“A trusted partner.”
“Offering first-class service.”
While the sentiment behind these statements is sound, the reality is that using these phrases within your communications makes you sound like everyone else. Unless you want to fade into the background noise you need to elevate your messaging so it really resonates with your audience – you need a messaging framework.
But while it’s our job to communicate your core messages out into the market, creating them starts at the highest level with the senior leadership team.
What will you be remembered for?
First up, you need an organising idea, something the whole company is behind and drives every decision made.
I once worked for a company that invited a guest speaker to the annual kick-off. Olympic rower, Ben Hunt-Davis, shared his story of winning gold and how everything his team did was based on the idea of “Will it make the boat go faster?”
It’s really cute because when you’ve determined what your organising idea is, everything else becomes a lot simpler.
For my business, the idea is to give ‘More than words’. As my guiding principle, everything I do is designed around the idea of giving people more than they asked for, which in the process (hopefully!) surprises, inspires and delights.
What do you stand for?
Most companies have performed an exercise to identify their company values. But where a lot of companies simply plaster them on the walls, or paste them onto a webpage, you’re different – you’re going to demonstrate your core values within everything you do.
Your company values provide the foundation on which to craft your messaging, content and promotional efforts.
For example, if your core value was around ‘technical excellence’ or ‘innovation’ it would make sense to create content that gives a sneaky glimpse of what happens behind the scenes, or to share case studies.
When shown as an active part of your organisation, your values actually mean something and deliver value to your audience. So with each value you hold, question ‘So what?’ to uncover the benefit to your client, and then weave this into you messaging framework.
What do you do?
Now we’re getting down into the detail, first defining WHAT it is you offer, so your products/services. Then HOW you deliver it, which is more about your process. And then WHY you do what you do – essentially the passion that sits behind your company.
Taking the time to write these core components of your company down, it focuses you on what’s important and where you add value to your customers.
For example, just because I have experience in all these areas…
…doesn’t mean I need to include everything within my service offering. Instead, I focus on the areas when I know I can add most value – top of the funnel content, like blogging, white papers and case studies.
With each stage of your WHAT, HOW and WHY, keep questioning ‘So what?’ to identify how those elements add value to your audience. You’ll quickly realise there’s a reason why you offer certain products/services, and why you do things a certain way. Figure out how to articulate it and when a member of your target audience encounters your brand, your words will instantly resonate and hook them in.
What will you be remembered for?
This is different to your organising idea. Think of it more like a differentiator – the little quirks that make you, you.
For example, I always bake cupcakes to take to every meeting. I have a client that has an office robot, one that’s created their own hot sauce to give out at events and another hosting monthly virtual drop in sessions to explore the latest trends in marketing.
So do you do anything out of the ordinary? Is there something that people always remark upon? What makes your company different?
Imagine that your company is an episode of Friends, you’re “The one where…”