When crafting a brand message, the age-old starting point is to ask, “What’s in it for me?” from a customer’s point of view. Experienced marketers know that primary messages must be end-user focused because people are looking for products, services, and ideas that meet their own best interests.
What Do You Bring To Your Customer?
At Marstudio, we craft our clients’ brand messaging around each client’s customers, not their business. Explaining the customer-centered approach is always just the beginning of the brand strategy discussion. Most business owners want to start with how big, or how old, or how great their company is. It’s our job as marketing professionals to guide them through the process until they get to the eye-opening value proposition for the customer. Then they say, “Aha! Now I see what you mean!”
Deliver Feelings, Not Just Words
We always want to help our clients’ messages deliver the right feeling for the customer. A few words changed here and there can make a big difference. I’ve blogged before about one of our clients who was looking to revamp his martial arts school. He wanted to take it in a new direction, focusing on young children and emphasizing fun and play. However, after hearing from current customers through focus groups we conducted, he realized that the majority of parents really wanted the opposite.
Parents overwhelmingly said they were interested in life lessons and discipline for their children, not play – so we changed the business’ messaging to reflect those values. What previously was a “Family Martial Arts School” became “Your Family Martial Arts Academy.” The new wording added to a feeling of belonging and inclusiveness (as in “Your whole family”). The choice of “Academy” played to the feeling of the importance of discipline, as well as a long-term commitment to learning.
Missed Messages Have Major Consequences
I don’t want to add insult to injury in the outcome of this year’s presidential election, but as a marketer, I was always concerned about the Democratic candidate’s message, “I’m With Her.” Ultimately, that message was about Secretary Clinton, not what she would do for voters. This may have been the case of a message improperly translated (the word “Her” may have been intended to emphasize that she was the first female presidential candidate of a major party), but it was a real Marketing 101 mistake. In hindsight, a reverse message such as “She’s With Me” or “She’s For Me” would have been more customer-centric. This reverse word order may seem simplistic but could have deep psychological implications for voters.
Value for the Customer Equals More Business
By providing an emotional attachment between your customer and your brand, your business will thrive. If you feel that that your brand message is focused more on the importance of your business than on its value for the customer, get in touch to find out how Marstudio can help tailor your brand message to focus on what matters, or rather who matters – your customers.