“This is exactly why you should buy from us…”
We have our pick from zillions of brands these days. Some of them do a superb job of winning customers with copy that tells their audience exactly what they are about and why they should choose them.
But I have scoured the internet and these brands are rarer than you would think. So many firms work hard at their marketing but fail to get a distinct message across in their communications, whether on their website, collateral or campaigns.
We are swamped with me me me marketing messages that drone on about how amazing or capable a company is… yawn! It’s time to step out from behind the shadows, put yourselves in the shoes of your audience and shine with great messaging!
Here’s three things you can do to sharpen up your messaging, you can apply this to any communication channel or campaign…
1. What is your why?
Anyone familiar with Simon Sinek is most likely a convert (I am yet to come across a cynic of Sinek), check out his work here. Simon believes that powerhouse brands all have something in common. They start with WHY!
Most companies communicate “WHAT” they do. Then they explain “HOW” they do it. Finally, they try to explain “WHY” they actually do what they do (if at all). They sell with “WHAT” (product) instead of “WHY” (vision).
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
This strategy is behind the successful Apple brand, check this out:
Do you know your company’s Why? The purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do?
Don’t get this mixed up with traditional vision statements, which typically include the sentiment “to be a leader in our market” or similar. Get your management team together and get inspirational, delve deep! Ask why, why, why and why until you get there…
Once you have nailed your Why, ensure your employees share your vision, attract customers that share your vision and use it to build your brand.
“Stop selling your product and start selling your vision.”
I love this article, 10 Mission Statements Simon Sinek Would Approve, check it out for some great examples on how this has been put into practice.
2. What’s your positioning statement?
A positioning statement is an expression of how a given product, service or brand fills a particular audience need in a way that its competitors do not.
You need one for each product, service, solution or market… Whatever your offering you should have a very concise and compelling statement that tells your audience exactly who you serve, what need you address, what benefit you bring and your key differentiator.
There are variations around the structure of a positioning statement but I usually go with this:
This is only a template and can be tweaked as needed. While some positioning statements are short and to the point, others are a bit more detailed, here are a few examples:
H&M: H&M allows young fashion conscious men with a limited budget access to trendy and affordable fashion to make them appear and feel more successful.
Michelin: To family-oriented adult car owners concerned with safety, Michelin tires are the premium tires that can provide greater peace of mind.
NyQuil: To adults suffering from a variety of cold and/or flu symptoms, NyQuil is the original soothing night time cold medicine that effectively relieves symptoms so you can sleep through the night.
Amazon.com (back when it almost exclusively sold books): For World Wide Web users who enjoy books, Amazon.com is a retail bookseller that provides instant access to over 1.1 million books. Unlike traditional book retailers, Amazon.com provides a combination of extraordinary convenience, low prices, and comprehensive selection.
Zipcar.com: To urban-dwelling, educated techno-savvy consumers, when you use Zipcar car-sharing service instead of owning a car, you save money while reducing your carbon footprint.
Harley Davidson: The only motorcycle manufacturer that makes big, loud motorcycles for macho guys (and “macho wannabes”) mostly in the United States who want to join a gang of cowboys in an era of decreasing personal freedom.
Give it a try, you’ll need one for each market offering.
3. What’s your value proposition?
A value proposition is a statement that clearly identifies what benefits a customer will receive by purchasing a particular product or service from a particular supplier.
This is the number one thing that will determine whether a prospect will read more (or hit the back button). It needs to be read and understood in about 5 seconds and if you get it right it will be a huge boost.
What value do you bring to your audience, how do you solve a specific problem, how do you make their lives easier, why should they buy from you? It needs to be simple, relevant and quantifiable, it needs to avoid hype and be in a language that your audience uses.
This infographic should help you get started!
So get to work today and sharpen up your messaging, if you need help you know where I am 😉