August 5, 2015

You Are Responsible for Telling People How to Talk About Your Brand

By: Jennifer Borba von Stauffenberg

Many people don’t realize that the goal of a successful public relations campaign is all about getting people to talk about your brand. Whether those people are your clients after a glorious experience with your product or service, a media professional writing a review, your staff or a social media follower, you are responsible for telling people how to talk about your brand.

Are you scratching your head in confusion? You read that right. It is essential for you to be very clear about who you are as a brand so it’s easy for people to share it correctly. Very often I meet with companies who want people to define who the brand is for them because they do not want to isolate anyone. This is not a good idea. It doesn’t make you cool or counter culture, it makes you confusing. Even worse, it ensures that incorrect messaging is out in the world. What we know to be true is that incorrect assumptions about a product create unrealistic expectations which results in negative talk and disappointment by users.

So much time and focus is put on the name of a company and its brand that many fall short when it comes to actually describing their company. As technology advances and open space in design becomes the status quo, businesses are giving users the freedom to figure out who they are. Yikes! The same way you shouldn’t randomly change the color of your brand, you should not use different messaging.

Supporting people by telling them what to say about your brand is simple. The first line of your “About” statement should be an easy line to copy and paste in a social media post or as the supporting line in a media story.

Here are some simple steps to lock in your messaging to ensure people really understand what your company/brand is about:

  1. Define your ultimate vision. Where is the company headed? What do you do? What do you plan to accomplish? Why is your brand important to people?
  2. Draw an inverted pyramid on a blank piece of paper and write the most important details on the top. Imagine you only have three seconds to speak. What needs to be said in order to ensure someone gets who you are? Write the next most important details in the space below and so forth.
  3. Imagine your brand is a person. What famous celebrity would it be and why? Where does this person shop, dine, live, work, etc.? This information will help you to define how to create the voice of your brand, which you can further develop by creating consistent content on social media.
  4. Test your messaging. Share your elevator pitch with your staff, friends and family and ask them to describe back to you what your company does. If anyone fumbles, you have to go back to the drawing board.
  5. Create a list of your company’s most important values. You can use this list as a checks and balance to ensure you are in alignment with every marketing opportunity or partnership that comes your way.

For more information on how to lock in your messaging, contact us for a consultation!