Brand Buzz: Don’t Marry Your Messaging
Brand Buzz with Jaci Russo on 96.5 KPEL is now at 7:40AM every Monday, so be sure to tune in on your way to work. Here’s what we’ll cover:
This might sound contradictory to everything we stand for, but just stick with me and I’ll explain myself. Okay, here goes: Your one, true message can change. And at some point, it probably should.
Every day, we help people choose between different logo options, and brochure folds, and website designs, but the hardest thing to get on the same page about is the messaging. From the tagline to headlines in a print ad — clients are most sensitive to the words ties to their brand. And they should be. Your message is the most important, emotional part of your brand for many reasons: It’s your voice, your tone, your mission, your promise, and your personality. So it’s only natural to second-guess and quibble with every single word. Whether we write it or the client writes it, getting the wording just right on the website or in the ad campaign usually holds the project up more than anything else.
Yesterday, I spoke to a client who runs a start-up taco restaurant in Austin. After several rounds of hammering out a tagline and brand story, she finally told me that she loved our tagline “Tasty people. Friendly tacos.” It was one of the taglines I pitched in the first round — six months ago. She said that her colleagues didn’t like it very much in the beginning but she kept coming back to it, writing it in pencil under the logo, and picturing it on merchandise. So I told her, “Then that’s your tagline. That’s the one. You already know it.” She said “But what if no one else gets it? What if people don’t respond to it? And what if you and me are the only ones who love it?” And I told her, “This is your business and all of it should be genuinely you. So let’s roll out with that tagline and see what happens. And if you don’t still love it in six months or a year, we can come up with something new.” She looked puzzled. “Can we do that?” she wondered. “Of course,” I said. “You don’t ever have to marry your messaging.”
See? I told you it would sound contradictory to the RUSSO philosophy. But it’s true.
Your messaging should be, number one, completely genuine to who you are [never overworked or contrived]. But it can change if you want it to. That’s because your brand is like a person and it changes shape and grows with you and your audience. You don’t have to be tied to a single tagline or brand story for the rest of your life if you don’t want to be.
Don’t ever feel liked you have to marry your messaging. Feel confident in what you’re saying, but also feel confident that you have more than one thing to say. Because you’ve got a lot to say, don’t you?
BTW, our new RUSSO eBooks about “Identifying The Competition,” “Thought Leadership,” and “The Great Outdoors” are available for download now at BrandRusso.com!