If you’ve followed this series of articles, you know who your ideal clients are and you’ve outlined your company vision. The last step in completing a solid marketing strategy is creating your core message.
What is a Core Message?
A core message is probably one of the most powerful marketing tools you will ever come across. It is a statement that allows you to quickly communicate what makes your company different from your competition. It’s what separates you from the pack and takes you out of the commodity business and eliminates any comparison to all the other “me too” competitors.
How to Create Your Core Message
All you have to do is follow the steps below and you’ll have your core message (among other tools) in no time!
Step 1: Discover and Identify Your Unique Position
There are multiple ways to identify your unique position in the market. The important concept to remember is this: Your target market must value your unique position or difference in order for it to make the cut.
Here are a few tips to help you identify your unique position in the market:
- Talk to Your Customers: Ask them the following questions to flush out the position your company already owns.
- Why did you hire us?
- How are we different from other companies you spoke to or have worked with?
- What could we do that would absolutely amaze you?
- What do you find yourself simply putting up with when you work with companies in our industry?
- Look at the Competition: It’s not uncommon for there to be gaps no one else is filling. Study the competition to see if you can do something different to address a gap in the market. Pro Tip: Take a look at the online reviews for your company and competitors. You will learn a lot about what people value and what they dislike!
- What do You Really Sell?: You might sell home automation systems, but what you really sell is what your clients think they are going to get from working with you. So what you really sell might be comfort, convenience, peace of mind, or happiness.
Step 2: Create a Marketing Purpose Statement (MPS)
Now that you’ve completed a little research in step 1, it’s time to create your marketing purpose statement. This is not meant to be communicated to your clients. Instead, it serves as the basis for your marketing and customer service activity.
Your goal here is to articulate the ultimate purpose of your marketing and use your MPS as a filter for the marketing and business decisions you make. Here’s an example to get your creative juices flowing:
“We’re Caliber Home Systems and we want to be known as the capable, responsive, and no-hassle systems integrator.”
Step 3: Create a Talking Logo
Your talking logo is your tool to communicate verbally what you do and the single greatest benefit of working with your company. It’s how you answer the question, “What do you do?”
Here’s the formula and an example in action:
Formula: Action verb (I show, I teach, I help) + target market (luxury homeowners, vacation homeowners, production home builders) + how to X (solve a problem or meet a need)
Example: “We help luxury homeowners live in a state of ultimate comfort and convenience.”
Wouldn’t you want to know more if someone said this? Once you have this first statement outlined, you need to be prepared to answer how your company uniquely accomplishes this.
Step 4: Craft Your Core Message
Now it’s time to bring it all together. Your core message is going to be a short statement you will use in all your marketing. Think FedEx: “On Time Every Time or it’s Free.” For a system integrator who works with production home builders, a core message might be something like “Wired Right on Time.”
Here’s a complete example to help bring this concept home:
Let’s take my theoretical company, Caliber Home Systems. In step 1, we identified our target market of luxury homeowners who really value the convenience and simplicity of working with us and the systems we provide. Based on that we created the following:
MPS: “We’re Caliber Home Systems and we want to be known as the easiest, most convenient integrator to work with in the market.”
Talking Logo: “We provide convenience and peace of mind for luxury homeowners.”
Core Message: “Experience Simplicity and Convenience at Its Finest!”
Now that you’ve done all this work, you can use this messaging in all your marketing to communicate how your business is different and why clients choose to work with you. Resist the urge to get distracted by shiny objects — once you’ve done this work, commit to using it and stay the course!