Fundamentals of Messaging & Voicing

5 Key Principles for Establishing and Deploying Your Brand's Plan for Written Marketing Materials and In-Person Conversations.

1) Positioning

Position your brand's voice as the 'guide' and your prospects as a 'hero' within a story.


It may be counterintuitive to consider storytelling as a tool that can help you create sales for your business. After all, we tell each other stories for fun when we hang out with each other, or enjoy them when we watch our favorite TV show or watch a movie. So how can it be that storytelling holds the keys to us increasing the marketing performance of our business?

The answer is because everything is a story. Your life is a story, my life is a story, and everyone's life who might become your customer is a story.

So how do we use this concept? We position ourselves as a character in our customer's story or journey instead of expecting them to participate in our own.

The Formula:

Your Customer (Hero) + Their Problem + You (Their Guide) + Your Solution & Plan = Your Customers New Story of Success

You see, before your prospect has a solution to their problem, they have a story that is incomplete. There are unresolved issues to be fixed. Your opportunity exists right in the gap between where their storyline has halted because of a setback or roadblock, and where it should end in success or resolve.

An Example:

Joe is a landscaper. Bob is also landscaper. Cindy is a homeowner.

Cindy can't keep up with mowing her lawn, raking up leaves, trimming the bushes and discarding all the clippings. She just has other priorities but knows it needs to get done and needs to find a solution.

Joe's communication and marketing usually goes something like this: "Joe's Landscaping Service - 15 Years of Experience."

Bob's communication and marketing leverages storytelling power, sounding more like this: "The Easiest Yard Clean Up Ever - Keep your lawn lush and yard tidy without sabotaging your schedule. Sign up for done-for-you, routine property care today by calling our quick start phone line (123) 456-7890".

Let's admit it. Joe's approach lacks sophistication and relies on two factors to sell his service 1) The assumption that his prospects care that he has 15 years of lawn mowing experience 2) That the audience reading his message is either clairvoyant and somehow knows specifically what his service offer is or that they're willing to perform a small research project to find out. What kind of landscaping service? Maintenance? Residential? Commercial? Lawns only?

Bob has his messaging developed more than Joe and is positioning himself in his customer's story. He actually uses the formula above, albeit in an order more conducive to dialogue. He starts with a vision or resolution of success: "The Easiest Yard Clean Up Ever". He then includes actual language to indicate he is entering his customers story ("Keep YOUR lawn lush and yard tidy...") and does so at the point of roadblock or frustration ("without sabotaging your schedule"). He then lays out a clear path to a specifically defined destination of victory (Sign up for done-for-you, routine property care today by calling our quick start phone line (123) 456-7890".).

Bob's business is at a clear advantage over Joe's because it does all the internal decision making for the customer. Where Joe creates questions, Bob creates answers.

2) Relevance

Be relevant and helpful to the specific needs and pain points of your audience.

The formula:

1) Understand your audience's specific needs, desires, and challenges.

2) Create content that addresses these directly, offering solutions that resonate on a personal level.

An example:

A local mattress store wants to create a paid social media advertisement. It could be a slide deck or a video, but regardless, the script might be developed as follows:

Identify common needs desires and challenges:

I) Mattresses wear out and will eventually need to be replaced

II) Most mattress stores are crawling with blood sucking salesmen that hound you and push questionable features to sell something more expensive

III) Shoppers really only need a basic amount of honest information and a good return policy for them to make a purchase decision.

IV) Who wants to deal with the added work involved with discarding their old mattress?

Apply these relevance anchors using the positioning outlined above:

Sleeping should be peaceful and so should be mattress shopping - Enjoy a better way to shop without pushy salesmen and questionable feature marketing! Here's how our store is different:

1) We'll set up a private showroom appointment just for you where we don't even have to be there if you don't want us to. You can just try out all the mattresses in peace and call us if you have questions.

2) Once you find one you like, we'll ring up your purchase and get your new mattress on our truck for delivery. We'll do the heavy lifting and even take your old mattress away for free!

3) You sprawl out on your new bed and wonder why you didn't do this sooner.

3) Clarity

Keep everything as clear and concise as possible. The goal is for the reader to expend as little energy as possible to understand your message.

The formula:

Always keep your word count lower. Always keep your vocabulary choices precise but not too advanced.

A good example:

"A comfortable, durable, waterproof hiking boot without a big price tag."

A bad example:

"A next generation implementation of hiking footwear technology. A true pinnacle achievement in stride performance and budgetary consideration."

4) Consistency

Use the same strategy across all communication mediums. Accommodate for different platforms and delivery methods by abbreviating or expanding.

No matter if you're writing for a social media post, product listing, blog post, or YouTube advertisement, it is important to always use the same positioning framework explained in step 1 of this article. You can always abbreviate or expand the script or copy to fit your platform. The following examples communicate a consistent message but are different lengths for different placements:

An abbreviated example (A short product description to be used by thumbnails):

"A comfortable, durable, waterproof hiking boot without a big price tag."

An expanded example (A long product description to be used on the product page):

"Our new Stanley hiking boot meets all needs of the casual weekend hiker: A comfortable platform that mitigates fatigue, a durable construction to withstand the abuse of any terrain, and waterproofing to make any weather conquerable. The best part about the Stanley hiker is the value - no other brand offers such a reliable hiking boot at such an attainable price. Get in the Stanley hiker today and blaze some trails!"

5) Practicality

In addition to your written materials, practice speaking through your brand's voice during in person conversations and videos that you make.

All we're saying here is practice using your brand messaging in different circumstances. Your business, services and products can only be more clearly understood by your prospects as you increase the amount, clarity and consistency of your marketing messaging. Implementing your brands voice in all circumstances will reinforce your brand identity and provide full circle closure and understand for those who interact with your business.

Join one of our Messaging Workshops!

Get live help establishing your brand's plan for written marketing materials and in-person conversations.

Learn More