Thursday, September 15, 2005

All together now: What's our message?

One of the biggest challenges that marketers face is in trying to get their messages heard by the people they're trying to reach. "Cutting through the clutter" is top-of-mind with most professionals these days, whether they work in branding, advertising, design, sales, communications or promotions. The most successful ventures I've been involved with have taken the time to distill their company's or brand's values and find the best positioning language to set them apart from their competition -- and then, they've used that precise language, time and time again, across all their internal and external communications initiatives. Proper positioning language pinpoints a company's essence, while also setting a benchmark focuses ongoing endeavors. Once that positioning is found, it's then imperative to use it in all instances of communicating on behalf of the company.

A story entitled "Building Your Brand Through Consistency" appears on DIRECT magazine's website, and was authored by Janet Holian. It does a great job of defining what a brand is and how crucial it is to have all of its representatives speaking about it in the same way. When change occurs, Ms. Holian suggests we embrace it: "Simply make sure it's communicated appropriately and practiced through delivering on the promise." More deep wisdom on this subject is available from 50 Cent, as published in the October issue of Sync magazine: "Sync: You're selling books, sneakers, drinks, films, soundtracks to films, clothing and an MP3-player watch. Where does it end? 50: It doesn't. The thing to remember is that it's all about consistency. Consistency has to be held to a certain level in order to maintain the quality. Otherwise, I'll destroy the brand."