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Consistent Messaging Builds Brands

Posted by Tom Smith on Tue, Nov, 26, 2013 @ 06:11 AM

Consistency of brand message

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the reasons people trust friends and families, or strangers on the Internet, more than what a company says about itself is that companies don't speak simply.

According to Tim Riesterer, chief strategy and marketing officer at Corporate Visions, "One of the biggest problems that brands have to deal with is fluff. Brands have to keep things simple, and they've got to keep things clear."

This is why it's imperative for any company to have vision, mission, values, and strategic positioning that are in alignment. It any of these are not in alignment, then the prospect and the customer is getting an incongruent message.

This lack of consistency breeds confusion and erodes trust.

Following are nine steps to take to ensure your brand message is simple and clear:

  1. Avoid buzzwords.  You may use buzzwords to show that you are knowledgeable about the latest trends in an industry and this may be relevant when speaking to others in your industry. However, consider the relevance to your customers and prospects.
  2. Avoid, or at least explain, acronyms. Each industry has its own set of acronyms. Using them, without defining them, potentially excludes anyone who is not up on the latest acronyms of the industry.
  3. Think customer first. Your message should focus on the customer and what problem you solve for them. If you're not sure what that is, ask them.
  4. Target. You message is much more likely to get through if it's timely and relevant. It's much more likely to be quickly deleted or ignored if it's not. With all of the targeted display advertising I receive from Zappos, I'm amazed their emails are not targeted in the same way. Their display advertising is more relevant to me than their emails; however, I still like seeing their values everyday.
  5. Simplify. To quote Albert Einstein, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." This goes for branding and communications.
  6. Don't develop messages by committee. By including everyone's comment or point of view, you typically wind up with mindless words.
  7. Energize. Does the brand message emanate from the mission? Are you clearing communicating the brand promise?
  8. Avoid puffery. Is the benefit tangible or easily understood? Don't overestimate the value you provide. Again, look to your customers to learn how they describe the value they receive from your product or service.
  9. Make it a story worth retelling. Stories are memorable and memorable stories are retold -- to others via word-of-mouth and frequently via social media. If you can create a powerful, emotional, beneficial story for your customers, they will tell others for you.
I cannot overestimate the importance of everyone on your management team and in your firm being in total alignment in how you present and talk about your brand to customers and prospects.
I have never done one-on-one interviews with client management teams where there is alignment. These companies are missing a huge opportunity to tell a consistent brand story both within, and outside, their company.
What are you doing to ensure that everyone on your team is telling the same brand message?
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Tags: mission statement, earn your customers trust, alignment, consistent messaging

Know Your Mission to Accelerate Sales

Posted by Tom Smith on Mon, Aug, 26, 2013 @ 09:08 AM

know your mission to acclerate sales

 

This is the third in a series of blog posts on the need for a brand platform and the elements there of.

So how to vision and mission differ?

Vision is about the future, the desired end-state you want to achieve.

Mission defines the purpose of the organization in terms of something outside the company, beyond profits or market position. How is your company, product or service make the world a better place? What are you doing to help mankind?

If executed, the mission will ultimately lead to the realization of the vision.

For example, Henry Ford's vision was "To build a car his own workers could afford to buy."

His mission was, "To pass on to the motorist who buys our products, every efficiency possible, in the production of automobiles, from modern methods of procurement, manufacture and assembly."

Disney mission is: "We create happiness by providing the finest in entertainment for people of all ages, everywhere."

 

Apple's is: "To produce high-quality, low cost, easy to use products that incorporate high technology for the individual. We are proving that high technology does not have to be intimidating for noncomputer experts.

I'm not convinced Apple succeeded on the "low cost" portion of their mission, perhaps "high value" would be more appropriate?

What do you need to consider when developing your mission?

  • Your vision
  • The history and culture of your firm
  • Current preferences of the owners and management team
  • The resources available for achieving the mission
  • Distinctive competencies of the firm -- what makes you "different and better"
  • Current business environment, including your competition

The mission is the second of the four critical elements of the brand platform.

I'll address core values and strategic positions in the next two posts.

What are some other mission statements that resonate with you?

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Tags: dialogue, mission statement, empowered employees, integrated marketing, brand platforms accelerate sales