helps startup’s and new businesses identify and define their future with a unique, brandable business name. Michael Rader is the founder and CEO of Brandroot®, a leading .com domain name marketplace. He currently lives in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii where he operates the business and authors a blog dedicated to naming and brand name establishment.