Brand messaging is a key component of a comprehensive brand strategy. Effective messaging will resonate with the brand’s ideal customer: they feel a connection and are moved into action.
Making this connection is the crucial first step to sales and loyalty. However, if the brand’s messaging is not aligned with the brand’s core and doesn’t entice the prospect client, it won’t move people to action.
Developing brand messaging is part of a larger process that is usually either done in-house or with a brand strategist. Either way, we’re going to break it down to make sure you’re hitting all the steps, in the right order, so you can craft effective language that resonates with and charms the brand’s ideal customers.
The Essential First Step to Crafting Brand Messaging
Effective brand messaging starts from the inside by capturing the essence of the core value that the brand provides to its customers. How do you discover that?
If you’re a brand strategist, your role during a branding workshop is to lay the foundation that will later solidify the messaging of the brand by taking participants through a process that uncovers the WHY behind the brand, the brand’s authentic points, the proof points, and other elements we suggest in our Brand Strategy Framework.
It’s important to do that before attempting to craft any language. Once you have these elements clarified, coming up with the brand messaging will be a breeze.
How to Craft Brand Messaging that Resonates
During a brand messaging session, it’s important to take the time to review all the words describing the brand that have surfaced during the workshop’s exercises. Double check that team members are still on board with everything.
Sometimes at this stage, new ideas will emerge or someone might have second thoughts. Before moving forward, make sure everyone feels heard and has signed off on these crucial elements. At that point, it’s fine for participants to toss around some messaging ideas.
A word of caution: this workshop session is not the time to try to craft the perfect brand name, tagline or website copy. Brand messaging is one of the most important elements of brand strategy, so it shouldn’t be rushed. Slapping up a cute tagline that doesn’t incorporate the brand’s core values will surely fall flat. Of course, leave space for spontaneous ideas but don’t feel pressured to come up with a perfect version just yet.
Depending on how the company works, either a copywriter will be hired, or certain team members will be tasked with crafting the messaging, or this will be delegated to an agency, or a mix of these. Either way, the goal is to find language that is crystal clear so anyone would understand: what this is, who it’s for, and why it’s worth their time and money.
In many cases, it’s most efficient to hire a copywriter. Brand messaging is about using the art of language to weave the answers to the three key questions above into short, to the point sentences that communicate the core essence behind the brand. This type of writing is not in most people’s skill set.
A professional copywriter (or agency) will know how to take all of the raw material and craft it into a work of linguistic art – even if it’s deceptively simple. (All together now: Just do it.)
How to Work with a Copywriter
There are various ways to work with a copywriter. Here is the first decision:
- Bring a copywriter in for this particular brand messaging session so they can listen to the review of the core values and hear any updates. Then they’ll come up with ideas over the next weeks or months as the branding process continues.
- Finish the whole brand strategy process, create a Brand Canvas, and then engage a copywriter. The Brand Canvas is an important part of a good brief because it consolidates the essence of the brand and gives direction for the tone of voice.
If you bring the copywriter into the brand strategy process earlier and the synergy is good, more ideas could arise that would help further shape the language. This is a collaborative process that usually includes several rounds of back and forth tweaking.
It can be very powerful when an internal client’s team and the external copywriter brainstorm together. The copywriter’s role is to find the exact language that will convey the main idea of the brand. When the messaging hits the right notes, it will resonate with the brand’s ideal customers and pull them closer.
Hot Tips for Crafting Brand Messaging
Whether you are working with a copywriter or not, it’s good to be aware of what comprises excellent brand messaging. Here are our tips for making sure it’s the best it can be.
- Better connection means higher conversion rates. Find the absolute best language that will resonate with your specific ideal customer.
- Less is more. Capture their attention. Keep it short. (Got milk?)
- Remove redundancy. It’s clunky and detracts. Really, remove repetition. It’s boring.
- Good messaging can be the main signifier of the brand, even more than a logo. (Because you’re worth it.)
- Remember to work from the inside out: amplify the brand’s true core with carefully crafted language. This is what builds trust with customers.
- Involve the client’s team in brainstorming the ideas together. They are immersed in the brand on a day to day basis, they’ve developed an internal culture and language that can be very powerful and on-point. Try asking them: If you had to choose one (a tagline or similar), which would it be? Why? This is also a great way for team members to feel a sense of inclusion and ownership.
- Strong brand messaging shows a strong brand personality – say something original. (Think different.)
- Don’t put all the responsibility on the tagline. Aim for an ensemble that plays well together, including the brand name, tagline, and brand statement.
- Tell the brand’s story in a way that lures people in – use adventure, mystery, emotion, magnetism, and even a bit of romance. (J’adore Dior)
Brand messaging is about uncovering the originality of the brand and enhancing that with wording that gives an additional ornament to the brand’s personality. It’s one of the core elements of a brand that creates a resonance with the target audience and enables a brand to bloom at its best.
Want to dive deeper?
Check out our Brand Strategy Framework.
Brand Strategy Framework