Resolution: Test my brand message

August 6, 2019By Behind the Shelf Blog, Brand Marketing, Resolutions

By Jen Johnston, CHHC, senior marketing services account manager, for the Resolutions blog series

Developing a brand message that resonates with your target audience is key to successfully selling your product. A targeted brand message puts the values, personality, and promise you want conveyed into words so a product’s features don’t become the only criteria for a consumer’s purchase. You probably developed your brand message when your product launched, but when was the last time you tested it?

Consumer wants and desires change over time, and that doesn’t only mean what they want from a product or their expectations of how a product should perform, but also what they expect of the company that makes it.

Take sustainability as an example. Fifteen years ago, sustainability was only on the minds of a demographic the industry called LOHAS. Everyone else just wanted products that worked. Environmental issues were not on the minds of most.

However, two years ago, an international study by Unilever showed that 33% of consumers choose to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good. Among millennials, almost three-out-of-four respondents to a Nielsen global online study were willing to pay more for sustainable offerings.Brand message

If your brand message doesn’t weave in sustainability today, it may be time to test your message to see if it still resonates with your audience. Adding a sustainability slant is just one example of how you might enhance your brand message.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Don’t test your brand message solely with family and friends. Chances are they do not all fall in the correct demographic. And even if they do, they may not be completely honest in their assessment. After all, they are your family and friends! The same goes for co-workers. Even if they are from a different department or area of the business, they are still too close to the brand.
  2. Leverage your opt-in email list. Use an online survey tool to ask your shoppers what about your current brand message resonates with them. Their responses can help you update your messaging.
  3. Conduct qualitative and quantitative research with a focus group. Once you’ve revised your brand message, take it to a focus group to test it out. It may resonate with current product users, but you want to think about how to gain new brand advocates as well.

You may discover your brand message is no longer relevant to your customers. Don’t despair – it is better to uncover this now than after years of lost sales. Work with your brand team or marketing partner to develop a message that hits the mark the next time you test it, and then be sure to apply it to all of your assets — website, ads, product names, packaging, social media channels, and more. You’ll be connecting with your customers again in no time!