Nothing feels better than completing a corporate messaging and positioning assignment. After weeks (or even months) of analyzing the competitive landscape and the needs and wants of your target audiences, you’ve concisely articulated what your organization does, how it differentiates itself from others in the marketplace, and its unique value proposition.
While it may feel like you have crossed the finish line, the truth is, your journey has just begun. No matter how good your messaging and positioning may be, its true measure of success is how well it’s embraced and put to use throughout an organization.
Ensuring that your messaging and positioning journey continues to gain momentum after its initial kick-off requires company-wide cooperation and collaboration. We give clients these recommendations to make sure their messaging is a success:
First Things First — Get ALL of Your Ambassadors On Board
Messages are meant to be communicated, and employees are your key ambassadors. It’s important that not just members the C-Suite understand and embrace new messaging and positioning — you need buy-in from all employees. Determine the most effective way to share new messaging and positioning throughout your organization. That could be a company-wide meeting, smaller departmental meetings, a podcast, or an email. You’ll know what format works best for your team.
Make It Accessible and Digestible
In addition to initially sharing new messaging and positioning with executives and employees, consider developing a concise handout with key talking points that stakeholders can refer to if and when they need it. An FAQ document created with the new messaging in mind provides an effective way to showcase how to apply key messages to respond to common questions.
Reinforce With Key Departments
Invest the time and resources to instill your messages with the specific departments that have the greatest impact communicating with your organization’s key audiences, like marketing, sales, business development, and customer service. Make sure their members fully understand the nuances of how you are positioning the company and take time to answer any questions or concerns. Give them the tools they need, such as the aforementioned FAQ doc so they can develop their own materials that are consistent with your new messaging and positioning.
Use It as Your Brand’s Living Touchstone
Ideally, your messaging and positioning should be your brand’s “true north” — a source that all internal and external communication efforts (e.g. the company website, social profiles, etc.) should align with. Refer to it often for reality checks and updating. Keep it front of mind as you develop new materials such as talking points, press releases, marketing materials, or sales presentations to make sure you truly are hitting all of the key messages.
Perfect Through Practice
Getting new messaging to stick can be easier said than done, so a little practice may be necessary to get it to roll off of spokespersons’ tongues. Consider holding mini media training sessions with select employees to practice your company’s elevator pitch and key messages. Repetition can be the secret to making certain your whole team delivers key points with confidence and conviction.
Messaging and positioning is not effective unless it’s put to good use. By applying these five practices to your process, you will increase the acceptance and usage throughout your organization — the ultimate goal of a successful messaging and positioning assignment.