Your Free Brand Messaging Framework Template
If you're like most businesses, you probably don't have a brand messaging framework. And if you don't have one, you need to create one.
Here's why: A brand messaging framework is the foundation of your brand strategy. It defines who you are, what you stand for, and how you want to be perceived by your customers.
Without it, you'll flounder when it comes time to make decisions about marketing, product development, and customer service. So in this blog post, we'll show you how to create a brand messaging framework that will help your business succeed and that will help your messaging hit the target.
Quick Recap: What is brand messaging?
Brand messaging is the core communication that a brand uses to connect with its audience. This can include anything from the brand's tagline and motto to the overall look and feel of its messaging.
An effective brand message is built on key brand messaging pillars that represent the brand, and help to ensure the brand message is consistent across all touchpoints, from advertising and marketing campaigns to website design and social media presence. The brand message should also be perfectly aligned with both the brand positioning statement and the overall brand identity.
Ultimately, the goal of successful brand messaging is to create an emotional connection with the target audience using a compelling brand story to drive loyalty and preference for the brand.
What is a brand messaging framework?
A brand messaging framework on the other hand is a tool that can be used to develop and refine the way a brand communicates with its audience. A successful messaging framework should be simple to understand and clearly distinguish your brand from its competitors.
At the absolute least, your brand messaging framework should include a statement about what differentiates you from the competition, as well as your business value proposition and target audience.
The framework provides a structure for crafting and developing the brand messaging strategy, and can be used for a variety of brand messages: from those on social media posts to those on website content or advertising copy. Because of its flexibility, a brand messaging framework should be concise and easy to reference, so that everyone in the organisation can easily use it as a guide. By clearly outlining the brand's key messages, it helps to ensure that all communications are aligned with the brand's overall goals and objectives.
Ultimately, a brand messaging framework can help to create a more cohesive and effective communications strategy - one that resonates with customers and drives results.
The 7 important brand messaging framework components
Every brand is different, which means that every brand messaging framework is different. There is no single, one-size-fits-all messaging framework available, but there are several successful brand messaging frameworks that have similar components in common. They are:
1. Target Audience
Do you know exactly who you want your brand to connect with? Can you picture them clearly? Do you know their pain points or what makes them tick? If the answers to any of those questions are "Um.. Sort of?" it's time to reevaluate and redefine exactly who your target audience is. There's a number of ways to narrow this down, but start with some basic questions - as if you're interviewing them. Ask yourself:
- Where do they live?
- How old are they?
- Are they primarily female, male, nonbinary, or other?
- What is their relationship status? Are they married, single, or divorced?
- How much money do they earn, and what kind of work do they do?
- What problems do they need solved?
- Where do they shop?
- What is their financial status?
- What product features or service features are they likely to seek?
2. Value Proposition
A value proposition is a statement that outlines the benefits a company can provide to its customers. It's designed to answer the question, "Why should I do business with you?"
A strong value proposition will concisely articulate the unique solution that a company offers to its target market. This can include features, benefits, or customer testimonials that highlight the value of doing business with the company.
In a crowded marketplace, a unique value proposition can help a company to stand out from its competitors and win over customers. When crafting a value proposition, it's important to keep in mind what makes your company unique and what your target customer is looking for. By clearly articulating the value you offer, you can position your company for success in the marketplace.
3. Brand positioning statement
A brand positioning statement is a concise description of what your brand represents and how it differs from your competitors. It serves as a foundation for all of your brand's communications, and it should be included in your brand guidelines.
A brand positioning statement should be clear, simple, and focused. And most importantly: it should be based on customer insights.
To develop a brand positioning statement, start by conducting research on your target audience. Consider what they care about, what their needs are, and what sets your brand apart from the competition. Then, craft a statement that reflects those insights. Keep it brief and to the point - you want your positioning statement to be easy for people to remember. And even more importantly: make sure it aligns with your brand's values and messaging.
4. Buyer personas
Many brands construct buyer personas, which are a fictitious or semi-fictional representation of your target customer. Some businesses concentrate on building one key user persona while others may have numerous personas or variations of their target audience, depending on the nature of their business.
When it comes to personas, granular details make the difference. If you're prepared to commit fully, you could include specific information such as how much money your average persona will spend on specific items, their political views, their daily routine, and more. For businesses in B2B spheres, you might ask more specific industry-led questions and include job titles, details or descriptions.
5. Brand promise
Your brand promise is the statement that expresses the value that your brand intends to deliver to its customers. It is an expression of the brand's core purpose, and it should be something that the brand can realistically deliver.
Brand promises can be aspirational, but they should also be achievable. The brand promise is a powerful marketing tool, and it should be used to guide all of the brand's marketing and communications efforts.
6. Brand voice
Your brand voice is how your company speaks to the world. It's the way you communicate your message and values to your audience, and it should be consistent across all channels. Your brand tone may change depending on the context, but your voice should remain the same.
Think about how you want your audience to perceive your brand, and then use that to inform your decision about what kind of voice you want to use. If you’re not sure, take a look at some of your favourite brands and see how they sound. You can also ask your customers or target audience how they would describe your brand's voice.
7. Mission statement
Finally, your mission statement is a short, specific statement that outlines your company's purpose. It should describe what you do and who you do it for. A mission statement is different from a vision statement, which is a broader description of what your company hopes to achieve in the future. Think of your mission statement as your company's north star - it should guide all of your decisions and help you stay focused on what's important. crafting a strong mission statement can be challenging, but it's worth taking the time to get it right.
Which teams need your brand messaging framework?
Brand messaging helps a variety of teams within a business, which means that a number of different departments will need access to your brand messaging framework. Primarily, the following will need immediate access:
- Public relations teams: make use of talking points for drafting press releases for journalists and bloggers.
