Words hold so much power (as cliche as it sounds, it's the truth). They tell stories and are capable of inspiring. Stories are built into the human condition, we even tell them in our sleep. They help us make sense of the world and absorb more information than what our thinking brains can normally hold. They can either bring your brand's story to life or bury it, depending on how your message is constructed.
Let's dive in and explain why your message matters.
It's the first thing people see/read when they are introduced to your brand
First impressions are everything, this also applies to your brand. Imagine scrolling through Facebook and stumbling upon an ad for a new allergen-friendly protein bar on the market. There aren't many options for you as you're allergic to peanuts, but you'd like to find a quick grab and go snack. Upon closer inspection, the ad does not seem to specify what ingredients are in it.
Had the ad mentioned that the bar happened to specifically be safe for those with peanut allergies, you could've become a loyal customer. If your message isn't clear or appealing from the get-go, consumers won't be impressed or intrigued.
It can either draw consumers in or push them out
If your message is too confusing or ambiguous, consumers will be unsure of what to make of your brand, leading them elsewhere. This also tarnishes the authenticity and originality of your brand.
We could also relate this point back to the protein bar example. There aren't many allergen-friendly bars out there, had the messaging of the ad been loud and clear, people with food sensitivities could've become long-term customers. The company had the opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition, but they did not succeed.
It can help specify your services and differentiate your brand from competitors
When trying to separate yourself from your competitors, you need to be direct. What do you offer? How do your products/services differ from theirs? Do you hold the same standards and mission?
Asking yourself questions like these can help you determine whether or not you need to go back to the drawing board and make your message more clear-cut. If we look at the protein bar example once more, it was pretty clear that poor messaging made it look like just another average bar on the market.
Yes, trying to word something isn't always easy. However, messaging (and finding the right one for your brand) is crucial when it comes to turning consumers into long-term, loyal customers.
Maddie Szczerba is our IFC Collegiate Messaging Intern. She is currently majoring in Strategic Public Relations and minoring in Business Communication. When she’s not in the office you can find her sipping on an iced chai, scouring Hulu for another show to binge-watch, or venturing across Cedar Falls with friends.