If you have a clear value proposition for your brand, you also need a set of aligned key messages.
Your brand proposition needs to be repeated over and over and over, before it starts to resonate with people to the point they understand and recall it. Usually, the point where you’re bored with saying the same thing again, is the point it’s just starting to take root!
All too often I see businesses either change their proposition at this point (and so the current one never blooms), or they stop trying to orchestrate it through their business. Which means employees go back to talking about the myriad of tiny features of what they do and the message that’s just about to bloom and help you grow, gets lost in the weeds.
What do I mean by orchestrate key messages through the business?
This is about working with your people to ensure that a) what you promise is the reality of what your team can deliver and is therefore the reality of what the customer gets, and b) that each product or business unit has key messages that are relevant to their roles as wells as reinforcing your core brand proposition.
This sounds so obvious and simple. And yet, it’s not. Alignment is hard and takes effort from everyone. All too often the “hymn sheet” is presented to all employees and they are left to make the link to their day jobs for themselves. A few of them do a grand job of connecting messages top to bottom; many either do it badly or just don’t do it all. It requires an ability to assimilate and understand a lot of cross-functional detail, draw out the common benefits, then to simplify and link them back together. For some reason that seems to be my superpower.
Let me give your proposition and messaging a spring boost
If you have a clear value proposition for your brand, you also need a set of aligned key messages. I can help you with both of these. For you this usually involves a couple of workshops (online or in person), providing me with a lot of your existing materials (no requirement from you to edit just pop it in a Dropbox), and giving me access to a range of employees in different roles for one 30-minute zoom and ideally a few customers.
Behind the scenes I will read and distil your materials, do some remote competitor and customer research, and write some aligned key messages that I test with you on a video call or two. I can also then run workshops to support your people to come up with aligned messages specific to their departments and roles. Or I can coach you, your line managers or your marketer to do this.
It’s something I’ve done successfully for many companies, either as an employee or as a freelance consultant and it’s always been valued.
- marketers like it because they get better cohesion across digital campaigns, and because as part of the process they get a deeper understanding of the whole brand performance they can now promote.
- sales like it because they get to input which customer hooks actually help them sell, and the marketing is then better aligned to helping them do that.
- customer facing teams like it because it’s benefit/customer led, not technically led.
- product teams like it because it acknowledges that each product has a different role to play in delivering on the brand’s proposition.
- HR teams like it because people across the company are involved and given a chance to align the corporate messages to the reality of what they do day to day.
- business owners like it because they stop hearing people say “I can’t explain what we do, it’s too complicated” every day.
With or without my help, get your key messages aligned with your proposition this spring and give your marketing a chance to flourish for the rest of the year.
Jill Pringle is a freelance brand marketing consultant based in South West London. She has 30 years marketing and product development experience, specialising in both small and large service-led companies, where people are a key part of the product. Also a classically trained singer, Jill is the author of The Brand Symphony, which helps business owners and marketers consider how their brand is orchestrated and performed through their business and on-stage for customers. Jill offers workshops and marketing strategy consultancy as well as virtual marketing director and mentoring for smaller businesses. Contact Jill via LinkedIn or at brandsymphonymarketing.com