“What we think we are saying to our customers and what our customers actually hear are two different things. And customers make buying decisions not based on what we say but on what they hear.—Donald Miller
We are bombarded with thousands of messages every day. From text messages to emails to online advertisements, we encounter so many messages that our brains simply filter out anything that appears irrelevant to our needs. It’s for this reason that we batch select and delete emails and without reading and why we scroll past most posts on our social feeds without a second thought.
When we go about our day-to-day life, we are always looking for things that will make our life easier, more fun, and more satisfying. If you run a business, your customers will evaluate your products and services based on those criteria.
Clearly articulating what you offer to customers is one of the most important ways that you can distinguish yourself from the competition. Moreover, it’s critical to ensure that the way customers perceive you is how you actually want to be perceived.
How is messaging clarity achieved?
Achieving clarity in communicating your business’ offering begins with an honest assessment of every form of communication—from social media posts to website content and print collateral—and identifying opportunities to highlight products and services in a way that will resonate with your customers. (During the content audit for a client website, I learned that their current website didn’t even list one of their most popular services, one that also happened to be their most lucrative!)
In many cases, it’s necessary to develop a comprehensive strategy in order to clarify and unify a business’ communications. For every business, compelling story is the foundation for a robust communications strategy. Your business’ story details why you started it in the first place and why it exists today. That story establishes a point of view and tone that can be used to show customers how you meet their needs better than anyone else.
With a great story as the foundation, the next step is to consider how to infuse every communication touchpoint with your brand’s point of view and tone. This includes your business website, social profiles, social media posts, marketing emails, in-store signage, billboards, and more. Every communication channel gets aligned with your business’ core message so that customers can easily understand how your offerings serve their needs.
How does clarity in story future-proof your communications?
Finally, as your business grows and changes, it is important to periodically revisit this process in order to update your message with respect to emerging customer trends and communications channels. However, your business’ point of view, tone, and story remains a stable foundation, and the goal becomes to translate that message into new forms.
Story is a powerful tool for cutting through the noise of today’s overwhelming messaging clutter, and it provides the basis for unifying all of your marketing and communications efforts with customers. When you tell a great story, you can show customers how you make their lives easier, more fun, and more satisfying, and you can develop relationships that keep them engaged with your business.