Marketing Formula 101: Brand Messaging

What Do You Want To Say To Them?

Brand Messaging

The Key Role of Brand Messaging

After Targeting, the second major element of our Basic Marketing Formula considers brand messaging.  In other words, once you know who you want to talk to, answer the question, “What do you want to say to them?”

In our Local Marketing Blog, we’ve previously discussed the Art & Science of Marketing.  And we’ve established that while targeting and reach have largely become scientific endeavors, messaging strategy is really still very artistic in nature.

Cut Through the Clutter

Messaging strategies are, by nature, unique to the value proposition your business represents for its customers.  But sometimes it’s easier to talk about the Don’ts before you get to the Do’s.

Things to avoid in messaging strategy:

  • Cliches
  • Buzz Words/Phrases
  • Passive (Vs Active) Language
  • Technical Terms
  • “insider” Terms

Things good brand messaging accomplishes:

  • Relates to Your Prospect
  • Identifies the Real Problem You Solve (from a Customer Perspective)
  • Explains Your Solution
  • Visualizes Success

One of the better processes for developing messaging we’ve seen is the concept of Story Branding, conceived by Donald Miller.

How Messaging Strategy Fits In With the Overall Marketing Formula

As you consider messaging strategy, realize it’s only 1 element in our basic marketing formula:


Once you know who you want to talk to, and what you want to say to them, the next step in the process is to determine where and when to say it to them for best results.  We explore that further in this related post.

Here is a quick reference to all the posts in this Marketing Formula 101 series:



REACH (The Next Post in This Series)



We Invest In You Before You Invest In Us

If you’d like to talk more about our Basic Marketing Formula, we’re always happy to schedule a free initial marketing consultation.  Or connect with us in whatever way works best for you.

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After 3 decades as a professional marketer, serial entrepreneur and business consultant Steven Ludwig shares his best practices for small business marketing for owners, managers, and marketers with limited time, money, and expertise. Steven started his professional marketing career in broadcasting in the early ‘90s in Chicago after attending Valparaiso University. After a brief stint at an advertising agency specializing in entertainment and sports marketing where he worked with radio and television stations, movie theatre companies, record labels, musicians, and professional sports teams, he moved to Nashville to form The Marketing Group with his long-time business partner, Jim Wood. Having worked with some of the largest brands in the world, in 2010 he returned to local marketing primarily out of an interest and excitement for working with small business owners to build stronger companies. That desire comes out of early days in radio, where he worked closely with everything from car dealerships to restaurants, insurance and real estate agents, banks, home services companies, and specialty retailers of all kinds. Over the past decade, he has been on the bleeding edge of digital marketing technology, constantly seeking to understand complex strategies employed by giant corporations and then translate those capabilities into tactics small businesses can execute at a local level. Today, in addition to other business ventures with his wife and other long-time business partners, he still lives outside Nashville in Franklin, Tennessee and currently serves as Executive Chairman of EmpowerLocal, a digital marketing company building a nationwide network of digital, hyperlocal news and lifestyle publishers to provide efficient advertising opportunities for local, regional, and national brands.


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