Don’t Be Literal With Your Messaging

Stop being so literal. One of the mistakes that small business brands make, and definitely that startup entrepreneurs make, even if you have a very clear idea of what your brand value is to your target audience, the tendency is you will want to lead with communicating specifics. That is not the job of the branding. You lose people in the specifics for two reasons. One, it’s boring. Two, the specific example may not be specifically what they need. It may not be what they’re caring about, and you’re focused on talking about specifics. Features and benefits, and the literal task or strategies of what your company offers, whether it’s a product or a service, is not the solution of the product and the service. There’s an emotional solution that you provide.

Don't lead with specifics with your #brand name, tagline and descriptors. Click To Tweet

How This Works

Let’s use an example. Let’s say you’re a nurse. You have a business of administering cancer and oncology products at the home of the patients that are allowed to have care at home. When you sell, or describe why that family should hire you, you don’t lead in with efficiency, being on time, and all the specific and literal functional features and benefits. What do you think you’re really doing for that person who’s sick, for that person who is fighting for their life, potentially? What do you think you’re really providing for them?

Yes, you’re administering medicine in a convenient format. You’re also saving time, adding convenience, eliminating the need for a friend to drive to the hospital, but let’s go into the emotional side. Go into the back door, to the emotional value. Look at what you’re doing for them, so that they can be in their home. You don’t just administer the medicine; you also administer a sense of hope. You administer care. You change their lives. You change their experience, and you release and open up access to energy, so that they can focus on healing, and not logistics.

Gaining Marketshare

When you lead with your voice, your brand and your communication, from here, you have established a much more compelling connection, an ability to relate, an ability to actually trigger their heartstrings, and resonate, and as a result you will be the only choice of at-home health care for them. Through the emotional connection, and the experience economy, you’re not competing on price, convenience, or hours. You’re competing on something so much greater, and there, you will have more marketshare and brand dominance.

Good Brand Messaging Creates Emotional Connection

Are you being too literal in your brand name, in your tagline and in your descriptors? That is not the place. Your copy, your marketing, your video, your brochure, there are places for that detail. That’s not about emotional resonance. Emotional resonance happens throughout the relationship, and the rational process and the details happen elsewhere. The brand should use metaphors to elicit response. Speak in metaphor, and speak in symbols, and you will connect.

#Metaphors elicit response. Speak in metaphor, and speak in symbols, and you will connect. Click To Tweet

Keri Konik



Kerri Konik is a seasoned senior branding executive who has committed her focus and expertise to bringing big agency strategies to business owners and entrepreneurs to achieve next level growth. Kerri is the CEO of her 5th venture, Brandscape Atelier, a women-owned boutique agency specializing in strategic branding for small business. They develop brand strategy, identity, messaging and marketing that ignites emotional connection, increases sales, drives growth and profits, resulting in sustainability and achieving a greater impact in the world.