The last time you were featured in the press, or were introduced in a podcast, did you like how your business was described? If what they said about you was all wrong, chances are your message about your brand isn’t clear.
The media’s job is to make readers and listeners’ understand their story, not yours. If the way you describe yourself is wordy, jargon-filled or too lofty, your interviewer will find a simpler way to say what you do and who you are and why you matter. When I wrote about technology for the New York Times, that’s what I did.
Know What You Stand For
Getting clarity about your brand isn’t always easy. You can’t be everything to everyone and you can’t use jargon to suggest otherwise. You have to know what you stand for and say it, plainly.
Saying what you do best doesn’t require learning how to use a new dashboard, struggling through fresh analytics or mastering the art of looking animated on Zoom. The skills that get you from fuzzy to precision are ones you already have. Start with scrutiny. Examine every single word of your brand story.
The Best Tips for Clear Brand Messaging
To get your message across the way you want, follow advice from George Orwell. Yes, that George Orwell, author of 1984 and a fabulous essay on writing well called “Politics and the English Language.” It’s a must-read for anyone who writes.
“A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself:
➢What am I trying to say?
➢What words will express it?
➢What image or idiom will make it clearer?
➢Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?
And he will probably ask himself two more:
➢Could I put it more shortly?
➢Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly? “
Follow these rules and I’ll bet you get described the way you want the next time you get featured in the press.
Is your brand message clear or do you think it needs more work?
If you need help getting your brand story straight, reach out for my 30 minute STORY BOOSTER session. You’ll get one actionable idea. And clarity!
As we head into 2021, marketing leaders, are you ready to ready to prove how you’re making a difference?
Through this year’s uncertainty, there’s one constant: people want to do business with brands that are committed to doing good in the world.
I’m so heartened by this change.
First, it’s up to you, marketing leaders, to take purposeful action to make a difference, then you’ll have to prove how you’re acting to make good on your promise. The challenge is sharing your mission without bragging or being inauthentic.
Here’s a hint: when you tell a story about your cause, include your people.
Start by telling a story about how you’re making a difference and find a person or two who are living your mission. Look for inspiration by following the example of companies that have been doing this for way longer than the 6 months that we’ve been in the pandemic such as Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Chobani and Salesforce. How has their commitment to do better in their slices of the world made a difference in the lives of people who interact with the brand?
For some ideas, my strategic partner, Judy Kalvin, and I share three secrets and stories to show how we’ve put people in the center of B2B storytelling in the Marketing Smarts Podcast “How to Humanize Your Brand Storytelling.“
Take a listen and you’ll learn:
📌 How to make thought leadership more helpful
📌 How to turn your founder story into one of your biggest assets
📌 How to use employees as characters to tell the story of your purpose
Let us know what you think.
And, if you want to find out how to tell a story that makes your brand more personal, reach out.