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Message Consent

Are You Making These 5 Brand Messaging Mistakes?

By: Matt Engelson

Your business’s brand messaging must capture your target audience’s attention and persuade them to take further action, whether that be buying your product, inquiring about your services or just visiting your website. But this messaging platform is not meant to sell your product – it’s meant to sell your brand. It’s also only one piece of the brand strategy puzzle.

A Brand Strategy defines the visual and verbal experience that your company provides in the marketplace. It outlines your company’s visioning, positioning, messaging and visual identity by considering your current and desired perception in the marketplace.

Oftentimes in their messaging, marketers focus too much on pushing their core products and services and not enough on conveying the personality of the brand and addressing the pain points of the consumer, resulting in a failure to deliver their messages effectively. In fact, there are five common mistakes that many modern marketers are still committing today. Luckily, we’ve got a few easy-to-implement tips to avoid each of these mistakes and make your brand messaging stand out and hit home with consumers.

1. Not speaking to the customer’s values and pain points

Take the time to understand your customers’ core values, and then align your messages accordingly. Target your brand messaging to multiple buyer personas if you have them; values and pain points differ from customer to customer, and understanding which ones are going to link them to your brand messaging is crucial. Is your brand intended for a mid-fifties airline pilot from Nebraska or a college student about to graduate? Do they value simplicity or innovation? Do they want an easy fix or a custom solution? Use the demographic and psychographic information from your buyer personas to craft messaging that take their values and issues into consideration.

Being able to closely tie your brand messaging to your customer profiles will mean that your brand messaging is finding and connecting with the people you want it to. More importantly, it’ll be addressing what they really care about, allowing them to relate to your brand messaging on a personal level.

2. Jumping on the buzzword bandwagon

It’s great to embrace trends, but the more popular trendy words and phrases get, the less effective they become. HubSpot found that copy with more than 5% of empty buzzwords has the potential to result in 25% lower conversion rates.1 Speaking to your customers or potential customer demographic with jargon or industry-specific language that’s hot in the field, or only makes sense to clients in the know, has the potential to completely miss the mark with the audience you want to target with your brand messaging.

Even worse, the more buzzwords that are used by competitors and your company, the cheaper they become and inevitably fade into mundanity. The point of brand messaging is to stand out, not blend in, and that’ll be hard to pull off if your message sounds like everyone else’s.

3. Making your message a mouthful

Keep your messages simple so customers can more easily digest them and spread them through word-of-mouth advertising. Don’t bog down your brand messaging with unnecessary length and depth; you want it to speak and relate to your audience, but not to the point that it won’t stick. Some ways to make your brand message stick are:

  • Make it digestible and use language that your customers can relate to
  • Evoke an emotional response by addressing customer frustrations and problems
  • Create an “ah-hah” moment by framing your message as an obvious and needed solution

Allowing your brand messaging to be easily consumed in a marketing climate where the average attention span is eight seconds2 is a crucial tactic for your brand to be shared from individual to individual. Use your differentiators to narrow down your key messages to only the most important aspects of who you are and what you do.

4. Using boring, inactive language

In addition to staying away from buzzwords, it pays to use action words to make your company memorable. For a brand messaging platform, this means using unique verbs to describe exactly how your products, services or values directly help your target audiences. Drill down by asking why and how you help customers perform their role easier, faster, cheaper, more efficiently or more effectively.

If one piece of your messaging platform focuses on how your company’s software helps customers perform their human resources role in a more effective way, go beyond a boring statement to reach a more specific why and how: Our HR software helps you perform daily tasks with ease by providing a customized dashboard with smart filters that segment your daily operations by task type, department and function.

By stoking your audience’s fire with active language that shows how you help, you can ignite interest in your brand, converting customers and creating awareness with dynamic messaging.

5. Forgetting about the customer

When developing new brand messaging with their internal team, many businesses focus too much on pleasing leadership, which leads to incorporating styles, words and views of the brand that may not fit with the ideal customer’s wants, needs and expectations. Instead of trying to please every single person in your conference room, thus making a bland or muddled messaging platform, make sure all levels of your messaging – including your mission and vision – are designed with the customer in mind. This links back to customer personas again. Who is each brand message actually for?

While it needs to be approved by your higher-ups and peers, it also needs to speak to the lifeblood of your organization: your clients and customers. Your brand messaging needs to put their needs and interests front and center, or it won’t do much of anything for your bottom line.

How did you do?

If your business is committing any of these five messaging mistakes, you need to take another look at the way your brand appears to potential customers, investors and partners. Make time to perform a messaging refresh by working with a marketing agency to create a new Brand Strategy that positions you as a leader in the marketplace.

Are you interested in B2B marketing and brand messaging services? Contact Sagefrog Marketing Group today.


  1. Copywriting for Conversions: 9 Ways Emotion and Word Count Affect Your Landing Pages, HubSpot
  2. The Eight-Second Attention Span, The New York Times