Who Are You: The Message

company-message As I said yesterday, explaining who you are involves 3 aspects: Message, Voice, and Tone.

The Message is “what you say”. This is the primary focus of your marketing–who you are, why your product is good, etc. So Billy’s Burgers will focus on “Amish-raised American beef, homemade buns, and Grandpa’s secret BBQ sauce”, while Smith, Jones, & Nfume, CPAs will focus on “a trusted name in finance since 1947”.

No matter who they are talking to, that is their message. Those simple concepts are the foundation of their relationship with the public, and shape everything they say. Billy needs to ask “Does this sound like it comes from someone who values home-cooked food?” and the CPAs need to ask “Does this sound like a long-standing conservative group of accountants?”

Our 5-Year Mission

The Message starts earlier–and goes deeper–than that, however.   It starts with your Mission Statement.   If you don’t have one already, you should sit down and think about creating one.  Chances are you already have one in your head, you just haven’t bothered to write it down in pretty language.

The Mission Statement is the most basic idea of “why?”.  Why are you in business?  Yes, we know it’s to make money, but why this business?  Why do it this way?  You already know the answers (or you’d better; if you don’t, your business is going to fail).  All you need to do is to write it down–and then make sure that everyone who works for you, and with you, knows it((Our Mission Statement is on our homepage.)).

Whenever there’s a question about how to present something, look at the Mission Statement.  Whenever you wonder if you’re making the right decision, look at the mission statement.  It won’t give you all the answers, but it will help you to stay on-message, and keep your business focused where it should be.

Note:  Your Mission Statement should never change((Never say “never”, but… you get the idea)).  It is the core of who you are.

Company Message

Your Company Message is more flexible than your Mission Statement.  The Company Message is the “big picture” representation of who your company is and what the’re doing right now.   Your CM and your marketing campaigns are two sides of the same coin.  They depend upon and influence each other.   A CM might change from year to year (of example), but not too much.  You want people to feel like changes in your message are natural and consistent with your Mission Statement.

The Message is “what you say”. This is the primary focus of your marketing–who you are, why your product is good, etc. So Billy’s Burgers will focus on “Amish-raised American beef, homemade buns, and Grandpa’s secret BBQ sauce”, while Smith, Jones, & Nfume, CPAs will focus on “a trusted name in finance since 1947”.

No matter who they are talking to, that is their message. Those simple concepts are the foundation of their relationship with the public, and shape everything they say. Billy needs to ask “Does this sound like it comes from someone who values home-cooked food?” and the CPAs need to ask “Does this sound like a long-standing conservative group of accountants?”

When you’re crafting your message, don’t worry about specifics of wording.  That’s your Voice (more about that tomorrow).  Just deal with the ideas and principles.  These will remain the same no matter where you’re doing business.  The specifics of the language, however, will change depending on language, country, and culture.

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Since 2011, Blaze has worked in China as an English-language consultant with top companies from Germany, France, Italy, and the U.S. He has over 25 years of experience in education, communication, and marketing.

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  1. Pingback: Who Are You: The Voice – Geekistan

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