Companies are increasingly focused on dissecting the customer journey to understand purchase triggers, the impact of touchpoints, and the overall decision pathway. Unfortunately, in examining the journey, these companies often overlook how to best position themselves within and across these touchpoints to encourage brand selection. So how can a brand determine the best way to communicate its value proposition across the journey?
Let’s face it, It’s challenging to identify which elements of your messaging will drive brand consideration and selection. Should you offer an emotional appeal or focus on tangible benefits? Should you lean on a single core message or a series of messages? And what role should supporting points play? In short, what communication framework is most likely to be effective?
It’s common for brands to rely on ad hoc approaches in the form of simple, quantitative message tests or focus groups to answer these questions. These ad hoc approaches typically provide brands with a simple ranking of messages, from least to most appealing. They don’t help brands understand how messages can work together, nor do they provide the empirical support needed to confidently build a holistic messaging platform.
It’s challenging to identify which elements of your messaging will drive brand consideration and selection. Should you offer an emotional appeal or focus on tangible benefits? Should you lean on a single core message or a series of messages?”
So, what is the ideal scenario for building your communication strategy?
1. It’s one that begins with qualitative discussions that provide an understanding of the key factors and elements that are likely to drive the customer’s decisions. These explorations should yield answers to questions such as:
- What resonates more with your customer? Emotional or concrete appeals?
- What key words and phrases should be communicated?
- How are consumers talking about the category? What language are they using?
2. The next step is to use this feedback to build a series of messages that cover a broad set of dimensions that your customers, both current and potential, care about.
3. The final step is to take these messages into a quantitative assessment that will systematically explore how they rank and relate to one another. During this important phase, you begin to isolate one or more core messages and align these with meaningful supporting points.
- This assessment should include the benefit of advanced analyses to determine how best to assemble the elements in a way that maximizes demand via your messaging platform.
- In some cases, this can help you uncover customer support for multiple platforms targeted at different audiences.
Along the way, you will be able to assess each of your messaging elements along four key dimensions:
- How well it motivates consideration
- How unique it is
- Whether it is believable
- How well it fits with your brand
It sounds simple, but it’s something that is often given short shrift. And given its impact on your brand, this important process is a risky exercise to bypass. If you’re investing in understanding the customer journey, then it’s equally critical that you invest in determining what messaging strategy will put your brand in the best position possible to win during the journey.
Need help honing your communication strategy?