The best and most prolific brands on earth have one thing in common: a clear message. Branding is much more than simple brand identity components like colors, logos, and images. Branding is about conveying an idea about the service(s) you provide and why they are appealing to customers. As with many things, creating and delivering a clear brand message is more easily said than done. There are innumerable ways for a once clear message to become muddied over time — assuming a clear message ever existed at all.
With all of this in mind, today we will aim to answer the question of whether or not your brand message is clear by discussing brand identity, brand personality, brand alignment, and the importance of a consistent brand message.
Determining Whether Your Brand Message is Clear
Any marketing professional will understand why a clear brand message is so vital for business. The moments of influence we get in the modern business world are more accurately described as micro-moments in the majority of cases. If your brand message is not immediately identifiable and clear, you are opening the door for lost business from a potentially interested customer. Here are two primary ways to determine whether or not your brand has a clear message:
Track traditional brand metrics. There is value in tracking brand awareness metrics such as traffic, search volume, mentions, and social media activity. This gives you a general idea of brand strength, which is tied into clear brand messaging.
Utilize in-depth interviews for individual feedback. IDIs are a great way to understand how individuals perceive your brand. When it comes to a clear brand message, questions like “how would you describe our brand” should result with answers that align with your brand positioning statement.
Brand Identity, Brand Personality, and Brand Message
Of course, brand metrics and in-depth interviews only paint a picture of the back end of your marketing efforts. To truly understand the clarity of your brand message, marketing departments should consider an internal audit of sorts to determine the message their brand truly sends. A clear brand message begins with the following:
- Brand identity: As mentioned in the introduction, the colors, graphics, logos, and slogan of your brand may not be the whole package, but they are certainly the face of your brand. Clear brand messaging should be conveyed through clear branding materials. Consider the example of the classic coke bottle as an iconic brand message being conveyed through brand identity.
- Brand personality: Brand identity is not worth much without the underlying brand personality. This is truer than ever in today’s market where customers want to feel understood by the brands they use the most.
- Brand positioning statement (mission statement): Brand identity and brand personality are merely iterations of the core of your brand: the brand positioning statement.
The Importance of Brand Consistency
Brand consistency is absolutely essential when it comes to a clear message. One of the most commonly encountered ways that a brand message can lose clarity is when marketing departments shift the brand message too often or too severely. This is a common mistake when brands adapt to customer demand haphazardly without making sure that these new changes align with their current branding strategy. There is a fine line between responding appropriately to customer feedback and losing your brand message. This is why we go back to concepts like brand personality and brand positioning statements as resources to guide all branding decisions.
Brand Alignment from End to End
Brand identity, brand personality, and brand positioning statements are all tools in the modern marketing tool bag. Brand alignment is what we use to make sure that brand messages stay clear throughout the path to purchase journey. Brand alignment is essentially just another way of ensuring that your branding materials are consistently aligned with your brand’s core message. Internal and external brand alignments both play key roles in clear brand messaging efforts.
Internal brand alignment refers to organizational commitment to understanding its own brand. Large companies can have thousands of employees ranging from the CRO to salespeople to customer service representatives who actively interact with the public on a regular basis. Internal brand alignment can be thought of as a reflection of company culture and a concerted effort to educate all staff members about the core brand message.
External brand alignment is at the heart of what we have been discussing when we talk about consistent brand messaging. In other words, does your branding material on Instagram look like your branding material on print ads? Would customers be able to easily identify your brand no matter whether they encountered it on the path to purchase journey? If yes, that shows strong external brand alignment.
Clock Tower Insight Aligns Brands for Clear Brand Messaging
Clock Tower Insight helps our clients to build their brands through any means necessary. We believe in using cutting edge research to deliver unparalleled insight and understanding into today’s rapidly changing marketplace. With over 15 years of dedicated experience, our marketing insight has helped organizations including Belle Tire, Nielsen, Orbitz, and Kraft Foods.
We are proud to offer a number of services to our clients, including customer experience management, brand positioning in the marketplace, market sizing, market testing, and more.