Let's talk branding.
Let's talk branding.
Business owners, branding and marketing people face an ongoing challenge consisting of:
• Clarity vs. Confusion.
• Simplification vs. complication.
• Persuasion vs. nonsense.
• Straight forward talk vs. corporate speak.
It doesn’t matter what form of business communications we’re talking about — from a quick tweet or a simple email to an in-depth webinar or long-term campaign — you need to be clear and succinct about what you’re trying to say.
It takes discipline and consistency to maintain clarity in business communications.
It’s easy to confuse people. Eighty percent of our professional life has been spent helping clients clarify things. The message they have in mind is always clear in their own heads — and maybe to a few insiders — but it’s seldom clear to the outside world. A lot gets lost in translation, and you have to find many different ways to say the same thing clearly. The fact is, your Big idea matters. Message matters. Images matter. Tone matters. When these elements are misused, it can leave your most important audience scratching their heads. And you don’t want people left wondering huh or just skipping your message all together.
Want to get the most out of branding and marketing? Be clear about the strategy.
Think of it this way… Effective communication is a combination of two things: What to say, and how to say it. The “what to say” part means you need to articulate your strategy very clearly. The “how to say it” part is the job of the creative team. You need to be clear on both fronts.
Your creative team can’t create great brand marketing or creative if they’re not clear on the strategy. Unfortunately, most business owners are quite wishy-washy on the subject of strategy. And, unfortunately, a lot of businesses can’t tell the difference between strategy and tactics.
Before you start working on content, branding, messaging or creative, be clear about the strategy and desired outcomes first. Clear strategy leads to clear messaging and clear communications.
Want to grow a brand? Be clear about what it stands for.
One thing you can do to encourage clarity in business communications is to write and produce brand guidelines that spells out exactly what your brand is all about. And what it isn’t! Boil it down to clear, succinct message and idea your people will actually remember, rather than the usual corporate mish-mash mission statement. Then make sure that it becomes an integral part of your on-boarding procedure.
Because if your own people don’t know what your brand stands for, how will the customer know?
Want brand communication that actually drives sales? Be clear and overt about the value proposition.
Not just a description of what you do or sell, but a compelling, simple idea and communication of the value that your target audience can expect. It’s a sharply honed combination of rational and emotional benefits that are specific to the target audience, and not lost in the execution.
Creativity gets your audience’s attention and connects with them. But only if it follows strategy. You have to put clarity and strategy in front of creativity in order to have effective and impactful creativity.
Start with strategy. Then be very clear about the value proposition. Then a tight creative brief. Only then can creativity be on target and effective. That’s how you can achieve clarity in business communication.
Can you express what your business stands for? You need business clarity.
When you’re talking about your amazing new business, offer or service, be very, very, clear about what’s in it for the consumer and they will benefit. It all needs to be boiled down into a short, succinct and branded elevator pitch that is super clear.
There can be no confusion. You also need to be very clear with potential partners, employees, investors and especially yourself. If the idea’s not clear in your mind, it’ll never be clear to the outside world.