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Brand Messaging Clarity Trumps Cleverness

brand clarityThe grand and driving rule of effective brand strategy is authenticity.  Whatever your brand stands for, it has to be proven out in the actual customer experience, repeatedly, consistently and  universally.  That is also true in how you communicate your brand story.  At TopRight, we strive to discover and create a “6-Second Story” for our clients, which is a simple, true and compelling story of the brand essence and a core element of the TopRight Authentic Art of Storytelling.

The words chosen for your Story, as well as any marketing communication, have to work really hard.  They must mean exactly what is intended, and they must be familiar and understandable to the key audiences.  The smart people over at StoryBrand, led by Donald Miller (@storybrand), recently noted in an email newsletter that by using jargon or fancy language, “We think we’re enticing customers with our knowledge, but we’re just confusing them.”

Don and his team give brands only two seconds to tell the story, which could be true for many marketplaces, or in many prospect communications.    The newsletter offered a few examples of insider language translated into common language:

  • Accounting Services – We can be your accountant
  • Integrated Solutions – We can solve your problem
  • Inquire about our services – Get a quote
  • Industrial Paint Solutions – We can paint anything
  • Codependency Counseling – Enjoy great relationships.

I can add another from an ad for a leadership training class I saw this weekend:

  • Optimize your leverage – Make your point

Lack of brand clarity causes dilution in the market and creates consumer confusion.  Back in 2000, a Harvard Business Review study found that only two brand categories actually had clear brand differentiation – soda and soap.   That leaves a lot of the rest of us in a bit of a language muddle.

Clarity always trumps cleverness in advertising and marketing, and it’s essential to building a brand that will last, and be profitable.   That commitment is the only way to Stay #TopRight and move your business to the winning corner.

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