What is “Brand Messaging” & Why Do You Need It?

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Have you ever felt that the concept of a brand, brand messaging, brand identity, or brand strategy is wildly ambiguous? If so, you’re not alone. It seems that everyone has their own definition these days. (Not unlike designers’ varying definitions of “full-service” design.)

Today, I want to offer some clarity on how we see the elements of a brand, most specifically your brand messaging. Let’s start at the top…

What is a Brand, Anyway?

Your brand is what others say, think, and feel about your business. (*Definition compliments of iconic brand designer and strategist ByAriel.) Most importantly, your brand is not made up of just one element. It includes your visual identity (think colors, fonts, style, and vibe), your brand messaging (the words and tone you use), your clients’ experience with you, and more.

Fact: Everyone has a brand, whether it’s intentional or not.

In an ideal situation, you’ll have a cohesive brand. A cohesive brand is comparable to a fully designed home. Every detail is thoughtful. It looks beautiful and functions well. And as you walk deeper into the home, the experience continues to unfold in all its glory.

Now, imagine the same home, except this time, once you make it past that spectacular kitchen (look at those pendants!), you walk into a dark living room with a popcorn ceiling, a dated cherry built-in, and gold-toned walls. You’re probably thinking, “Wait a second… what’s going on here?

The home, despite its gorgeous kitchen, doesn’t feel complete. It feels like a work in progress… because it is. The same is true of a brand that doesn’t span your ENTIRE business.

If you level-up your website and copy, but your monthly newsletters and blog posts still tout your old logo from 2010, people are going to notice. It’s going to bring the entire brand — and it’s perceived value — down. Fascinating, right? And oh so avoidable.

ochre & beige team talking about brand messaging for interior designers

What is Brand Messaging?

Brand messaging is the overall message you communicate to the world, inside and outside your studio. Through word choice and tone, you can clearly articulate your services and speak directly to the ideal clients you want to attract.

At Ochre & Beige, we specialize in this aspect of a brand — the words and the strategy behind them.

Designers have told us that going through our Brand Messaging process results in:

  • Relief at having an experienced outside perspective to help them
  • Alignment with their ultimate goals and values (brand pillars)
  • Clarity and confidence when talking about their business
  • A more targeted client base over time
  • Less time wasted weeding through inquiries that aren’t a good fit
  • A team that is on the same page with how to represent your firm
  • Most of our clients have quite a bit of fun, too!

How Does our Brand Messaging Process Work?

All of our copywriting projects start with Brand Messaging Strategy. Like an interior design concept, it sets the FOUNDATION for your business, leveraging marketing knowledge, copywriting nuances, business strategy, and of course, what makes you unique.

We take the big picture into account and the tiny details, ensuring that the direction and execution will be aligned with you and your goals for the next 2-5 years.

Our process includes:

  • Discovery Call to see if we’re the right fit for you
  • Initial questionnaire to better understand your business, clients, goals, etc.
  • A 90-minute Strategy Session with our team to deep dive into the specifics
  • Competitor research (on our side) to better understand your regional market
  • The development of your comprehensive Brand Messaging Strategy PDF
  • Iteration as needed to make it perfect!

The Brand Messaging Strategy itself includes your clearly detailed:

  • Company goals & vision
  • Target client profiles
  • Competitor analysis
  • Unique market positioning
  • Core values & how to convey them (your brand pillars!)
  • Tagline & mission statement
  • Unique brand story
  • Messaging phrases to use

If this looks like a lot of work, believe me, it is. For us, at least. But in the end, this Brand Messaging Strategy becomes a “script” you can reference as needed, showing you what to say and how to say it with confidence.

At this point, our clients move into the Website Copy Phase and then the Client Experience Phase. Both of these phases involve translating this messaging strategy into the words on your website, in marketing materials, client welcome packets, client process emails, and more. (You can discover more about our Signature 3-Phase Process here.)

process for brand messaging strategy boutique copywriting studio for interior designers

How do you know if your design firm is ready for Brand Messaging?

Our clients have seen the most impactful results when experiencing any (or several) of these situations:

  • Your website copy no longer represents your design firm’s success or where you’re headed
  • You’re pivoting, leveling up your business, or moving into a new market
  • You’re ready to highlight what makes you unique and stand out in the industry
  • You’re repositioning yourself as the CEO/Creative Director and want clients to trust your team
  • You feel too close to your business to see it clearly
  • You find the idea of writing copy yourself daunting… so you just don’t do it.

If these sound familiar, working with us on your Brand Messaging Strategy and copy could be the solution. We invite you to reach out to us here to see if we’re a good fit for each other.

How Do You Know Your Brand is Working?

Of course, you want to know it’s working, right? Here’s what messaging success looks and sounds like after it has been implemented and running…

  • “I had a call with a potential client, and she was ready to work with me before I had even pitched anything!”
  • “I raised my prices again, and I’m still booked out months in advance.”
  • “I’m finally in a place where I can say yes to only the clients I really want.”
  • “It’s so rewarding hearing potential clients repeat my own words back to me. They’re connecting with the messaging!”

Yes, we have heard ALL of these statements (and more) from clients. That’s the power of great messaging in action. It works for you. (P.S. You can find case studies from our clients here — we love to celebrate them!)

That’s it for now, but we hope we have shown you the power of the right words to attract your dream clients and grow your business in the right way for you. We can tell you from personal experience, it is not only business-changing — it can be life-changing.

Xoxo,
Team O&B

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