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Brand Positioning &
Message Strategy

Explaining your business is, well, complicated.
Let’s do something about that!

Through all my years of brand messaging experience, I’ve developed a proprietary approach to help companies turn muddy ideas into clear brand stories. (Yes, insert choir of angels here!)

Do you want to:

  • Feel confident when talking about your business?
  • Attract the right type of customers—and discourage the wrong ones?
  • Differentiate your company, so you can bring in bigger and better leads?

Brand positioning and a clear message strategy may be just what you need.

<b>Sandy McCray</b>, Insights Curator<br />
Intengo<br />
Denver, CO

“You can’t even imagine how psyched I am, Ann. Our story has come together in such an amazing way. I signed our first official client yesterday—a huge branding agency. We’re onto something special here, and we couldn’t have gotten to this point without you!” Sandy McCray, Insights Curator
Intengo
Denver, CO

What you’ll get from a brand positioning and message strategy project

  • Clarity on what makes your business special
  • Confidence on how to talk about your business in a unique way
  • Insight on how to stand out from your competitors, avoiding the “me too” messaging traps
  • Relief and excitement knowing you have the strategy you need to be consistent and focused moving forward

How a brand positioning and message strategy project works

Generally, you can expect five stages to a brand positioning and message strategy project:

  1. Review of your competitors’ messaging
  2. Customer interviews
  3. Strategic discovery with you
  4. Creation of audience profiles
  5. Creation of a strategic messaging guide (a summary of your brand positioning)

+ Optional: Content audit

Stage 1: Competitive audit

As we hone your story, it’s important to understand what your competition is saying and avoid the “me too” message traps. I’ll audit your competitors’ websites to determine how they’re positioning themselves and create a written summary for you.

Taking an objective look at your competitors can be illuminating!

Stage 2: “Voice of the customer” interviews

I’ll interview your ideal customers to get their input. I’ll explore targeted topics with them, such as what they think about your company (versus your competitors), why they chose you, what matters to them and what doesn’t.

There are almost always surprises that come out of customer interviews. We can get amazing insight into:
• What really matters to your customers
• How to connect with them on a deeper level
• How to talk about your business in fresh ways
• How to craft highly targeted content

Stage 3: Strategic discovery

No one knows your business better than you. I’ll guide you through a series of strategic questions or engaging exercises to thoroughly explore what makes your company shine.

Together, we’ll decide on the best format for our discovery process, so it’s highly effective. We may decide upon:
• A group discussion
• Individual interviews with key employees
• A facilitated, strategic workshop with your team

Stage 4: Audience profiles

Building upon the work we’ve done so far, I’ll craft profiles of your ideal customers, so we can:
• Connect with them on a deeper level
• Develop targeted messaging
• Identify the right personality to appeal to them

Stage 5: Strategic messaging guide

All of our work together cumulates in a written document summarizing your message strategy. Typically, this guide includes your:
• Core message (your “promise”)
• Proof points
• Personality and voice
• Audience profiles
• And any other relevant marketing communication decisions we’ve made together

This document serves as the guide—and inspiration—for all of your marketing and sales efforts. It’s a wonderful way to stay consistent and concise going forward.

Optional: Content audit

Once you have your message strategy in place, you may wonder, are our touch points with our customers and employees “on message?” What do we need to hone to bring our brand story to life?

I’m happy to audit your key communication materials. I’ll help you identify any inconsistencies in your brand. Together, we can prioritize which areas may need transformation first.


Brand positioning and message strategy FAQs

Am I going to invest a lot of money on fluffy stuff, or will this really make an impact?

Many of my clients have completely transformed their brands and achieved amazing results. For example, I’ve had clients who have:

  • More than doubled their revenue.
  • Grown from being a $2 million company to a $5 million company.
  • Increased the quality of their incoming leads.
  • Increased their new customer acquisition by double digits in a very competitive field.
  • Become much more competitive and confident in their marketing, despite extremely polished competitors.

Ultimately, though, you get out of it what you put into it.

<b>Kyle Burnam</b>, Idea Accelerator (and Managing Director)<br />
Intengo<br />
Denver, CO

“I’ve never felt as much momentum. We have more people interested in our services than we’ve ever had in the past. We have quality leads with bigger name companies. We have more demos, presentations and upcoming conference speeches than ever before.” Kyle Burnam, Idea Accelerator (and Managing Director)
Intengo
Denver, CO

Who is a good fit for a brand positioning and message strategy project?

My brand positioning and message strategy projects tend to be best for companies that are committed to:

  1. Investing the time and resources to collaborate on a great message strategy.
  2. Implementing their strategy internally and externally.

A message strategy is a foundation to build upon. You need to be willing to get your message out there—whether it’s through your website, speaking events, advertising or other forms of marketing outreach. You also need to make sure you’re building it into your culture, so you’re living your brand.

If you know your business doesn’t follow through, this isn’t the right project for you.

<b>Ellen Caviglia</b>, Director, Marketing<br />
3 Roads Media<br />
Denver, CO

“Your process had so much value. It made us have discussions we may not have had and more clearly sort out our priorities. You’ve changed the direction of our business for the better!” Ellen Caviglia, Director, Marketing
3 Roads Media
Denver, CO

How long does a brand positioning and message strategy project take?

Your timing depend on two factors:

  • The complexity of your industry and needs, including the dynamics of your team.
  • The number of customer interviews and/or employee interviews that will be conducted.

Typically, a small message strategy project takes 5 to 9 weeks. It includes a simple discovery session with one or two people.

A comprehensive brand strategy project may take 10 to 14 weeks. It includes a one-day, facilitated workshop with your team, customer interviews, detailed audience personas and a robust message strategy.

<b>Steve Sherick</b>, Founder<br />
Innova Emergency Medical<br />
Denver, CO

“Ann, I’m so impressed. Excellent job harnessing the message from our conversations and distilling it into an accessible package. This is excellent.” Steve Sherick, Founder
Innova Emergency Medical
Denver, CO

How much of my team’s time is this going to take?

Great question. Over the course of the project, your team members may dedicate a few hours to a few days. It depends on each person’s role on the project.

This is a very collaborative process. If your team doesn’t have the time to participate, my approach is not the right fit for your company.

Why do you involve my key employees in this process?

Getting your key employees involved helps to:

  • Create a better message strategy
  • Build buy-in (cheers for that!)
  • Make writing marketing content much easier because you’re clear and focused on your strategy

Can you help us implement our brand positioning and message strategy?

Yes, I’m happy to discuss helping you implement your strategy.

If you prefer to implement your strategy on your own, you’re welcome to do so.

Jeanne Caldwell, President<br />
IG Mapware<br />
Denver, CO<br />

“Ann exceeded all my expectations, something that stands out because it happens so rarely. She was quick to understand the competitive landscape and develop a strategy to differentiate us. Her interview techniques were efficient and analytical. It was amazing how much she could find out in a very short period of time.” Jeanne Caldwell, President
IG Mapware
Denver, CO