7 Steps to refresh your brand message

For a memorable example, look no further than men’s grooming brand Old Spice. In 2006, the 80-year-old company saw upstart Axe beginning to steal market share. Confident in its product, Old Spice quickly identified its message as the problem. Within months, Old Spice had retooled its message on the back of hilariously memorable ads and YouTube videos. The company’s blunt message and creative delivery resonated with consumers, who increased purchases of a product they’d previously overlooked.

Turning back to B2B, we believe the same lesson applies: taking creative risks for a stronger message can pay off. Let’s take a page from the Old Spice playbook and better connect with our prospects and customers.

Don’t reinvent the wheel… just what you call it

Many of us enter our office doors each day confident in our product or service. But there’s always the risk of losing market share – even to an inferior product. A new message allows you to retool your marketing arsenal while keeping your product intact.

A good message must explain what you do and why you do it better than anyone else; ideally it will also build an emotional connection with your target market. The message communicates who you are and what your values are, which becomes even more important when you consider this: according to Harvard Business Review, 64 percent of people cite shared values as the main reason they have a relationship with a brand.

A new message can help you build that emotional connection without pressing the reset button on product initiatives. But before you pick up the pen, research is called for.

Look at your message from the outside-in

Market research and persona analysis go a long way in ensuring you’re on the right track with your message. Even then, you have to be sure your message works. Take the draft and ask some current customers, and a few key prospects, what they think of it. It’s tempting to skip this step – especially if time and budget are limited – but there are ways to make the testing process quick and efficient.

For a message to truly resonate, it needs to be authentic and it needs to connect. And there’s no way to know this without testing it with prospects. Even if you love it, if your prospects don’t, it’s back to the drawing board.

Take back the monopoly on creativity

As a B2B marketer, it’s easy to latch onto the same buzzwords time and again. Agility… security… flexibility, and so on. All too often the result is a safe, predictable, stale message that falls flat – especially compared to the creativity we see in B2C.