Our hope is to communicate something so compelling that it creates a bond with those we wish to become our advocates. This is when our brand gains real significance with these folks. The problem is, we can’t get out of our own way. It can be difficult to get past our compulsion to talk about ourselves. We can get so wrapped up in trying to tell our story that we fail to develop our language to its full potential.
I have a useful technique for getting past what we want to say and getting to what those we hope to serve want to hear. It takes just 2 words.
Look at the language around your brand. If you feel like it’s a little too much about you, then take one of the statements and add “so that” to the end of it. “So that” takes a self-serving statement and creates a bridge to the relevant meaning that statement has in the lives of your prospects.
I wrote about a billboard that pissed me off recently. It read “We want to be your local favorite.” It’s self-focused and self-serving. So let’s give it a rework using “So that”.
When we add “So that” to the end of the statement, it now reads: “We want to be your local favorite so that…”
Now fill in the rest with something that gives it relevant meaning to those you hope to serve. In this example, we might say, “…so that you get the confidence of knowing you have someone you can trust.” Or, let’s go a bit deeper by saying, “…so that we can both make our community a better place for all of us.”
Whatever we choose to follow “So that” depends on what our brand can genuinely help them accomplish. One thing is for certain — whatever you choose, I guarantee that it will be more powerful than the statement you started with. Now here’s the next step. Get rid of everything before “So that” (it was self-serving anyway, right?) Now use what follows “So that” to craft your new message.
Congratulations. You now have what you need to make your message relevant and meaningful. And that’s what makes a message magnetic.
Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail — a brand innovation company, helping organizations find their unique, undeniable and unshakable sense of purpose and create innovative experiences that bring it to life.
Originally published at https://www.dansalva.com on October 3, 2019.