Your branding message is a statement to the world about who you are and what you do—but it does more than just inform. It inspires and motivates people to do business with you. Without it, people don’t have a clear understanding of how you can benefit them.
Surprisingly, as important as it is, many business owners don’t establish their brand messaging early on, when in fact, you should do it before you sell your first product and definitely before you create a website or start producing marketing materials.
Here is a step-by-step process to guide you through developing your branding message.
Write your mission statement
Your mission statement briefly describes the purpose of your organization. You’ll want to define how you serve customers, the philosophies that drive your business and what sets your business apart from the competition.
Establish a vision
What is your long-term dream for your business? Think five, 10 and 15 years down the road. What would success look like? Do you want to franchise? Go global? Or do you want to remain a small, local business? Maybe you want to become just successful enough to sell to the highest bidder.
Outline your core values
What beliefs do you hold most dear and how do you expect your employees to behave? For example, are you focused on innovating and releasing the most cutting-edge tech? Then you want employees pushing the envelope and taking risks. Are you a family-run business, who wants to make customers feel like family? Then employees’ customer service should support that.
Develop a buyer persona
Who are your target customers? What is their story? What is their background? Their age? What do they care about? What are their pain points or challenges? What expectations do they have when it comes to purchasing products or services like yours?
Then decide how your product or service aligns with those needs and expectations, and more specifically how you meet those needs differently or better than your competitors.
Establish a brand tone
What do you want the personality of your business to be? Do you want the perception of your business to be serious? Creative? Informal?
Your tone will largely be driven by your business. For example, a law firm specializing in injury cases likely will want to be somber and compassionate, whereas, a marketing agency may want to be quirky and fun.
Spend some time on this because you need to stick with this tone and use it consistently across all your marketing channels.
Develop your marketing materials
The previous steps allowed you to establish who you want to be and how you want to be perceived. You have laid out the details of your brand. Now, you can start developing the elements that will make that message clear.
It is critical that your mission, vision, values, buyer persona and brand is carried throughout everything you develop.
Here are some key elements to create first:
- In five words or less, create a memorable statement the explains why people should do business with you.
- Elevator pitch. You should be able to sell the value of your company and convey your brand in no more than 60 words. People should know very quickly what they’ll get when they do business with you.
- Create your website. The copy, images and features should support your brand messaging. If your product is all about simplicity and streamlining, your website should be the same way. If you are selling creativity, your website should scream that through it’s visuals.
- Develop marketing collateral. Your social media, content, promotional emails, brochures, signage, business cards, visuals for meetings and trade events, and everything you produce should align with your brand messaging.
Consistency is crucial, so that’s why it is so important to spend time on each step to ensure you are conveying the right branding message to consumers.