The Importance of Clear and Concise Messaging

March 5, 2024

The Importance of Clear and Concise Messaging

Having a well-defined message can make all the difference.

In today's fast-paced business world, your business must have clear and concise key messaging that resonates with your audience. Whether launching a new product or service, rebranding a company or simply attempting to stand out in a crowded market, having a well-defined message can make all the difference.

Let’s look at an example of a new product. The first step in establishing your key messaging is to ask a simple question: What does the product do? This should be a sentence that describes the product’s key features, including the value proposition to make it clear what sets it apart from your other products and those of your competitors, while incorporating the company's vision or mission into the message. Easy, right?

This is not an easy task. It might be easy to describe it verbally or compare it to another product your customers are familiar with, but it can be challenging to refine the message to be clear, authentic, and effective. The language used in the message must be carefully crafted to resonate with the audience and convey the company's values and goals.

Finding the difference

One challenge that companies often face is creating key messaging that sets their product apart from competitors’ products. With so many companies offering similar products, it can be challenging to find a unique value proposition. Think about your company's unique selling points, such as quality, expertise, or innovation — what can you say in one sentence? Perhaps it’s the long-standing company reputation or the fact that it's manufactured in North America. Incorporate that value proposition into the key message to make it clear what sets this product apart.

Another challenge is crafting the language of the message to be clear, concise, and relatable. Getting the language right is the trickiest part of creating a key message. When in doubt, simpler is better! Avoid overcomplicated words such as “utilize,” and “demonstrate” instead of “use” and “show.”

Understanding the Audience and Company Goals

To create a key message that resonates with your audience, it's important to understand who the audience is and what they care about. For example, is your audience highly technical? Then speak about the unique technical components and capabilities of your product. Are you trying to appeal to the C-Suite? Perhaps you need to highlight how your product helps meet ESG requirements.

In addition to understanding the audience, it's important to understand the company's objectives and history. This requires collaboration across departments to ensure that everyone is on the same page. It's also important to have a clear understanding of the company's beginnings because this can help inform the key message. Some companies want to emphasize where the product is designed and manufactured, whereas others may want to emphasize a tradition of innovation.

Refining the Message with Feedback

Once the key message is established, it's crucial to refine it with feedback from a variety of sources, including those outside of the organization. This feedback can provide valuable insights into how the message is perceived and whether it resonates with the intended audience. This is an area where working with an external agency is helpful because they have worked with many companies and have gone through this process before.

It's also important to be conscious of the way the industry talks about the product or markets. This ensures that the message is in line with the industry’s language, making it more relatable and easier to understand. Catching any discrepancies in the way the industry talks about the markets or products can prevent confusion and ensure that the message is consistent across all marketing efforts.

Lastly, there are some considerations regarding communicating across cultures. It’s important to realize that other languages and cultures interpret messages differently. What seems clear to you may be misinterpreted or not resonate with other cultures. Psychologist Paul Watzlawick famously said, “What is true is not what I say but what you understand.” For example, there are nuances in language that can be missed when translating product names. To avoid this, try to expand your review team to create a culturally diverse review process.

Creating a clear and concise key message for a product launch is crucial for any organization looking to stand out in a crowded market. It requires careful planning and research, as well as a deep understanding of the audience and the company's objectives. Once you develop powerful key messaging for your new product, the rest of your marketing and sales activities will be much easier!