Messaging: What It Is, Why You Need It

By Cléa Hernandez

Sometimes when I need a pick-me-up, I visit Thinkgeek.com and read the product descriptions.

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You see, I love Star Trek: The Next Generation and I don’t care who knows it. I also love the Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Dr. Who, and comic books.

The imagination of science fiction and fantasy soothes me and makes me feel, on crappy days, like the human race is awe-inspiring. We do stupid things. But we are also capable of creating entire universes in our minds. We’re greater than the sum of our self-serving deeds, and our moral arcs will eventually swing towards love and justice.

A good, clear brand message can be a lifeline at times, giving us the empathy, encouragement, and relief we crave.

Thinkgeek.com speaks to me in my language (which is sometimes Klingon). Their brand voice and tone is perfect: it’s unapologetically nerdy, clever, and cheeky as hell. For me, it’s like showing up alone to a party full of stiff strangers, then hearing an impression of Chewbacca from across the room. I’m going straight for that voice.

But best of all, they know exactly who they are and their message is clear: We are just like you (“Join in. Geek out.”). We traveled from your perfect future/world to present you with this ludicrous token of our tribe.

For just 99.99 of your Earth dollars, you can own an exact replica of the One Ring of Power: “Your very own precious.” We also offer this neck chain, so you can pretend it’s pulling you back to Mordor during awkward political conversations.

Sold.

The purpose of messaging is to create alignment between what your company does, who they serve, and why it matters.

By doing so effectively, you can create a powerful, unified story for your audience’s brand journey that minimizes confusion and maximizes clarity.

Depending upon what your branding strategy dictates, your brand should play the mentor or funny sidekick to your customer as hero — a real companion moving them along an intentionally structured storyline. You speak directly to them. They’re invested in you. They want to stick around to see what happens next.    

At Focus Lab, our messaging process follows brand voice and tone definition. We have to know how we want to speak to your audience before we figure out what to say to them. By this point in the process, we know quite a bit about your company and what you do. But we want to climb all the way inside your brain for the messaging exercise, so we’ll interview you to make sure we’re getting all the details right.

Then we’ll identify those key messages that best define and position you as the answer to your audience’s needs. We’ll answer questions like: how does your service/product help prospects complete tasks quicker and easier? Help them enjoy their workday more? Make them feel more fulfilled? Satisfy a curiosity of some kind?

We’ll apply your company’s brand voice and tone to important marketing messages like your elevator pitch, value proposition, key features and benefits. And when we’re all done, you’ll receive a bank of ready-to-use core messages when writing for your company. It will also serve as the foundation for your content strategy across web and mobile applications.

Our goal is nothing short of giving your brand a clear mind of its own, and making it speak that mind in a sympathetic voice. We want your audience to hear you from across a crowded galaxy and think, “Hey, that’s someone I’d like to know better. Beam me up.”