Hi, thanks for joining me for episode six of brand voice notes. My name is Felicity Wild, I'm a brand voice and messaging specialist and today I want to talk about messaging frameworks. What they are, how you can use them and how they can help you.
Now you might have guessed, I'm a big fan of messaging frameworks. At the end of episode 5 of brand voice notes (which if you haven't watched you can catch up on my website). At the end of that episode I said that effective messaging is organised, consistent, distinct, empathetic to your audience and focused on your aims.
And s framework is really the best way to make sure that you hit all of these key points. Personally, I find them really useful for organising information, clarifying my thinking and also focusing on the important points.
Because when we're thinking about your brand or your product or whatever it is that you're developing messaging around, there are usually a million one things that you could say. It’s your job is to sift through all of that and focus on the key information that's going to make a difference. That — to use a little bit of marketing speak — is going to nudge your prospect further down the funnel, or achieve whatever it is that you're wanting to achieve with this exercise.
Like everything in marketing, there are no hard and fast rules (despite what some people try and tell you) and lots of people develop their own frameworks based on what works best for them and the way that they think. I'm going to share with you one of my own that I've developed and two from other people that I think are really useful tools to have in your toolbox when you're thinking about doing this sort of work.
The first one I'm going to share here is from Punchy, they shared this in their newsletter and there's a link there to sign up to that because it's really helpful. They share so many good resources around messaging.
I've called this the “three superpowers one big win framework”. I don't know if that's the official name but that's kind of how I think of it. This is really good if, like I said before, you've been absolutely drowned in information and there are a million and one things you want to say. Or, there are a million one things that somebody else wants you to say about a product or about a brand. And you need to sift through all of that and get to the most salient points.
There's a value proposition and then three very simple benefits that support the value proposition or show how you get there. In the example here “simplify your path to predictable revenue” is the value proposition. Benefit one is “sell more, faster”, benefit two is “gain visibility into team performance” and benefit three is “create a playbook for success”.
So very simple, very salient, very punchy like their name which is apt but also really hard to do if you have been drowning in information. But a very worthwhile exercise. So if you're stuck for what to do this is a great starting point and a great thing to have up your sleeve to use in lots of different situations — it's a great all-purpose tool.
The second framework I'm sharing here is from Wynter. Again, they're great and they share so many good resources around messaging. There's a link to their website on this slide where you can check out more — they have a really good introduction to messaging course which I highly recommend you take a look at.
Here's their B2B message layers framework. Now it could work for B2C as well. You could repurpose because the underlying principles are kind of the same so don't limit yourself.
It centres around four key questions that you need to answer for your audience. Starting with clarity — which, incidentally, you should always start with. So that’s “what is it?” Then relevance: “is it aligned with my priorities and pains?” Value: “how bad do I want it?” And differentiation: “why you?” Or why this versus all the other choices?
Answering these questions clearly gives you a really solid framework to write some good copy from, or to brief other people, or to just clarify your thoughts and to pinpoint the important pieces of information that you need to achieve your goals.
The third framework is my own framework. I've called it the “transformation framework”. I think that's a working title, but it speaks to why I like this so much because it starts introducing elements of storytelling. It also has a heavy emphasis on empathy which I find really important. Personally, the way that I write copy I find this framework gives me some really good inspiration and helps me write strong copy.
If you're using this framework I'd recommend starting in the middle which is kind of the clarity piece that I keep talking about. That is: what is this? Or if it’s brand-level: who are you? What does it do? Or what do you do? And what makes it different or what makes you different?
Those are the first three questions that you need to answer succinctly. I'm not talking about a paragraph here, I'm talking about a sentence if you can.
Then we've got the before and the after. We'll talk about a service because that's the easiest to explain. So “before” the service, before your service, what problems is a person likely having that you can solve or what problems are they bringing to you to solve? And then “after” is what's life like for them once these problems have been solved? What can they now do that they couldn't before?
Make sure that every point in the before links to an after. If we're talking about me, a “before” would be everyone on your team writes in a different brand voice and then an “after” is everyone on your team writes in a unified voice and they’re on the same page about how your brand sounds. So the link is important there.
This gives a really solid foundation to start building a narrative from which incidentally we're going to talk more about in the next episode. Tthis is an interesting one to try out, it's a little bit different from the others but again I'd recommend you giving it a go. Particularly for emotional connection in your copy which I think with the rollout of generative AI and chat GPT — emotional connection is really going to become key and something that is going to become a pretty important competitive advantage. So it's something to think about there.
My parting thought, even though I was just talking about emotional connection and all of that, is that clarity must come first. It's all very well being clever, being very funny because it's engaging but if the underlying information isn't easy to understand first you won't achieve what you want to achieve with this.
It's all very well impressing people with how good you are at making puns, but if they can't understand what you're actually saying then the conversation isn't going any further than that. You've stopped it there.
Whatever you're doing, clarity must come first and once you're sure that what you're saying is clear then you can start layering on elements of personality to help with engagement and the emotional connection like we were talking about.
Thank you very much for listening. If you have any questions, as always you can contact me. If you have suggestions for things you'd like me to talk about in upcoming episodes or stuff that you'd like to chat about there are contact details.
Next week I'm going to be looking at the difference between messaging and narrative which links on to what I was talking about at the end there. I'll see you then, thank you!