In a sea of bland messaging, your brand needs to stand out. That’s what makes a lasting impression on your target audience. But fear not! In this blog post, I'll explain what a core message is and how you can define it. Let’s dive in.
Why do you need a core message?
Your core message is the heart of your brand. It communicates what you stand for, what you do, and how you can help your customers. Without a clear and compelling core message, it’s difficult to create effective marketing campaigns and build a strong brand identity. A core message is what separates you from your competitors and helps your audience connect with your brand on a deeper level. These days, “good enough” messaging just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Alright, now that you’ve got the jist of what a core message is, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work. How do you start crafting a killer core message that captures the essence of your brand? The answer is simple: ask yourself these questions.
4 questions to ask yourself when defining your core message:
What is the purpose of my message? To identify your brand's core message, you have to first get in touch with what matters to your brand. What do you want to be known for? How do you want to be perceived? What would you want the recipients of your core message to take away from the statement and what do you most want them to remember about you? The answers to these questions should lead you to develop some sort of "so what". Ultimately, this could turn into a tagline about what your product does, a mission statement about what your brand delivers, or a value prop about a problem you solve. But for now, in answering this question, focus on what you want your core message to do.
Who is this message really for? Who do you most want your message to reach? What demographics do they fit? What roles do they have? What are their lives like and what matters to them? Knowing your target audience is key for creating a core message that resonates with them.
What needs or challenges am I trying to answer or soothe with my core message? Thinking about that audience you identified in question number two, now shift focus to their pain points. What are they struggling with? How are they feeling in that struggle? What are they craving? What solutions might they have already tried and what are they wishing was different? If you could say anything to them in that moment of difficulty, what would you say and what would you most want them to remember?
How does your product or service help solve those pain points? Your core message should communicate the benefits of your product or service and how it can help solve your audience’s problems. Think: how specifically does your product or service alleviate the challenges your target audience faces? What value does it deliver and how? The key here is to focus on the benefits, not just the features, of your product or service. Perhaps consider brainstorming corresponding benefits for each feature to spur your thinking here. Ask yourself, "How does this feature directly address their challenges or improve their situation?"
Core messaging vs. brand messaging
Now for those loyal Wheels Upp’ers who’ve been following the blog, I’m sure you’re thinking this sounds awfully similar to the messaging and positioning framework we're always going on about. Well, you’re right! They are similar. However, there is an important difference between core messaging and brand messaging.
Core messaging is a fundamental part of your brand messaging, but it is not the only aspect. Brand messaging (captured in your MPF) is a broader concept that includes all the messages and content you use to communicate your brand to your audience. Your brand messaging should include your core message of course, but it will also contain other messaging such as components related to your brand personality, product specifications, persona adaptations, tone of voice, and more.
If you're struggling to define your core message, don't worry! You don't have to do it alone. At Wheels Up Collective, we specialize in helping brands craft compelling messaging that sets them apart from the competition. Feel free to reach out.