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8 steps to a persuasive brand messaging map

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It happens! You started your business or organization without carefully documenting all the essential elements of your brand story. You’ve tweaked words here and there over the years. But deep down, you know you haven’t nailed your brand message. 

The good news: It’s never too late to create a brand messaging map. The document should contain all of your relevant messages and selling statements. It will serve as the springboard from which you can write all your marketing pieces. 

Your messaging map ensures consistency and clarity for your team and your ideal clients. They’ll know exactly what you offer and how your product or service will help them.  

Your messaging map should include:

Internal language agreed upon by your team:
1. Purpose: Speak to your “why.” Perhaps this is your mission statement. You purpose statement fuels passion and energy into your brand. You can explain the “what” and “how” later. 

Starbucks, for instance, doesn’t tout coffee in its purpose. Instead, it strives “to inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” 

2. Prospect: Clearly define whom you serve and what they value. Ideally, their values should align with your brand. Think about your ideal client, not your average one. How do they want to grow with you? 

3. Pain Points: Empathize with your ideal clients and see the world through their perspective. When you can understand their pain points in relation to the service you offer, you’ll craft messages that speak to their logic and emotion. 

4. Personality: Describe your organization. What adjectives would you use? What personality traits stand out? A strong brand personality inspires people to connect in a more meaningful way.  

External language shared with the public:
5. Past: Explain who started the organization. Also known as your origin story, this explains the original vision and its evolution. 

6. Proposition: Explain in easy-to-understand language how your approach and services are unique (your unique value proposition). Describe what you do, whom you help and how you help them.

7. Pillars: Know your values. Your brand pillars, or principal messages, reflect your differentiators or values. You’ll need proof points that support each. Among Amazon’s pillars, for instance: customer obsession and passion for invention – no mention of online sales.  

8. Promise: Declare what commitment you’re making to your clients. What is your unique brand offering that appeals to your ideal clients? Sum this up in a punchy one-liner (sometimes known as tagline). 

Take the time to align your messages and share a solid story across all your communications for maximum results. 

Note: This column addresses the verbal brand. Visual brand guidelines, along with a messaging template are covered in our Hook Branding Workbook. You can download it at www.hookpr.com/brand-workbook

Patricia V. Rivera is a marketing consultant and founder of Hook PR & Marketing, which focuses on helping changemakers build their brands – in print, digital, social and multiple languages. Visit www.hookpr.com or call 302 858 5055.

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