Effective brand communication is as clear as crystal. Each facet of communication works together to reflect one cohesive, bright mess. Successful brand communication is built with a focused goal, a verbal and visual rhetoric, and a solid understanding of both the audience and the competition. A brand with clear messaging: knows who they are; generates, grows, and retains relationships; and saturates marketing channels with a cohesive message.
Know Thy Brand
Define Your Brand by Answering These Questions:
What service or product does your brand offer?
Focus. Do not try to be a one-woman (or man) band. Know your brand’s strengths when it comes to service and product offerings. Keep this simple and to-the-point. Your brand is a promise that stakes itself on the fulfillment of a service or satisfaction of a product. Specification and specialization are valued by consumers.
Describe your brand’s culture.
Make a list of adjectives that describe your brand, your people, and the office space you work in. Do you have a company philosophy? If your brand were a radio station, would you play indie rock, classic hits, or EDM? Are your working hours flexible because you think valuing employee family time and personal needs helps make the workplace more effective? Are your employees professional, no-nonsense 9-to-5-ers, or do you host wine and cheese Wednesdays, or pancake breakfast brainstorms?
Who is your audience? Think ideal customer or client.
Specify your ideal customer clearly. This goes beyond age and location. How does your ideal customer think, how do they act? Are they health-conscious foodies who are also adventure-based travelers and spend their weekends participating in marathons? Or are they money-conscious homeowners who prioritize their family needs and are willing to spend more on a product that can benefit their health? How can you best reach this audience? Are they on social media? Do they leaf through magazines or spend a lot of time listening to the radio? Remember, Fish where the fish are!
How do you stand out from your competition?
First, figure out who your competition is and know which segment of the market each competitor is dominating. How will your brand stand out and differentiate from what is already out there? Are you the fresh innovative thinker, or the tried and true expert with years of experience? Acknowledge who is out there; don’t attempt to knock them down. Differentiate the method of delivering your brand promise.
Create. Implement. Repeat.
Your brand message isn’t only what you say—how you say it, and where you say it are crucial for effective communication. If you’ve defined your brand:
- differentiated your service/product from competition
- identified your ideal client/customer
- understand your brand’s culture
and utilize brand standards:
- consistent logo use
- color palette
- type styles
- uniform tone to all correspondence—just to name a few,
then you are on your way towards communicating a clear message. Follow these steps when developing your messaging strategy:
Does the tone and language of the messaging depict your service/product and match your brand culture? Does is resonate with your audience? Be cautious when using slang, or substituting a word for a hashtag—unless this works for your brand! And be consistent. Don’t change the messaging constantly or have too many messages. In this instance, more is just more.
Verbal language works with a system of visual language works to effectively communicate a message. The right visual cues help an audience digest words and complete an idea in their mind. Visuals fill in the blank and tells your audience what you haven’t overtly expressed. And make sure your visual language uses brand standards! Be consistent with your logo use, color palette, and type styles. Subtle choices like colors and fonts can speak volumes on a subconscious level.
Are you utilizing marketing channels effectively? Where your messaging is delivered has everything to do with how you define your brand and who your audience is. But don’t put all your marketing into one basket—combining efforts and cross marketing can be most effective because this is where more IS better—you have the opportunity to reach your audience in more than one place—repetition is an idea’s best friend.
Do Not Sprinkle
Be consistent! Saturate a market with one focused message and let it permeate. Sprinkles—every colorful idea you have up your sleeve—might seem exciting and fun, but all it does is make a big mess of your brand. You can control the what, the how, and the where of your messaging, so be strategic. Sprinkles don’t sparkle, crystal clear communication does.
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