This Is What Great Brand Messaging Looks Like
We’re bombarded by thousands of brand messages on a daily basis. So what distinguishes the good, the bad and the downright ugly?
Branding is, in short, what makes your business/products/services different from all the rest. It’s the image you create in the hope that prospects and customers will identify with you a certain way.
The Air Force website is an example of branding at its best. The home page is a full-screen video with the words “AIM HIGH” superimposed on the visuals. “Aim high” has a double meaning, one that both recruits and active-duty personnel can relate to.
While the Air Force site tells a story mainly with pictures, Patagonia tells a story (or, actually, its customers tell the story) with both pictures and words. For Patagonia, its customers are the brand. Patagonia relies on user-generated content (UGC) for storytelling and calls this campaign “The Stories We Wear.”
Horizon Services, a home services company based in the Delaware Valley area, comes across as a brand that can be trusted. A TV ad, for example, emphasizes the fact that its service representatives are always on time. The ad carries out a theme of family values, reinforcing the concept of trust.
Public relations also is closely tied to branding, especially when shaping the public’s perception about a brand. News releases are an effective way of not only announcing news but also creating brand awareness. In this Realtor.com® news release, “Realtor.com” is accompanied by its registered trademark and described as “a leading online real estate destination.” By releasing its list of America’s Top Boom Towns, Realtor.com positions itself as an expert in the real estate field.
Of course, brands also can have fun with their messaging. This is particularly true when a brand has a distinct — and engaging — personality. Benefit
Cosmetics, with its tongue-in-rouged-cheek Facebook page, playfully reinforces its brand image.
Rita’s Water Ice is a brand that got its start on a front porch in Philly. Its brand messaging is consistent, particularly in its graphics. Whether you’re visiting a Rita’s store, looking at signage or holding a cup of water ice in your hand, you’ll see the unmistakable red-and-white stripes and green accents. It’s jingle, too, exudes sweetness and fun: “Be cool go to Rita’s. Be cool eat a Rita’s.”
And then there’s Tiffany, in a class all by itself. Tiffany’s iconic blue box says it all. In the email below, the subject line, image, and headline all reflect the aspirational nature of the brand.
At the other end of the jewelry spectrum is Steven Singer, a jeweler whose irreverent “I hate Steven Singer!” billboards are a common sight in the Philadelphia area. The campaign originally was designed to target men buying jewelry for their wives or girlfriends. Recent spins on this campaign have included references to Tiffany and other jewelers who supposedly also might be in the “I hate Steven Singer” club.
No matter what channel you use, keep in mind how your brand will be portrayed – and perceived.
Darcy Grabenstein began her career as an editor at The Orlando Sentinel and still gets an adrenaline rush from deadline pressure. She “defected” to advertising, ending up in suburban Philly where she wrote for Nabisco, M&M/Mars, Johnson & Johnson, Warner Lambert, and more. It’s also where she learned what an ice scraper was. Her passion is PR, and she holds professional accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America and the International Association of Business Communicators. While she will never acquire a taste for scrapple, and still calls a hoagie a sub, she does enjoy a good cheesesteak.