The Brand Message is a comprehensive statement of what the brand is all about. It includes Brand Values, a Unique Selling Proposition, a Brand Promise, and the primary key word or phrase that should ultimately come to mind every time the target market encounters the brand name. The Tagline should evolve from the brand message.
The message provides the basic understanding of the brand that is reflected in its advertising, press releases, collateral materials, web images and website copy, and even news articles.
This brand message should be the driving force behind all sales and marketing efforts as well as all customer service interactions and decisions. If the message is too broad it generally becomes less effective. In other words, if you try to make the brand stand for everything, it will end up standing for nothing.
The brand values should be at the core of this statement. Select 3 or 4 core brand values that the brand will ultimately stand for in the market. They should be values that the brand will adhere to under pressure and in the face of all obstacles.
These brand values generally target one primary characteristic of the category that the brand will develop a perception of being known as “best in the industry” at.
For example, if we were talking about toothpaste, a brand could be positioned as best at whitening, or cavity prevention, or breath freshening. Or it might be better because it has all natural ingredients or be best for sensitive teeth – Whatever category segment you choose. It’s ideal to be known for being best at one, excellent at a second category attribute, and not below average at the others.
These values should be part of every decision that is made about the brand. Taglines and advertising messages may change, but the brand message should remain constant.
The tagline should evolve from the core brand message, and then a word (or phrase) for the brand to own in the minds of the target audience should be determined. from there. Think “overnight delivery” for FedEx. The brand has come to “own” that phrase in the consumer’s mind, despite the fact that UPS and the U.S. Post Office can also deliver overnight, and at a lower price.
People are willing to pay more because they trust the Fedex brand. That trust comes from the perception created a consistent message delivered by a combination of ads, press releases, sales presentations, speeches, news stories and more. To the point where myths seem to naturally evolve, like the story of a Fedex truck that broke down on the way to the airport with not enough time to get a replacement truck there and still get the packages to the airport on time. I don’t know if it’s true but, as the legend goes, the driver called for a dozen taxi cabs to help, they loaded the packages into the cabs and the convoy of taxis made it to the air freight terminal just in time.
True or not, that story probably would never have come to be if it wasn’t for the brand message that Fedex created -That the Fedex brand is the right choice “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”
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