Editor’s note: The following content has been updated for 2018.
You’ve got a product or service you can’t wait to tell the world about. But before you begin communicating with your audience, ask yourself this: Why should anyone care? Too often, marketers and their branding firms focus on product/service features without addressing the core needs of consumers.
So, what should you do? According to Mashable, you and your branding firm should avoid things like buzzwords, messaging by committee, and insipid copy. Instead, you need to focus on capturing your audience’s attention by captivating them and motivating them to act.
That, of course, is easier said than done. Finding the right ways to inspire action takes time and patience. Still, there are some general approaches that tend to work. Here are a few key strategies respected branding firms employ to ensure their clients’ branding messages get heard:
Listen before you communicate. Learn about your audience before presuming to solve their needs. One way to do this is to ask your current and prospective customers to take a survey on your website or via SurveyMonkey. Keep an open mind. What you hear might surprise you. Use what you learn to tailor your brand messaging to respond to a prospect’s needs rather than your own internal marketing goals.
Don’t be boring. You can’t bore someone into buying your product. If you want people to act on your messaging, you need to inspire them to action. Use language that creates excitement through active verbs. Paint a picture with your words the way Method does for its cleaning products: It’s time to clean happy…with biodegradable products that clean like heck, smell like heaven and leave nothing nasty in their wake.
Consider shareability. Word of mouth can be one of the most effective methods for promoting your product. But if you want people to spread your message, you’ll need to make it easy for them to do. Try to encapsulate your key idea into 50 words or less. Anything more than that is just too complicated for an audience to remember—let alone pass along to the next person.
Avoid jargon. Resist the temptation to rely heavily on buzzwords. These commonly used expressions quickly lose their power when overused. Instead, try to combine industry terms with other words or phrases that differentiate your branding message from everyone else’s. The more unique your communication, the more likely it is to be remembered.
Keep it simple. Branding messages often have the life squished out of them by the opposing views of too many committee members. Avoid the temptation to get everyone involved. Trying to distill the thoughts of an entire committee into one single statement will only muddy the communication waters. The world is filled with messaging attempts that detoured from the path of clarity for the sake of consensus. Take this prime example of brand messaging run amok:
Guided by relentless focus on our five imperatives, we will constantly strive to implement the critical initiatives required to achieve our vision. In doing this, we will deliver operational excellence in every corner of the Company and meet or exceed our commitments to the many constituencies we serve. All of our long-term strategies and short-term actions will be molded by a set of core values that are shared by each and every associate.
Would you have guessed this used to be the mission statement for national grocery chain, Albertsons? Probably not.
MDG Advertising is a full-service advertising agency and one of Florida’s top branding firms. With offices in Boca Raton, FL and New York, NY, MDG’s core capabilities include branding, logo design, digital marketing, print advertising, mobile marketing, email marketing, media planning and buying, TV and radio, outdoor, newspaper, video marketing, Web design and development, infographic development, content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO).
For a look back at some of history’s most successful branding strategies, check out, “8 Branding Tactics Marketers Can Learn from Literary Legend Mark Twain.”