brand story & messaging, reports

Messaging 101: keys to unlocking your verbal brand

Sandra Stewart | May 13, 2014

“I don’t think they present their benefits clearly—they could use better messaging.” “Their website says one thing, but it isn’t what the sales manager told me.” “Um … I’m not really sure what they do.”

We hear comments like these all the time from people urging us to stage a messaging intervention for some fellow sustainable business. Sometimes we hear them from people who could use a bit of messaging help themselves. Which just goes to show—it’s often hard to tell whether you’re communicating effectively about your business. Here are some signs:

  • People in your organization have a hard time explaining what you do and why it matters
  • Partners and other stakeholders—even your own employees—don’t describe your company consistently or accurately
  • Your messages are inconsistent across channels or product lines

What can you do about it? First step: download our new guide, Messaging 101: 5 Keys to Unlocking your Verbal Brand. It covers the basics (so if you’ve been told you need messaging and you thought, “Huh?” this is for you). It also addresses how to tell if your messaging is hitting the mark (so if you’re soon to embark on a website redesign, branding initiative, product launch or other big project, and you want to be sure you get the best results, this is also for you). And it provides tips on using a messaging platform and making it stick (check out these chapters if you’ve got a great messaging document but it’s dead in a drawer), as well as selling sustainability without greenwashing (essential knowledge for any sustainable business).

The one thing you shouldn’t do: ignore the problem once you know you have one. Creating effective messaging and putting it to use does take some resources (time, money, effort), but the business benefits are both broad and deep. A well-developed messaging platform will help you:

  • Build a strong brand identity
  • Stand out from competitors
  • Support business development
  • Connect with different audiences
  • Simply explain complicated products and services
  • Communicate efficiently

The sooner you do it, the better—not only will you be communicating more effectively and efficiently, you also won’t have to unlearn as many bad habits. Get going with Messaging 101. And pass it on to anyone you know who might need an intervention.

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