Creating messaging that goes deeper than a catchy tag line

woman at computer

Great tag lines are inspiring; they beckon you to buy their product. They help focus a buyer’s attention and are relatable. But creating messaging that resonates with your customers should go deeper and reflect a thoughtful process that creates a complete framework to guide your marketing, communications and decisions across the boards-both internally and externally before you create a tag line.

It all goes back to doing the heavy lifting to fully understand your product positioning, key benefits, unique value and sales propositions, target markets and tone or voice of the brand, before putting those catchy phrases together. There is no substitute for sound research.

Firstly understand what are your customer’s needs and wants. Have you done customer surveys, or audits? Talked to your customers? Gained feedback. You need to get inside the heads of your consumer audience to fully understand what motivates them to buy your product or service or what causes them to hesitate or turn away.

Consult your sales reps? Your sales team is on the front line. They should be able to provide input on your product or service and which pitches are the most effective. They will also be the ones to carry your messaging forward so it is important to involve them in the creation of your brand messaging.

Differentiate yourself from the competition. Of course, differentiating yourself from the competition is extremely important to create successful messaging. I might get in trouble with beer snobs for this, but most beer in the same category tastes fairly the same, therefore success in the beer market is based on brand experience and each brand has its own unique message—Molson- I am Canadian, Budweiser–the King of Beers. Notice nothing is said about the taste of the beer—beer marketers focus on the band experience. So whether there are clear differences or differences you need to create, ensure you value and sales propositions are unique.

Identify your tone of voice. Once you’ve done the research and due diligence the next step is to identity your tone of voice—edgy or soft and sexy? Human? Bold? I sometimes ask my clients to identify celebrities or newsworthy individuals that typify the voice and tone of their product.

State your brand promise. A colleague of mine that designs websites promises “websites that you can update yourself’. It’s reassuring and simple. Identity your target audiences—Similarly identify the benefits of your product—using concise sentences that could be used in headlines. And finally, use supporting information and examples that backup the benefits.

Once you’ve done all that—then its time to create that catchy tag line.






A lesson in differentiating your brand from an unlikely Masai village in Tanzania

I recently traveled to Tanzania with a not for profit organization focused on improving the lives of Tanzanian communities by fundraising and building classrooms and other educational infrastructure in the Northeastern part of Tanzania near the Serengeti.  

One of the projects involves the fostering of a bead collective run by Masai women who make elaborate native necklaces and intricate bead works that are then sold to tourists as part of Thomson Safari ‘s regular visit to the collective.

What I was looking for was not only bead work representative of my time in Tanzania and the Masai, but something a bit different I could bring back to friends and family.

On long tables displayed much like a North American flea market, the pieces that stood out were the small beaded baskets that were different from similar baskets.   One had a teacup handle on the side, another had an acorn shaped handle on the lid of the basket and still another had a rather abstract collection of spiky beads ringing the outside of the basket. Imperceptible to the ordinary shopper but to me they stood out as examples of wanting to differentiate their products in a crowded marketplace, when the prices were all the same; hoping to sell more than their counterparts.   Maybe I’m exaggerating one bead workers motive, but as a marketer, it resonated.

A bit of product innovation through a slight change in design, made all the difference and I bought them.

 The same goes for differentiating your brand in a crowded marketplace.  You may offer the same product or service and sales support but what can you deliver that is value added that transcends the similarities. Is it a variation in design? Or the added value in providing useful information that makes your customer’s job easier?  It might just be the little things that make a big difference.