Many elements go into successful branding, but none is more important than brand messaging frameworks. Whether you're an entrepreneur or an employee of a small business, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the many moving parts involved in running a business.
Brand messaging frameworks can provide you with structure and guidance. With a message framework, you always know what to say and how to say it when communicating your business's unique value proposition (USP) to potential customers and clients.
Below, you'll find the ultimate guide to creating a practical messaging framework that works for your brand.
Table of Contents
What is a Brand Messaging Framework
A brand messaging framework is a set of guidelines that helps you create consistent and compelling messages to promote your brand and its products and services.
It's a strategic marketing plan that outlines the different messages you will use to position your brand and how you will use those messages across various marketing channels.
This set of documents and collaterals serves as a guide to all of your company's communications. It covers what you want to say, who you want to say it to, and how you should deliver the message.
Why Do You Need a Message Framework
A messaging framework aims to create a cohesive brand image and reinforce your USP across all marketing channels— from your website to social media to your sales collateral.
Here are the top reasons why you need a brand message framework:
- A messaging framework helps you emphasize your unique selling proposition (USP) and differentiate yourself from your competitors.
- When you're consistent with your brand's message, you'll create a pattern of behaviors that customers and potential customers can easily recognize. Consistency can increase your sales by 33%, according to research.
- It allows you to articulate your messages and connect with potential customers in a way that resonates with them.
- It can lead to repeat customers and more content shares, which can help grow your brand and build its reputation.
- It's also helpful for new hires who need to quickly understand the brand and its USP and establish and reinforce your brand identity.
How to Identify Your USP
The following are great starter questions to ask when determining your company’s unique selling proposition:
- What makes my product or service unique?
- Is there an angle I can use to make this clear?
- How does it differentiate me from competitors?
- How does my product or service solve problems for people who need what I provide?
- Why should my customers choose me?
- Does my product or service have any special features that set it apart from similar offerings on the market today?
- If so, how can we highlight these features in our messaging?
Once you have a solid understanding of your value proposition and how it applies to your business, you can use it to create a messaging framework that supports your brand.
How To Build and Implement a Messaging Framework In Seven Steps
- Identify Your Target Audience
- Articulate Your Value Proposition
- Write a Positioning Statement
- Create a Tagline
- Develop Your Brand Messaging Framework
- Test the Framework
- Share the Final Framework
Creating a brand messaging framework is an iterative process. It's vital to review your framework from time to time to ensure you align with your customers.
1. Identify Your Target Audience
If we look into what a messaging framework is, the target audience plays a huge role in it. That’s why the first step to building your messaging framework is identifying your target audience. Look into attributes like demographics, profession, lifestyle, goals, pain points, and preferences.
To build your buyer persona, do some research using:
- Google Analytics demographic data
- CRM customer data
- Existing mailing list
- Social media mentions
2. Articulate Your Value Proposition
A value proposition is a brief description of the emotional and practical benefits a company’s product or service delivers to its customers. How does your brand address customer pain points? What value do they get from your products or services? Why should they purchase from you? These are the questions a value proposition looks to answer.
Examples of some benefits you can highlight include cost-effectiveness, increased productivity and morale, and social and environmental benefits.
3. Write a Positioning Statement
Once you’ve articulated your value proposition, you can start writing your positioning statement, which describes your product fills a need in the market. This is a key factor in understanding what a messaging framework is.
The purpose of a positioning statement is to ensure marketing efforts align with your value proposition. Your brand positioning statement, otherwise known as brand promise, should include:
- Your target audience
- The products and services you offer
- What makes you unique
4. Create a Tagline
A tagline is a short, attention-grabbing message that clearly communicates your value proposition and positioning statement. When creating your tagline, focus on its emotional impact on your target audience. Your tagline may not serve as a guide in your brand messaging framework, but it accentuates your message.
5. Develop Your Brand Messaging Framework
Since you already have a good grasp of what a messaging framework is, this is the bulk of the work you have to do. Your target audience helps you determine who you’re sending your message to. Your value proposition identifies what you say. Now, your brand messaging framework ensures that you consistently and appropriately deliver your message.
