Clear and consistent messaging can be the defining factor between a successful marketing campaign and one that misses the mark.
Messaging is a subset of positioning that focuses more on the language and wording used to best engage your target customer. Messages bridge positioning with content creation: they’re used to develop marketing content such as ads, headlines, social media posts, emails, and other types of marketing and advertising.
Messaging is most commonly associated with slogans or catchphrases; however, messaging can serve multiple purposes.
- Corporate Messaging
Corporate messaging is most related to your company’s image in relation to the market. What is your company’s purpose and what value do you bring?
- Brand Messaging
Brand messaging is most directly related to your customers’ experience. It communicates information about the company, product and brand in a way that invites your target audience to interact with your business.
- Product Messaging
Product messaging is most closely related to sales. Your key product messages should pinpoint the major selling points of your product or service and the benefit they provide to your customer.
In general your company should utilize each type of messaging. The types of messages will clearly involve different language, given the different goals they’re targeting, but they should all feel like they’re part of the same larger messaging fabric.
Beyond maintaining consistency, your key messages will ensure that you are targeting the right audience for your company and will provide a quantitative way to measure marketing success.
Let’s look at an example:
Herman Miller centers all of its messaging around design and innovation. Their messaging here has an idealistic tone and a humanistic approach. Across their site Herman Miller uses this style of messaging to disseminate the idea that Herman Miller provides designs and furniture for everyone regardless of company type. Herman Miller is dedicated to making companies not only functional and comfortable, but also incorporating design into increasing productivity.
It is important to note here that Herman Miller’s messaging is not standardized. In fact they do a wonderful job of utilizing all three types of messaging.
Some examples are:
“We combine our research-based approach, deep design expertise, and collaborations with industry thought leaders to create solutions that enhance the learning experience.”
This is Herman Miller’s version of corporate messaging. They’ve already identified their company as a furniture retailer, but how does that make them any different from other companies?
Well, here they establish instead of just trying to sell furniture, they want to enhance workspaces and stimulate learning. They also point out that as a company they bring a level of expertise and experience to decor that other companies may not have.
“What’s your WFH style? Find your winning combo of ergonomic chair, desk, and storage to power your best self.”
This type of messaging is more similar to brand messaging. Here Herman Miller communicates its dedication to providing an array of ergonomic solutions.
However, this messaging is all about the customer. By beginning with a question Herman Miller is already inviting the customer into a conversation. Following that question up with a call to action invites visitors to browse further into their site and look at their products.
“With over 7 million sold, it still sets the benchmark for ergonomic comfort. Its innovative design and support for a range of postures, activities, and body types, has made and kept Aeron an icon.”
This specific quote refers to Herman Miller’s Aeron desk chair. This is product messaging at its best.
Herman Miller begins by providing numerical data on the piece of furniture that shows its success. This immediately establishes credibility. With the volume of chairs sold the customer now knows that this is a popular and desirable design.
Next, Herman Miller lists how their design is applicable to an array of people as well as meets varying needs. This sets their product apart because it is so universal.
Now who does this type of messaging target? While these divisions are not exact and should be taken with a grain of salt, this type of messaging in general would broadly focus on smaller brick and mortar businesses.
Herman Miller is promoting modern designs and an easy retail location to outfit company workspaces. This would indicate that their audience may be a newer start up company. Messaging is not so simple.
Herman Miller includes key phrases that insinuate regular customers are businesses who take the extra mile in eloquent office design. These individuals are very attentive to furniture placement and how a product influences employees. Herman Miller’s target audience is likely a company looking to jumpstart company morale and efficiency through office settings.