As I mentioned in my previous post, messaging is arguably the most important element of the mix when it comes to creating the perfect offer. In this blog I will share the secrets of crafting the right message.
Obviously there is no point in creating a great product if nobody gets to hear about it. However awareness is only part of the messaging challenge.
If the message isn’t saying the right things to the right people, then it will fall on deaf ears and any money spent on delivering the message will be wasted.
So, where do we begin? The answer lies in our positioning strategy, that blueprint that tells us who we are targeting and how we want those people to feel about our brand as a result of receiving our messages.
It is vitally important to understand right from the outset that creating powerful brand messages really has nothing to do with your product. It also has very little, to do with features and benefits. People don’t really care about your business, your product or your product’s features and benefits. All they really care about is what’s in it for them?
Powerful messaging is all about clearly communicating the promised transformation that will occur in people’s lives as a result of purchasing and consuming your product. This marketing fact applies no matter what the product or service is. It’s all about taking people away from a negative situation or taking them closer to a desired situation. It’s either pain removal or pleasure gain.
High end products, entry level products, impulse products or low end products, however you wish to describe your product, it doesn’t matter. The right message is about transformation.
Ineffective message development focuses not just on product features and benefits but also on logic and reasoning. The problem with focusing on logic and reasoning when attempting to craft powerful messages is the inherent assumption that people take a rational approach to purchase decisions. They don’t. They like to think they do, but they don’t. People make purchase decisions based on emotion. Therefore powerful messages focus on how people will feel as a result of using your product. Relieved, proud, relaxed, excited, empowered, refreshed, safe, accepted, attractive, whatever it is they are seeking, your messaging needs to reflect the transformation that will occur as a result of consuming your product.
Apple understands this as their product launch messages aren’t based on product features and benefits, but rather, the transformation you will experience based on the desire for individuality.
Give people the transformation they are really seeking and not what you think it is they want. The secret lies in viewing the world from your target audience’s emotional perspective, not your own.
How can you be sure that you know what it is they want? Ask them and I don’t mean asking your friends and family what they think of your product or idea. That rarely works as you usually get well- meaning responses based on what it is they think you want to hear as opposed to what you need to hear.
What you need is a more objective approach to researching what pain or dissatisfaction your target market is experiencing. Then you decide how your offer can uniquely alleviate this and create messaging that focuses on the transformation that will occur as a result of purchasing your product.
You can commission experienced, professional market researchers to uncover or confirm the real desires and transformations to use in your messaging. A free approach can also be used such as online desktop research, where for example, you read people’s reviews of similar products and services to your own and discover what they are seeking and feeling. Forums or groups that are based on topics that relate to your product and involve your target market, are another useful source of feedback for developing powerful messaging using the language of your target audience.
In summary, creating the right message involves the following;
- Reference to your positioning strategy in order to stay focused on your desired target market and how you wish to be perceived by them across all touch points at all times.
- Understanding what people really want from your product and not what you think they want.
- Being clear on the transformation that your target market will experience as a result of purchasing your product or service.
In my next blog post, we’ll have a look at crafting a very important and specific form of messaging, that being your 30 second sales pitch.