Brand message vs marketing message. What’s the difference?

Ever wondered what the difference between a brand message and a marketing message is? Find out here.

Wondering what the difference between a brand message and a marketing message is? Essentially it comes down to this: Your brand message is the overall story and image of your business. Your marketing message is how you package that story and image into compelling reasons why your target audience should buy your products, use your services, follow you on social media or any other actions you want them to take.

Let’s dive in a bit further, shall we?

What is a brand message?

Your brand message encompasses everything your brand stands for. Your values, your mission, your vision for the path forward.

When someone asks WHY your brand exists — at the root of it, what is the REASON it is here — the way you answer will probably highlight your core brand message. The stance you take. The deeper purpose you have for your business. The change you want to make in the lives of your clients.

So, just like that, you may communicate your brand message in words. But you’ll also communicate it in the way you choose to tell your story. The platforms you use. Your visual identity. The experience you build for your clients. The overall tone and style of your brand. It all comes together to support a core message that you want to convey.

Related post: Defining a brand purpose that motivates your ideal client

What is a marketing message?

The point of marketing is to lead your audience towards the sale (generally speaking). You want to build a relationship between your business and your potential clients, and get them to the point where they’re ready to take action and purchase your services.

To do this, you need to communicate the reasons that make your services a good fit for them. You can mention features of your services (e.g. we’ll have one consultation call every week) or, better yet, the benefits (e.g. you’ll save time). You can also use various tools to help show the value of your work, such as testimonials, case studies, awards and statistics.

You’ll use calls to action (e.g. book a call) to let your prospects know what step to take next. You might use strategies like scarcity or sales to prompt your audience to make a move.

The biggest difference between the two messages

From the explanations so far, you can probably see how the two messages play different roles in your business. While the brand message expresses what’s important at the core of what you do, the marketing message makes it easy for your audience to digest, by making concrete links to the value of the actual services you offer and how they can benefit from your brand.

That brings me to the biggest difference between the two: Your brand message is stable and consistent. Although there’s room for it to evolve, it should largely be a very solid base for what your brand is all about. It doesn’t change from campaign to campaign.

That’s very unlike your marketing message, which will adapt depending on the segment of your audience it’s directed to, or the platform it’s being used on, or the specific campaign it’s a part of. In business we’re constantly testing new marketing strategies and ideas. And the marketing messages we use will change to suit the tools we test.

But that doesn’t mean your marketing message can just be pulled out of the air, as I’ll go into below.

Your brand message directs your marketing message

Like I said, there’s a lot of different marketing strategies out there. But the ones you choose to use, and the marketing message you use with them, will depend on your brand message. This is how you maintain consistency and integrity with your brand.

Whatever marketing message you might be considering, it’s always important to ask yourself if it aligns with your brand. Does it support the kind of experience you’re creating for your audience? Does it line up with the way you want them to view your business?

For instance, there are plenty of marketing messages that might be considered “sleazy”. Like using false scarcity, or very aggressive tactics. Some marketing messages you could use might be capable of getting you amazing short-term results… but at the cost of your brand.

You need to choose marketing messages that support your brand. They should be a reflection of your brand message.

Related post: The importance of branding in marketing

Your business needs both a strong brand message and also effective marketing message. To learn about the difference between the two, read this post.Last thoughts

If you ever find yourself struggling to word your marketing campaigns, whether in ad copy, an email, or sales page, it’s always worth going back to your brand message and remembering the values and purpose your business stands for. Recall the things that are really important about the work you want to do and the transformations you want to help your clients achieve. Your marketing message should always find its way back to communicating those things, and linking them to the action your prospects can take.

If you need help defining what your brand message is, my Core Brand Pillars Workbook will help you figure out the principles that make your brand unique and special. Get it for free here.

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