3. Value proposition
There are plenty of bad value propositions out there. Often they’re the product of boardroom compromise, and say way too much without actually saying anything. But actually, this should be one of the most exciting parts of the brand story process. It’s the time when you put yourself in your audience’s shoes and ask: ‘What’s in it for me?’.
Your value proposition should answer a few key things:
- What you offer;
- Who it’s for;
- How you solve your customers’ problems;
- What benefits you bring;
- And why you’re different (which you should already know from #2).
The good news is that once you come up with this, it’s going to get plenty of airtime. Your value prop should form the basis of your primary messaging – for example, your website homepage. It should be on your business cards and even on the wall of your office.
Try creating your own – let me know how you go!
4. Brand voice
As a business scales up, it’s important to have some kind of record of your brand’s tone of voice. You’ll have different people from marketing, client services and support all speaking on behalf of the brand – not to mention any freelancers or suppliers you might bring in to support your growth.
So it’s essential that you have something down on paper that captures how your brand should communicate.
This can be as simple as three words, e.g. ‘creative, mature and charming’ – a couple of guidelines – e.g. ‘we talk straightforwardly and don’t use technical jargon’ – or a 20-page document full of specific dos and don’ts, depending on what kind of business you are and how much content you think you’ll be creating.
From our point of view, the more you can flesh this out, the better (our copywriters love detail). A strong brand voice will ensure you’re distinctive and consistent across your website, on social media, in your advertising and in your content marketing.
5. Key marketing messages
The final part of the brand story is to craft a set of ‘key marketing messages’. These are the essential statements that cover each of your main selling points. You can then come back to your library of marketing messages and pick the right one for the audience and the context you’re marketing in.
(You don’t have to reuse them word-for-word – but your key messages should be able to be used externally if needed.)
You should have several (we go for at least 5) per audience segment.
Here’s what makes for a good one:
- Explain to people who you are, and why they should care;
- Show how your product/service solves their problems;
- Separate yourself from your competitors;
- Demonstrate the value you bring;
- And speak in your very own well-defined tone of voice.
These messages can form the basis for content you create, or work on their own in your marketing and advertising.
Now go and tell your story!
A cohesive foundation like this makes everything else easier:
It’ll also make it so much easier to engage (and get the best value from) a B2B marketing agency, should you choose to.
Just remember these steps:
- Define your values (why you exist)
- Find your uniqueness (why you and not someone else)
- Communicate your value (why now?)
- Establish a tone of voice (how you speak)
- And determine those super-important key marketing messages.
Want some help? Get in touch. We’ve taken lots of clients through this process and we’d love to help you too.