Crafting a corporate brand message with focus and consistency
As marketers, we recognize that people like information in quick hits: 30-second commercials, 140-character tweets, magazine ads our eyes scan for all of 1.73 seconds.1 Human beings have an uncanny ability to size up a situation quickly and make fast, good decisions. In B2B, a brief positive corporate brand impression is a foot in the door to a longer conversation with a customer.
Yet brevity with B2B brands is a real challenge. It may feel like your brand needs 30 minutes to properly explain, but the reality is that most customers ask, “What do you folks do?” And in that moment of truth you’ve got a couple of seconds to answer. Do a good job in three seconds or so, and you earn the right to say more. That’s why it’s critical to craft a focused brand message that quickly communicates the essence of your brand. 3-30/3-30 messaging is a technique to help you create that quick message, and assist you in developing consistent, longer messages to carry the discussion further. This technique can be used for product and company brands alike.
“3-30/3-30 messaging” is adapted from the book The People Powered Brand: A Blueprint for B2B Brand and Culture Transformation. It provides a step-by-step process for bringing together the untapped resources of employee engagement and customer insights to create B2B brands with the power to win.
Tips on building your message platform
- Apply and adapt what you know
Message development should be based on what you’ve already learned about your brand. At 5MetaCom, we use discovery research to identify various qualities of a brand, which are then expressed in a brand structure. This includes the brand’s strategy, promise, organization, personality and values. At the core of the structure is the brand’s essence or nucleus. If you have a position or strategy that has been informed by research, incorporate those ideas into your message platform.
- Craft, then validate
A message platform can be drafted in a facilitated group setting, by an individual, by a team or by an agency. Regardless of the method used, the message platform should be validated internally and externally before it’s put to use.
- Lots of audiences, one platform
Resist the temptation to create separate message platforms for each audience. This will only add to workload and costs, while diluting impact. The corporate brand must stand for something singular across all important audiences.
- Use the platform as a guide
The message platform is intended to provide rules for what to say about a brand, but it is not an ad or copy to use verbatim on marketing materials. The true purpose of the platform is to provide direction about what to say about the brand, not how to say it.
Using the 5MetaCom 3-30/3-30 principle to develop a brand message platform helps deliver communication clarity across audiences. The message platform also informs the creative execution of the corporate brand, ensuring that whether the message is delivered by a website, an ad or employees, the brand is always represented consistently.
1 Pieters, R., & Wedel, M. (2004). Attention Capture and Transfer in Advertising: Brand, Pictorial, and Text-Size Effects. Journal of Marketing, 68(2), 36–50. https://doi.org/10.1509/jmkg.184.108.40.206794.