A senior leader in my organization once said to me that in every press interview, the spokesperson wants to give a clear and bold headline, but never gives it. How true! My fellow PR professionals would agree that in most cases there is a hesitation and unease to give a bold headline which clearly outlines the famous Big Hairy Audacious Goal (B-H-A-G).

While we observe in the context of PR, this is seen often in the context of larger brand messages as well. Brand managers too hesitate to give a clear value proposition, a strong positioning and a tagline which articulates the brand messages with impact.

This could lead to:

  • Diffused messages and takeaways for the audience
  • Gives multiple entry points for competitors to pick up flaws and inconsistencies and attack the brand
  • Sub optimal use of communication channels leading to poor marketing ROI

What are the barriers to getting a message to be impactful?

  • Weak market analysis while creating/articulating the brand
  • Inward looking view of the brand ignoring competitive threats; overestimating the strength of the message and subsequently trying to underplay the message
  • An inherent fear of making a bold statement leading to ‘choosing the midway’ for a brand
  • Lack of clarity or consensus amongst multiple stakeholders like brand managers, sales etc on what is the best message to deliver

Are there ways this can be overcome? For sure! Here are some thoughts which could be helpful in this regard:

  • Using brand positioning tools like the Unilever Brand Key which help you analyze your brand
  • Seeking and collecting active feedback from customers, prospects, salesforce on the brand articulation. Find out the gaps and take bold steps to fill them with actions that stakeholders can see very clearly
  • Having frequent education to synchronize brand messages across audiences. Diligently purging away all the cross currents and eddy noises from the messaging
  • Literally putting words (the right ones!) in the mouth of the spokespersons.

Hopefully this would help brand managers strengthen the brand messages and get out what they want – a Big Bang Bold statement for their brand.

This article is published with permission. 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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