Rocket Fuel

In an earlier blog, we talked about the importance of being emotional. Once you get on an emotional footing, you’re up for the next task: Keeping it simple.

But here’s the rub: That’s hardly simple to do.

Keeping it simple allows you to own a place in the mind that is as singular as possible. And, of course, you need this singular belief to register and connect with your audience.

We simplify communications in two primary ways: Avoiding the Vanilla Umbrella and Keeping Your Core Tight.

Let’s dive into the first now.

Avoiding the Vanilla Umbrella is about creating monolithic messaging that is compelling across all audiences, starting from the top down, rather than bottom up.

Often brands begin the strategic messaging process with customer profiles or personas. No problem there. The issue is the tendency to generate messaging for each persona based on wants, needs and motivations, then look for commonalities to meld into an overarching “umbrella” message—a bottom-up approach.

Sounds reasonable, right? But the result is typically a lowest-common denominator vanilla. It’s tough to find compelling commonality when you begin, tangled in the weeds, at the bottom.

Instead, try this: Begin with and focus on your core audience (you have one) and base your positioning on their needs. Laddering up (elevating) to emotional needs is especially important here. Then take a top-down approach, looking for ways to leverage and unify the positioning among individual audiences.

Let’s say that positioning is about Freedom. Think about the ways you are delivering freedom to audience A, B, and C. This enables a more singular, monolithic outcome. Yes, most of your audiences have different motivations. That’s okay. Those specific features and benefits become important key messages to those audiences that support the positioning.

Simple! OK, maybe not. It’s hard work to get the singularity you want and an umbrella that’s not so…vanilla.

And check back for more on our second tip to keep it simple: Keeping your Core Tight.

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