What do you do? How can you solve my problem? How do I get started?
Gut check: if I visited your website right now, would I know the answer to these three questions within a few seconds? If the answer is no, your brand messaging could definitely use some love.
You may suspect that your brand messaging needs some love, but don’t know where to start. Having a fresh perspective is infinitely helpful, especially when you can tag in an objective 3rd party expert.
Whether you think your brand messaging needs a total overhaul, or could just use some fine tuning, the hardest part is getting started. And you’ve come to the right place!
Signs Your Brand Messaging Needs Some Love
1. Customers can’t see how they fit into your story.
Imagine you’re on a date. Your date has spent the last few hours talking and talking about themselves. You know what they do for work, their hobbies and interests, and even their sister’s first and middle name, but they haven’t asked you a single question about yourself. They don’t even seem to notice that you’ve been eyeing the door trying to make a quick exit.
You probably wouldn’t go on a second date with that person, and you didn’t leave that date feeling good about yourself.
Your brand messaging could be viewed in a similar way. Too often, we see clients get too excited about telling customers their story. Agonizing over carefully crafted mission statements, detailing extensive industry knowledge and credentials, and providing paragraphs of information that don’t get to the heart of what their customer wants and needs. In their excitement, they don’t even realize they’re alienating the very person they’re trying to engage by not including them in the story.
When your customer can’t see how they fit into your story right away, they move on to someone who can. The questions you need to ask as you prioritize your customer in your brand messaging are:
- Who is my customer?
- What do they need?
- How can I help?
When you build your brand messaging around answering these questions, you reinforce your position as a guide to solve your customers’ most pressing problems.
2. How you solve your customers’ problems is unclear.
We live in a world where we are bombarded with messages from the minute we wake up to the minute we go to sleep. Your brand messaging needs to be clear enough to cut through the noise in order to reach your customer. But how will you know if your brand messaging is unclear?
No matter how technical or specific your industry, your website should be able to pass “The Grunt Test.” StoryBrand founder Donald Miller says if a caveman were to visit your website, he should be able to “grunt” exactly what you do from the homepage alone. The truth is, our brains aren’t that much different from our ancestors’. Surviving and thriving is our primary focus, and our brains are hardwired to filter out anything that distracts us from survival. Even deciphering an unclear message can use precious calories that we could put to use somewhere else.
You may say to yourself, “Well that’s no problem for me! I have an extensive and intimate understanding of how to solve my customers’ problems. I do it day in and day out!”
Enter, the Curse of Knowledge. Because you understand your business and industry so well, your messaging can easily go over the head of a potential customer. This is why it can be infinitely helpful to invest in an objective third party to evaluate your messaging.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to intricately explain the details of what you do and how you do it for customers to come to you. In fact, if your brand messaging is clear and consistent enough, they’ll believe you quickly and trust you to solve their problems.
In revamping your brand messaging, clarity and consistency are key. In marketing, every second of your potential customer’s attention counts. Once you cut through the noise, it’s important to answer your customers’ most important questions in seconds.
Your customer shouldn’t have to guess how you can help them, it should be made abundantly clear and continuously reinforced.
3. The buyer’s journey isn’t factored into your messaging.
Even for the most straightforward business, the buyer's journey is rarely ever linear. There are three key phases in the buyer's journey, the Awareness Stage, the Consideration Stage, and the Decision Stage. All are important to factor into your brand messaging. When you clearly define your buyer’s journey, you can meet them where they’re at at every stage of the buying process.
While prospective customers might not even become aware of your brand until the second stage, Consideration, it’s still important to factor in the first stage of the journey, Awareness, so you can truly identify and empathize with the pain points that led them to consider your solution in the first place.
In the Awareness Stage, your buyer becomes acutely aware that they have a problem, and knows that it’s critical to find a solution. With carefully crafted brand messaging, you can empathize with the problems they face on a daily basis. You don’t want to bombard your customer with solutions at this stage, you just want to provide an ear. Establishing rapport on this level builds understanding for a lasting relationship. After all, you’re here to help!
By the time your customer reaches the Consideration Stage, they are open to ideas on how to solve their problem and have taken matters into their own hands. They’re looking into options and doing their own research. If you have empathized with them strongly enough, now you have a leg up on direct competitors who may come up in their research. In this stage, information is key, and it’s a great time to fill your customer in on what makes your solution the best option.
Finally when your customer reaches the Decision Stage, they are down to a few potential solutions. Now’s the time to ease any worries and hear any objections, as well as reassure that your solution will benefit your customer in the long run.
When you consider each stage of your buyer’s journey, you can guide them through easily to the perfect solution - your business.
4. Your brand voice doesn’t reflect who you are
“It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it.” We’ve all either said this ourselves, or have heard it from our friends or family. Even in brand messaging, sometimes how you say it is even more important than what you say.
Your brand voice helps tell your story, and oftentimes it’s looked over entirely. Think of how you want your customers to view your brand. Funny? Helpful? Thoughtful? Uplifting? Identifying a brand voice helps personify your brand messaging, giving it a life all its own. It helps you stand out from the crowd and make your messaging more memorable. Give your brand a voice, and people will listen.
Give your Brand Messaging some Love, and Work with us!
Brand messaging can be one of the trickiest things to nail down. At best, ineffectual brand messaging can confuse and distract customers, and at worst, it can turn them off from your business entirely.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and ensuring your brand messaging makes a good first impression is critical. Investing in your brand is investing in your customers, and clueing into their wants and needs.
It can be hard to see your brand objectively, that’s why it’s a great reason to call in the experts. We all want to present the best version of ourselves, and your brand is no different. It’s an extension of your business, and should be given the love and attention it deserves.