Structuring a Compelling Brand Message

I have a lot of graphic design and brand strategist friends who would disagree with me on this, but I’ll say it anyway: a great logo is easy to come by. But a logo is not your brand. For financial advice enterprises, the most important elements of the brand come in the form of your unique and consistently applied message and authentic voice. 

When you’re building a business that’s all about trust, a well-defined and consistently applied brand messaging strategy is a highly practical commodity. It sets you apart from your competitors, speaks in a resonant way to your ideal client and creates an expectation of what kind of content you’ll produce to help your target audience.  

 

The structure of your unique brand message 

I like to think of the personal brand message strategy for a financial advisor or wealth management enterprise as a house. There are certain components that are needed to make it stand at all and in fact, truly be a house (foundation, walls, a roof). And then there are the elements that make the house attractive to passersby. Imagine that this is your brand house.   

Within the house, there are 6 critical elements to nail down in order for you to have a functioning brand that communicates what you’re about, attracts the right people, and tells the wrong people to keep on walking.   

Value Proposition = the foundation  

Just as a solid foundation is what makes a house stand straight and not sink into the ground, your Value Proposition is what makes you a legitimate service provider with something to offer. The Value Proposition is a tool for you to define your offering, what problem it solves, and what evidence you have that you can deliver.  

Positioning Statement = The frame and walls 

The frame and walls of a house are what make one house look different from another. It gives your brand house a different shape. Even if your Value Proposition is the same or similar to others, you can use your Positioning to make it your own—whether that means appealing to a different audience, standing against conventional wisdom, or completely rewriting the script of the category. The Positioning is what makes people see you.  

Brand Voice & Personality = The decor 

This is what gives your brand curb appeal. It’s what makes a potential client look at you and say “I like that. That really looks like a house that I could fall in love with.” The goal is to translate your Value Proposition and Positioning Statement through the lens of your unique voice and personality so passersby say, “Yup, that’s something I really like, and that feels like home.” 

Brand Origin Story = The doors and windows  

Your Brand Origin Story is the doors and windows of your house. This is how people get inside. It’s the part of your brand that pulls people in and lets them know that it’s safe to be in this house, and that it’s a comfortable place to be where they’ll find people like them. It’s the part of your brand that lets them feel that they know you because you’re sharing your “why” and connecting with them—human to human.  

Content Mission Statement = Floor plan  

While you’re probably familiar with an organizational Mission Statement (clearly outlines the mission of the organization is), your Content Mission Statement is more specific. It tells prospects exactly what the content you produce will help them to accomplish. It’s like a house’s floor plan – it tells you exactly what you can do in this home, what to expect once they come inside, and the functions they’ll be able to accomplish.  

  Brand Promise = The address plate 

When your ideal client is driving down the street—seeing hundreds of seemingly identical houses—your Brand Promise is the one piece of information that lets them know immediately, at a glance, that they’ve reached the right place. These 3-7 words are your way to QUICKLY align with your ideal client on a commonality, so she knows you’re the firm they’re meant to work with. 

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