Marketing consultants frequently tell you to ‘clarify’ your brand’s message.
If customers are confused by your brand, they struggle to understand your product or service. They may not understand what makes you different. They don’t know why they should pick you instead of a competing company.
As marketing expert Donald Miller explains, “If you confuse, you’ll lose.”
It’s no secret that clarifying your company’s brand is important – but few people actually understand how to clarify a brand.
Today, we’re highlighting some of the tips and strategies today’s best brands are using to clarify their message.
Tell a Cohesive Story
Donald Miller calls it the ‘Storybrand’ approach. By packaging your brand into a story, you can display a clearer message to customers. Stories have a beginning, middle, and end. Stories also have a main character – and your customer should be that main character.
Miller has written entire books on his 7-part Storybrand approach, but the most important parts of that approach include:
- Your brand message needs to be clear, compelling, and consistent.
- Use a story as the path for your customers to achieve success.
- Use your customer as the main character in that story, with your product solving the main character’s problem.
- Your brand message needs to be the cornerstone of your marketing strategy. It should influence every piece of content you create, including every blog post, video, webpage, and heading.
By packaging your brand into a story, you can create a clear message in a way customers can understand. Some of the tips below are built on Donald Miller’s Storybrand approach to clarifying your brand.
Answer Three Questions to Clarify your Brand
Not sure how to start clarifying your brand? It may be easier than you think. Start by answering just three questions:
What does your company offer? Most companies sell some type of product or service, and your brand needs to emphasize that fact. Your brand needs to make it extremely obvious what your company offers. When customers see your brand, you want them to immediately know what your brand offers. You want them to recognize your brand as ‘the computer parts company’ or the ‘green superfood smoothie company’, for example. If people see your brand and aren’t sure whether you’re a smoothie company or a computer parts company, then you have a problem.
How does it improve your customer’s life? You’ve clarified what your company offers. Now, you need to explain how it improves your customer’s life. How does your product, service, or offer make a customer’s life better? As Donald Miller explains, how does your product fit into your customer’s story?
How do customers access it? How do customers buy your product or service? What exactly can customers expect when they do business with you? Yes, that means having a clear call to action, but it also means explaining the exact way your product or service works, how customers consume your product or service, and what customers need to do next. Your brand has almost won over your customer – and now you need to tell customers exactly what to do next.
Answer Questions Customers Have – Before They Ask Them
Great marketers anticipate the concerns customers have – then address those concerns upfront.
- Some customers worry about cost, for example. They might be shocked at the cost of your service. Your brand should reassure customers of the value your service providers – like in the expected ROIs or the bonus features included.
- Other customers might worry about the number of options What makes you different from your competitors? A good brand answers these questions upfront by highlighting the pros and cons of your company versus other brands.
Guessing the questions customers ask before they ask them can be difficult. It involves putting yourself in your customers’ shoes. You need to understand what questions customers will ask before they buy your service.
Not all customers ask the same questions: a casual customer will ask different questions than an enterprise customer.
Who is Your Product For?
This is the most important question to ask when clarifying your brand message. Who is your product for? Who is your target customer? What types of customers will buy your product or service?
To answer that question, you need to ask several corollary questions, including:
- What are your strengths?
- What painful problem do you solve for people?
- What do you want your company to be known for?
- How do you solve that problem for customers?
- Why would a customer choose your product over a competing company?
Many brands struggle with answering these questions. Some brands are good at explaining their product or service, but they’re not good at explaining who their product or service is for or what the result of using the product or service is like for the customer. Customers may know what your product does and how it works – but they may not know why they need it, or what life will be like after they have it.
What Makes Your Product Different?
This one is obvious: many brands ask this question as the first step to clarifying their message.
Determine your value proposition. Decide what makes your company the best choice out of all the available options.
Like it or not, your customers are comparing your product with competing products. Hopefully, you’re the best option in your industry.
Unfortunately, even if you’re the best option in your industry – you still have to clearly communicate your value proposition. It’s not always the best product that sells the most, but the product that communicates its value proposition the most clearly. The key to increasing sales is making your offer easy to understand and easy for customers to buy.
What (Exactly) Can Customers Expect?
Some brands make vague promises about benefits yet fail to explain what exactly customers can expect from that product.
You might claim your product helps customers lose 10 pounds of weight, for example. However, you haven’t explained what life is like for customers who use your product.
Walk customers through the experience. Make them the main character in your product’s story. Tell them (or, better yet, show them) how your product solves that problem. “You’ll fit into your wedding gown or wedding tux”, or “Your lawn will be the envy of your neighborhood”. Don’t just tell them what your product or service will do, tell them what it will be like to experience the results of using your product or service.
Depending on your niche, case studies, customer testimonials, personal stories and videos can be very effective to help prospects experience the results of using your product or service.
Request a Free Consultation Today to Clarify your Brand Message
Renew Marketing provides free consultations to help brands clarify their message.
During a consultation, we provide actionable recommendations to boost your brand’s appearance. Sign up for a free consultation today to learn more.