Avoid Brand Schizophrenia

brand messaging graphicsHow to Keep Brand Messaging On-Track

Is your brand creating confusion in buyers’ minds? Take time to check in with your brand and messaging to ensure your target audience understands who your company is and what it sells. From a self-help quick check to making sure your logos, photos and content match across the various sites, Carol Morgan led a lively discussion at Sales Central during the International Builders’ Show with actionable advice on how to keep your brand fresh, cohesive and out of the funny farm. (And Carol lives on a farm, so this is a little funny.)

What is brand messaging?

Brand messaging is the language and content used to convey a brand’s value, mission and unique selling proposition. It’s how buyers relate to your brand. When the messaging is inspirational, persuasive, motivational, and well, sticky, it is ultimately what makes customers want to buy your product.

Keep brand messaging on-track.

Create too much confusion and you create friction in the shopping experience. Take time to check in with your brand and messaging to ensure your target audience understands who your company is and what it sells. Make sure your logos, photos and content match across your website, social sites, other online sites and in printed materials, signage, etc.

For instance, an entry level builder offering homes from the $300,000s to the $400,000s, creates brand confusion on Pinterest when they consistently post ideas for $1 million homes. Similarly, home builders with multiple pinboards that have none of their product on them create confusion.

Another good example is taglines. Use one tagline and stick to it. Don’t change the tagline all the time. If you feel the need to change the tagline, consider running a campaign or promotion around the idea for the new tagline. Taglines should make sense for your company, just like a unique selling proposition (USP) or mission statement. A tagline is a synopsis of who the company is and what it does.

What is a quick and easy way to do a brand evaluation across various online assets?

A brand evaluation is probably not quick and easy if you take a deep dive. But the simple approach is a visual one. Visit every single site, check similarity between header images, logos and other graphics. Look to ensure the colors and fonts match. Repetition and consistency is wildly important. Do the logos on social media match the logo on the website? Does the logo even fit your social media sites? If it is horizontal, chances are the answer is no. With circles and squares as the “in” space on social for company logos, most companies opt to create a mark or use an aspect of the logo to depict the company in these spaces.

Taking a deeper dive? Check all header images on social media. Make sure they are similar and that you change them quarterly if not more frequently. Do URLs match from site to site? Not everyone is lucky enough to get clean social media URLs, but it is nice if they are all similar and make sense for potential buyers.

Words matter. Is the language used on the website and social media similar and on brand? Does it convey the tone and feeling that you want buyers and raving fans to have? What else can you check? Avatar? Video intros and outros? How the phone is answered? On hold messaging and the language used in email marketing drip campaigns?

What are creative ways to depict brand via images, graphics and photos?

  • Emojis! We use the jeans emoji for Denim Marketing. What creative ones can you come up with? What about a sun and a home for Sunrise Homes?
  • Add a watermark with a logo, url or hashtag to photos.
  • Create a branded hashtag.
  • Make sure colors match branding on graphics
  • Choose a filter or preset for photos and always use it.
  • Dress the same! Going to a trade show? Wear matching clothes. This could be logoed apparel or simple the same color combinations. The Denim Marketing team likes to add a piece of denim, like a jacket, to create a subliminal message.

How can you reinforce brand messaging with quality content?

Content needs to connect with the audience. The words used in copy need to be on point and tone. Words create pictures and stories. Brainstorm a list of words that are synonymous with your brand, like our Denim words. And if you don’t know what I mean by Denim words, please sign up for our newsletter so that you can receive our drip campaign!

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