How to Create Branding with Intentional Messaging

If you ask ten marketers to define the word “brand,” you’ll likely get ten wildly different definitions in return.

One of our favorite definitions at DMA is from Seth Godin:

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together,
account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.
If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a lawyer, a voter, or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium,
make a selection, or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.”

Luckily for us in the fresh food space, we have a unique opportunity to build brands that have value with our target consumers. The key is to build the brand around what the consumer wants by being intentional with your brand’s messaging.


How to Create Branding with Intentional Messaging

  1. Determine who is the hero of your story. This may seem obvious, but before you start building your brand’s messaging, it’s important to define the hero in your story and along with this, understand fully the challenges that your hero faces on a daily basis.  Once you understand the hero’s challenges, your next step is to help solve them.
  2. Craft your key messages for the person listening to or reading your story. Often times marketers struggle to stay away from “me, me, me” messaging.  You know what “me, me, me” messaging is, right?  It’s messaging that only addresses who you are, what you do, and what purpose your business serves.  To create branding that is intentional, you should consider reframing your messages to speak to your hero and address their challenges head-on.  By doing this, you show empathy, that you truly understand your customer better than anyone else, and present yourself as a guide in the hero’s story.
  3. Understand your role in the hero’s story. In almost every good story, there is a hero, a villain, and a guide.  When it comes to your brand, your customer is the hero, you are the guide, and the problems your hero faces are the villains of the story.  To shape your brand to be more intentional, your role and position as the guide in the hero’s story is selfless, helpful, and ultimately preferred to other brand choices that are less empathetic.
  4. Help the hero see the future.  No, not in a fortune teller kind of way but in a marketing positioning way instead.  To set your brand up for success with intentional messaging, you must help the hero understand what the future looks like with you, the guide, in it.  And while you’re at it, you should also show the hero what the future looks like without you in it if they are left to choose to work with other product or service providers that can’t touch what your brand is capable of doing to solve the hero’s challenges.
  5. Focus on your brand’s value, advantages and differentiators. As Donald Miller, author of Building a Storybrand, says, ”Alfred Hitchcock defined a good story as ‘life with the dull parts taken out.’ Good branding is the same. Our companies are complex, for sure, but a good messaging filter will remove all the stuff that bores our customers and will bear down on the aspects of our brand that will help them survive and thrive.”  As the guide in your hero’s story, you are essential to their daily lives by helping them improve productivity and ultimately profitability, which should not be taken lightly.  Remember to speak to the benefits and outcomes that your hero will eventually realize with you as their guide.
Once your intentional branding is underway with a messaging guide that describes all of the above, there are several ways to measure if your approach is working.  In fact, the way to measure if your intentions are working is to measure the intent of your hero to purchase your products or services!

How to Measure Your Hero’s Intent to Purchase:

  1. Website Visits – When measuring intent to purchase, look at the number of visits to pages of your website. Examples of pages on your website that will help measure intent are your “Where to Buy” or eCommerce enabled pages, and coupon pages (if applicable).
  2. Database Numbers – If people are signing up to receive your content (such as recipes, blogs, coupons, etc.) in their inboxes, that’s a great sign that you’re building a relationship with your hero as their guide.
  3. Time on Your Website – If there is one thing we have all learned over the last two years, it is that time is precious.  People will not spend the time to browse a website that doesn’t matter to them.  Thus, if you are measuring purchase intent, take note of the amount of time being spent on your website on average and look for highs and lows throughout the year. This metric is a good way for guides to measure if the content offered on the website is meaningful (or addressing the challenges) for the hero.  The longer the time spent, the more the content is resonating.
  4. Coupon Redemptions – If you are distributing coupons through your marketing efforts, track redemptions! This is a great way to to show that your marketing is working and that the coupon offer is attractive.
  5. Open Rates & Click-Through Rates in Emails – Regularly sending emails to a database filled with information collected from your hero is a great way to measure if the challenges you have defined for them are accurate (or not).  When open and click-through rates are higher than average, you have likely struck a nerve that should be unpacked further.  On the other hand, when reactions to emails, whether through open or click-through rates, take a swift decline, I’d reconsider sharing that same message with your hero again, dear guide.
How is your brand’s messaging telling a story about a hero, a guide, and villains?  If you need help in shaping your story, we’d love to help.  
Give us a shout. We’d love to create a Messaging Guide for your brand in approximately 60 to 90 days.