Keep in mind the following elements of branding and messaging:
- Brand voice and tone
- Color palette
- Buyer persona
6. Test the Framework
Before you share your drafted framework with the rest of the team, test it out first and see how audiences respond to it. You can also test different messages using A/B testing. Determine the strategy’s success by tracking metrics like page views, engagement rates, etc. Be flexible. While it's best to be consistent, don't be afraid to adjust your messaging as needed based on feedback from your target audience.
7. Share the Final Framework
After thorough testing, you can now share the final framework document with the rest of your teams. Multiple departments use this guide to ensure consistency in your brand messaging, so make sure that everyone who needs it has a copy. You can have it in both print and digital formats to cover all preferences.
The Elements of a Marketing Messaging Framework
- Mission Statement
- Brand Promise
- Brand Personality
- Brand Attributes
- Brand Visuals
- Tone and Voice
- Customer Journey Map
- Brand Inventory
- Brand Metrics and Analytics
These are the main elements of a marketing messaging framework:
1. Mission Statement
A mission statement describes the purpose behind the business. It reflects your company's brand and what makes it unique. When you create a mission statement, you identify why your business exists.
- Core values
The vision describes what your business will look like in several years. It describes the ideal future state of the company.
When creating a vision statement, consider your customers and their needs. Then, think about what makes your brand special.
Be transparent in your vision statement. Research shows that 66% of consumers consider transparency one of a brand's most attractive qualities.
Finally, use all of this information to create a compelling vision for your brand.
3. Brand Promise
The brand promise is a USP’s extension, which describes what the customer can expect when doing business with your brand.
It’s the key benefit of choosing your brand. The best way to create a brand promise is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Imagine you’re a customer who is interested in your business.
What problem are you trying to solve?
What are you hoping to get out of your relationship with your business?
4. Brand Personality
The brand personality describes how your brand behaves, communicates, thinks, and feels. A brand personality can be playful, elegant, and creative. Think about the traits that make up your brand.
Apple, for example, is known for its straightforward messaging. Nike's Just Do It slogan is an excellent example of how a few words can pack a powerful punch. And LinkedIn's focus on helping professionals connect and advance their careers has helped it stand out in a crowded marketplace.
5. Brand Attributes
Brand attributes describe your brand and help you stand out from your competitors. These attributes can help you create a unique value proposition.
77% of consumers support brands that share the same attributes and values as they do.
- Brand consistency
6. Brand Visuals
The visual elements of your messaging framework are what people remember most when they hear about your brand.
- Color palette
- Brand photography
- Visual content
7. Tone and Voice
The tone and voice of your messaging framework will help create an authentic and unique brand identity. Your tone and voice can also help you steer clear of damaging or misleading marketing tactics.
- Word choice
8. Customer Journey Map
This map represents your customer's journey when purchasing your product or service. It shows the touchpoints in their journey and the different stages of the buying process.
A customer journey map is an excellent tool for strategizing marketing campaigns.
9. Brand Inventory
Your brand inventory is a record of all your marketing assets. An inventory will allow you to track them and how you can use them.
- Website blog post
- Email marketing
- Social media posts
- Sales collateral
10. Brand Metrics and Analytics
Your brand metrics and analytics tell you how your business performs from a financial perspective and a social media and brand recognition perspective.
Knowing what metrics and analytics are essential for your business can help you develop a strategy to track them.
- Traffic to your website
- Social media statistics
- Brand recognition
- Customer service metrics
- Business metrics
- Conversion rates
Brand Messaging Frameworks: Final Thoughts
Advertising messages tend to inundate consumers nowadays, so it's no surprise that ad campaigns can lose effectiveness over time.
Brands that continue to produce the same message repeatedly may risk alienating their customers as audiences have been savvier than before.
Make sure your brand messaging always resonates with your audience. Your brand messaging framework should successfully convey your message to current and potential customers.
A good brand messaging framework should be fluid enough to adapt to your changing needs and flexible enough to provide a clear message.
Doing this requires understanding who you are as a brand, what makes you unique, what value you bring to the table, and how others perceive those qualities—and then communicating it effectively.
Professionalcontent marketing companies can also help you with this process, so we advise looking for the right agency to partner with for your project.