Brand Development: AMJ’s Approach
Helping brands establish the most effective and convincing way to talk about themselves is both a creative and strategic pursuit. When AMJ works with a messaging client, one of the first things they want to know is, what the process is like.
Messaging development–like visual branding (logos, etc.) and verbal branding (yes, it’s a thing and you can read more about it in this AMJ blog post)–is a process. One that involves reading, research, discussion/s, canvassing, concepting, writing, revising, sometimes testing, and most definitely consensus-building. And while each client is unique and therefore demands a slightly different brand development process, here’s how AMJ generally approaches it:
Phase 1: Discovery
AMJ reviews existing internal and external messaging (if it exists) across all platforms: web, sales and event collateral, emails, corporate communications, press releases, brochures, social media, blog posts, etc. Basically, anything that reflects how your brand/business is talking about itself.
We research core competitors in the same vertical (and sometimes adjacent verticals), and, if available, review their segmented messaging (taglines, web copy, blogs, social, etc.).
We value discussions about any existing marketing metrics and customer feedback. Then, we review marketing personas, and sometimes rethink or develop them.
Phase 2: Discussion
AMJ meets with brand and project stakeholders to gain their perspectives and insights on the business, customers, strategy, goals, values, and what works and doesn’t work in terms of existing messaging. What’s their take on the brand voice and overall brand personality. Do those elements need deep work or minor adjustments to bring the new messaging to life? We explore how the messaging matrix should be segmented based on audiences, markets, industries, and discuss core themes that would resonate with those audiences, along with short-term and long-term brand messaging goals. We also ask, what differentiates the brand among its competitors?
Lastly, we socialize interview findings to stakeholders to make sure observations and opinions are accurate, and then we try to resolve any disparities quickly.
Phase 3: Development
AMJ will develop the messaging framework, reflecting all possible audiences, brand messaging elements (positioning statement, tagline, mission statement, vision statement), customer pain points, brand/product benefits, and proof points.
We craft messaging for each of the identified audiences and segments in the matrix, ensuring all messaging is clear and accurate. Add-on: AMJ can also establish language preference (techy vs. layman) and Dos and Don’ts, if the client feels it’s needed.
A large component of successful messaging is establishing the voice and tone to personalize, humanize, and enliven the brand narrative so it’s memorable (basically, not a snooze).
Once we have a solid first draft to present, we upload the populated messaging matrix to a preferred collaboration platform to track comments and approvals from the team. We’ll revise if necessary then re-route for final approval.
If your brand needs a messaging overhaul or doesn’t have one, drop AMJ a line. We can help.