- Communications teams: Need strong brand messaging to identify essential aspects of your company's strategy, values, and goals for internal communications for employees.
- Content creators intertwine brand messaging in blogs, podcasts, video scripts, and more.
- Marketing and advertising teams especially need to refer to the brand messaging framework to ensure core messaging and value propositions resonate with the right audiences in advertising and marketing campaigns.
- Sales teams: frequently pull value-named language that describes the main differences between your product or service and the competition.
- Human resources and recruiters refer to a messaging framework when it comes to creating employee training and onboarding materials, as well as job descriptions.
Now craft your own brand messaging framework in these 5 steps
The creation of a successful messaging framework doesn't necessitate the creation of a good messaging matrix. Once you've built your framework, then you could summarise it in a matrix or template style.
But, you don't start with a template. Instead, start by identifying and expressing the elements that will impact your main messaging. You can figure out how to best represent them once you've got these following aspects narrowed down.
1. Identify your target audiences
The first stage of developing your brand message framework is to figure out who you're targeting. Keep in mind that while your key messaging might reach non-buyers, they may still have a significant impact on buyers. This is especially true for B2B companies, as decision-makers aren't always the end-users.
To identify your audience, you’ll want to look consult the following:
- Google Analytics data: look for demographic data about your target audience, including age, gender, etc.
- CRM data: To evaluate your customer data, things like job titles, location, likes and dislikes.
- Email lists: To make a note of existing email subscribers and successful customer segments.
- Sales and marketing teams: To find anecdotal information regarding your audience.
- Product development teams: To find out the different ways customers use your products and which features they use the most.
- Miscellaneous sources of information that can supply you with insights about your users, buyers and/or readers.
Once you’ve collected enough data, you can put the information together into a buyer persona profile. You'll likely need to create multiple personas as there will likely be more than one type of person using your product or service, and each one of those different audiences will resonate with a different type of message.
2. Articulate the brand's value proposition
The value proposition of a product is more about establishing a positioning profile than just trying to sell one item or feature.
It's not enough to claim that your firm provides the most easy-to-use goods or services in the market; you must explain how it adds value. This is why it's so essential to understand your target audiences. You must first know what they value before you can give them value.
Identifying all the ways in which your goods or services provide value is a crucial step toward expressing your value propositions. Examples might include:
- A unique, and affordable, pricing model.
- Improved efficiency or productivity.
- Cost saving benefits.
- Social and economical benefits (like sustainability).
It's perfectly normal to have more than one value proposition. The more selling features you offer, the better because each of your value propositions serves as a messaging pillar in support of your brand positioning statement.
3. Refine your existing messaging
Auditing your previous content marketing efforts is a great (if not sometimes painful) way to evaluate how you’ve previously framed your brand messaging.
As you work back through your blog posts and even social media channels, make a note of:
- Who your target audiences have been.
- How the brand's value propositions have previously been framed.
- How value has previously been demonstrated (i.e through content that provides value or authority).
- The brand voice and tone used.
- How the brand’s visual identity presents.
If you've never established a brand message framework before, you'll almost certainly find irregularities. You may also come across situations where your company's voice and personality are all over the place - from fear-mongering to witty sarcasm to scholarly wanderings. Or stock photos with no consistency in design or tone.
Remember to document these findings – the good, the bad and the awful stock photos – as you audit your existing marketing content.
Then, continue monitoring your marketing message at least once a year to ensure that your brand positioning is still current. Great branding is a fluid concept.
4. Create a brand messaging guide
If you use your buyer personas to figure out who you're talking to, and your value propositions to figure out what to say, then your messaging guide will help you say it just right every time.
Start by trademarking a brand voice. Consider your company to be a person:
- What kind of language would they use?
- What details would they include in their writing?
- What types of metaphors, similes or analogies would they favour?
- Do they use a lot of idioms, or do they speak plainly?
- What tone of voice would they communicate in? Are they funny? Authoritative? Direct?
Make a physical manifestation of your visual identity using the same approach. A great exercise to practice is to consider how your brand – that is, you – might decorate their home. Envision things like the colour palette they would use, the type of style they would emulate (e.g modern or antique) and the types of decorations they would purchase.
Finally, once you've decided on your company's voice and appearance, make a doable messaging guide that includes at the very least the following::
- An explanation of your brand voice in writing with examples.
- Textual style preferences (e.g., serial comma or none?).
- Your brand typography preferences (including spacing).
- Your brand color palette.
- Examples of iconography.
Much of the progress you make as a business is determined by your brand messaging, so this particular portion of your brand messaging framework is critical. Your style guides provide creative direction to support your content strategy.
5. Finalise your brand positioning statement
The brand positioning statement is ultimately a type of elevator pitch. Only what makes it not an elevator pitch is that it does not promote your product or service. Instead, it promotes the whole concept of your branding as a business.
The four key things a positioning statement explains are as follows:
- What your brand does.
- Who it does it for.
- Your unique brand core values.
- The outcomes of those values.
It doesn't include a thorough description of your value propositions, goods, or services. The closest thing you have to a summary of your brand's purpose is a brand positioning statement – also known as a "brand promise." It isn't necessary to disclose it with the entire world, but having one can assist you in delivering messaging.
Remember, a strong brand positioning statement expresses how you want your brand to be seen; it is the personality you use to sell your products. If you're up for it, come up with a succinct brand tagline (for example, ours is "Helping businesses become meaningful brands") - but remember that it's an accent rather than a guiding principle.
Help your brand succeed
Now that you know what your brand messaging framework is all about, the real work begins: generating content. Remember to start with your brand messaging framework as the foundation for each piece of content you create. You should have no trouble achieving a consistent, memorable, and continuously remembered brand experience if you follow that approach.