This is where we begin to build your brand story. It almost goes without saying – no advertising, marketing or public relations will work if we don’t know what you want/need to say to your target markets, and what will convince them to engage with with your business.
The process begins with an in-depth learning session. I learn about you, you learn about me and together put together ideas regarding your business you maybe didn’t think of before. The result of this exercise, the deliverable, is a messaging framework.
The messaging framework is a guide for developing and disseminating all internal and external marketing messages. As such, it helps us remain consistent and focused in our communications.
Think of it as the house where our brand is going to live. We need to build it before we can invite anyone in.
- The core identity is the foundation. It describes who you are and what you do. This internal statement helps us all get on the same page before taking any communications to external audiences.
- The key messages form the roof, the high-level overview of the business. They are succinct verbalizations of what you do, for whom and what sets your brand apart from your competitors, i.e., what we do better, more, more effectively or more efficiently.
- Message pillars are load-bearing walls. They support the key messages and begin to create a fuller picture of your business and its functional, emotional and self-expressive benefits for your target markets.
- Message support points are the floor, the walls and the ceiling. They are fact-based messages that fill in the gaps in your message by validating the pillars.
- Tone encompasses paint colors, textures, floor coverings, decorations and so on. It gives your brand personality.
Once we have your house is built, we can move forward in making decisions regarding which message delivery channels to use, to what extent, how much of the house to show members of specific target markets and which pillars and support points are likely to motivate them.
So what do you say? Feel like strapping on your tool belt?