Brand messaging and the 3 “C’s”
Now that you’ve completed part 1 of “Transforming Your Marketing in 4 Steps,” you’ve got your buyer personas. What comes next? It’s time to brand. What is branding? In essence, branding is synonymous with the mission statement of your business. What benefits, products, value and/or services are you promoting to your audience, and how? The answer to these questions not only determines what your brand is, but also how effective it is.
Before you share a logo, social media post or shout your business motto from the rooftop, understanding branding basics is essential. Only once you’ve achieved clarity, confidence and consistency in your message can you effectively convey your brand.
What is branding, and how do I brand my business?
You have a new business–perhaps a B2B, large company, independent coffee shop or nonprofit–and you’ve thoroughly researched your buyer persona. Now it’s time to combine the motivation and intentions of your business directly with the wants and needs of your target audience–but before doing so, you must understand branding as it will apply specifically to your company. Answering a few key questions will help:
- What am I offering my buyers–a product, service, etc.? Keep in mind, the more services or products offered, the more muddled the message can get. Be as succinct as possible.
- What sets my company apart from competitors?
- What makes what I’m offering unique and dynamic?
- How will first impressions be most impactful to my audience–website, social media, etc.?
- What attributes do I want buyers to associate with my business?
Brand messaging and the 3 “C’s”
The answers you give will undoubtedly help narrow the focus and objective required to create a core brand. They will also enable effective brand messaging. Brand messaging is more than simply what you’re telling/selling a target audience, it’s also about how the brand is being translated. In order to optimize brand messaging, let’s revisit the 3 “C’s”: clarity, confidence and consistency.
- Clarity – Focus on the strength of your brand. If you have an independent coffee shop that uses all-organic products, is environmentally conscious, and is heavily involved in local charity–all assets are valuable to the business, but to convey them all through focused brand messaging can be overkill–remember, ultimately you’re selling coffee. Best to condense the assets into one powerful brand message: “Mindful drinking,” “Conscious coffee” or something that encapsulates all that your business offers in your central message. Of course you can still present the other impressive and admirable qualities of your business, but having that one clear brand message will help the process occur more organically.
- Confidence – The better you know your own brand and stand behind it, the more others will be attracted to it. Another way to look at confidence is when looking at a problem that your buyer persona may have, and how your business can be poised and ready to solve it. JetBlue, for example, used their brand messaging to ausage the annoyance of frequent flyers, by branding themselves as an experience, rather than simply a mode of transportation. By making flying more comfortable by offering more legroom and entertainment, they confidently followed through with their branding message, and in turn created a loyal consumer base.
- Consistency – A perfect logo, good advertising and clear brand marketing are less than the sum of their parts if they are not consistent. Again, having a clear and confident message should naturally pave the way for consistency. The brand should speak for itself, like Nike’s “Just do it” branding. A simple phrase and a swoop…on everything. Take Nike’s lead and, whether simple or fancy, imprint your brand everywhere and on everything–logo, business collateral, social media. Equally important: back up your message. Like Nike, if you’re telling people to “Just do it,” make sure you have the product/service to allow your buyer persona to “Just do it.” Your brand is only as strong as the product/service behind it.
Is branding costly? What do I really need?
The answer to these questions are fairly objective. You can spend thousands to literally millions depending on the desired scope of your branding. The more comprehensive the branding– signage, custom-built website, social media, SEO optimization and advertising–the greater the budget. If cost is a concern, start small with:
- A customized logo
- Social media
Having a logo and website professionally designed may cost you anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 on the low end and $5,000 to upwards of $100,000-plus on the high side. Social media can be done at no cost, if you have the time and technological acumen to create and manage the sites on your own. For some businesses, it’s significantly more cost effective to hire out for internet-based brand messaging.
Experts who understand branding and how it works with SEO, web visibility and the intricacies of technological analytics are typically well worth the investment. As for signage, advertising and marketing beyond the webisphere, there is always potential for furthering brand visibility, but it may incur higher budget demands .
What is branding? Branding is a result of knowing your buyer persona, taking a thorough business inventory and utilizing the 3 “C’s.” Not only can you create a strong core brand by implementing these strategies, but you can also help ensure a fluid and captivating brand-messaging methodology. The beauty of branding is, whether you go gangbusters or take a more subtle approach, the potential for success is equal for both, provided that clarity, confidence and consistency have been mastered.
For more on branding strategies, contact a Farotech marketing expert today!