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Strong Marketing Message or Trap?

In Branding, Marketing Communications, Marketing Message on June 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Is your business trapped by your marketing message? Is it so general that it forces you to be everything to everyone? Does it dictate your pricing strategy? Does it condemn your business to being no better than your competition? If so, it’s time to develop a strong marketing message that can drive your brand and grow your business.

Your marketing message is your “logo in words.” It should be a succinct, memorable statement that addresses your customer pain points, suggests a solution and explains why your solution is better than that of your competition.  It should be the heart of all of your marketing efforts and integrated into all of your marketing tools. Your marketing message is a critical component of your brand because it helps customers and prospects understand what you can do for them and why they should care about your company.

Here are five common traps to avoid as you craft your message:

  1. We are like everyone else. Many companies define themselves by what they do — the product they make or the service they offer — without attempting to make their message customer-centered. This type of message is often a label, such as, “I’m a home builder,” or “I’m a plumber” or “I sell shoes.” This type of message does nothing to distinguish your company from your competitors or to help prospects or customers understand how you can address their needs.
  2. We have the lowest price. Unless your business strategy really is to be known as the company with the lowest price, this approach is counter-productive. While initially you may get business by promising the lowest price, customers will continue to expect this. You will not be able to grow your business based on the value your bring to your customers.
  3. We do everything. This is probably the easiest trap to fall into because businesses often fear they will lose customers if they fail to promise to do everything. It sounds reasonable that the more you promise to do, the more customers you will have. However, if you are trying to differentiate your business and grow it profitably, it is better to have a niche or specialty. This does not preclude your company from providing additional services and it does build your reputation as an expert in a particular area.
  4. We offer the highest quality. Most companies claim that they offer a quality product or service. Customers expect this. Making this claim, however, does not help prospects understand why they should do business with your company or what makes your company different from your competition.
  5. We offer the best service. This is similar to promising the highest quality product or service. Instead of making a blanket statement, explain your unique approach to customer service.
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