Time to Power Up Your Messaging – Marketing Rumblings Newsletter, August 2013

Power Up Your Strategic Messaging and Brand Direction

Perhaps the greatest challenges organizations have is how to communicate their unique brand promise and tell their story.

We’re talking about messaging – Current, Clear, Consistent and Compelling messaging that sells both your company and its products/services. How do you achieve these invaluable “Four Cs”? For our clients, it begins with an exploratory process and ends with a map that keeps everyone on the same course when communicating.

Briefly, here are what we see as the 10 basic steps in this critical process.

1. Commit the Time

Understand that developing a strategic messaging platform will take some time. It’s too important to treat as an afterthought.

2. Assign the Responsibility

Consistency in messaging requires discipline and oversight. There must be someone or a team of someones at the helm of this process with the ability and authority to make the resulting messaging known and implemented enterprise wide.

3. Get an Outside Look

This is why many of our clients come to us – to get that unbiased view and the expertise to use and improve what we find to create memorable messaging. We generally start with a Messaging Direction meeting with client representatives to get their input, perceptions, expertise and insights into strengthening their brands and messages.

4. Messaging Inventory

This involves a survey of all existing messaging, that is, what you are saying about yourself and others are saying about you – in print, online, everywhere. When we do this for clients, we usually find:

  • Outdated, conflicting and incorrect information
  • Messaging that is all over the board, with different employees, departments, marketing collateral and/or other materials saying different things about the same products
  • Content that reflects who companies were, not who they are, as they’ve outgrown their original concept and somehow forgot to let everyone else know

5. Review Existing Content

Making our own recommendations, we work collaboratively with our clients to review the inventory, deciding what to change, what to keep and what to say next.

6. Build Your Brand Promise

An inward view also can be valuable in another way, forcing enterprises to take hard looks at their businesses and practices – and ensure they really do deliver on their brand promises. Remember: Words can’t solve everything.

7. Tagline. Identity. Perception.

Is there a memorable phrase connected to your brand that reflects the premise of your company or product – for now and where you hope to be?  not, this is the time to create one – in the form of a tagline or a new look for your logo.  This is critical to establishing the baseline perception of your business.

8. Create the Copy

At Next-Mark, this is the point at which we create a Messaging Platform that meets the goals of the Four Cs and solidifies how the company and its products should be described throughout all communications.

9. Don’t Forget Design

Professional design, like professional writing, is a hallmark of A-list companies and a factor in how they are judged by prospective customers. When needed, we work with clients to ensure their web sites and other materials convey the tone, consistency and sophistication they need to be taken seriously.

10. Create the Marketing Plan

With the strong knowledge base we’ve achieved through this process, we prepare a marketing plan that moves the client forward and meets specific goals – from increased brand recognition to new-market sales.

If it sounds complicated, it can be. However, we do what we can to ease the process, taking on the more cumbersome and time-consuming aspects. To learn more about this, or any other facet of our marketing services, contact us today.

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Joseph S. Grano, Jr., has a record of success providing vision and strategic direction to organizations experiencing rapid growth and change. He is one of those rare individuals who have made a successful transition from corporate leader to entrepreneur and owner of his own growing company.