Founders listen up:
In the past couple of years, we ran tens of messaging processes with startups and tech companies. Great founding teams, strong, very technology driven, with little or no marketing background yet with a few hours of reading through Slideshare and posts on the subject. We always run expectations session before launching a branding or messaging process to bring the company’s voice to life. And, we constantly hear this assumption and persistent request: We need a different message for every audience we serve – our different users, our investors, and our internal team.
Well – no you don’t. That’s a myth. A true messaging process will leave you with a unique vision, a mission statement, a set of values and a statement of who you are – what you do that will be crystal clear to everyone. EVERYONE.
Use this to test whether your process is spot on. Does your message give every one of the audiences above goosebumps? Does it make people want to hop on board – be it on the business front, as customers and users or join your team? Do you speak their language?
For your investors, add the business reasoning and outcome of your offer. For your team, make sure your values are shared and clear. Make sure your recruiting team sees these values within the newcomer’s vibe.
For your audience? If your message is spot-on, when they see your website and social media assets it will make them feel as if they are looking at the best version of themselves yet.
Your team? Make sure that when you engage in a new recruitment process – the values you marked as your own make sense and move your potential team members. Moreover, that without sharing what these values are they come across as walking these values walk. That means they’re a keeper.
Messaging may not be a binary science or be offered through a touch and go algorithm (stay tuned – I’m still motivated). And yet, it can still be wrong or right for your business. When you hit the jackpot it will feel easy and natural. It will be a message that as one of the most intelligent and sincere founders I’ve worked with said: “I can look anyone in the eye and say this sentence and feel comfortable and proud”.