Think of the tagline or slogans used by companies you may know and admire. “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” and “”The best part of wakin’ up is Folgers in your cup” and “Helping small businesses achieve consistent positive marketing results.”
They are recognizable and immediately associated with the companies they describe: FedEx, Folgers, and Valens Point. (A disclaimer: the author purposely slipped in that last example.)
These phrases also share something in common; emotion. FedEx speaks of urgency and confidence. Folgers brings to mind the aspirations of a new day. Valens Point illustrates that businesses can take the mystery and frustration out of their marketing efforts.
Your short message can be called by many names including tagline, core message, or your talking logo.
Whatever you label it, your message is the story of your business, and you need to be able to tell it well.
If someone asks you what you do, you need a clear, concise, yet memorable answer. This means an answer that is short, but long enough to pull the listener forward and make them lean in for more. The general rule on length is no more than two sentences.
Make the customer the hero of your story
When writing your message, have your customer in mind. After all, your story is about your customers, not you.
You should be telling a short story about your customer. Letting them know you understand their journey, can help them find and stay on their path, achieve their goals, and return from their journey better than when they started. The customer is the hero.
Before they buy from you, they want to know what’s in it for them.
Your message needs to answer these questions.
- How does what you do benefit them?
- After working with, hiring, or buying from you, how are their lives better?
- What can they do now that they couldn’t do before?
- What difference do you make in their lives?
You can measure the difference you make for your customers in both tangible and intangible ways. The tangible ways include cost and time savings. The intangible differences include things like greater confidence and improved peace of mind. If your message communicates both tangible and intangible results, your audience should be able to recognize the difference you deliver.
For example, part of Valens Point’s message is that our customers achieve marketing results they could not create on their own (tangible), so that they no longer have to worry about their marketing (intangible).
So how do you create a message for your business?
Use this 3-part formula to create your core message / talking logo;
- Action verb, (I show, I teach, I help)
- Target market, (business owners, homeowners, teachers, divorced women, Fortune 500 companies)
- How to xxxx = solve a problem, get a result or meet a need.
Download this tool: Talking Logo Worksheet
After you’ve crafted your core message, it becomes the basis for all of your marketing messages and is used on your website, your email, content. Literally everywhere.
And message consistency counts too. You can’t have one message on your website, another in advertisements, and another when you speak with people. They simply won’t know what to believe and will be confused, destroying the trust you are attempting to build.
Finally, refine your story. Remember, being concise is only one of the criteria of a great message. You will also need to be able to communicate how are you different from anyone else on the market, what separates you from the pack?
Who cares about what you offer? Answering that question is the key component of your marketing makeover and the topic of the next step in the Marketing Makeover.