Crafting a Story That Resonates

In today’s noisy marketplace, where countless brands vie for attention, having an authentic message that cuts through the clutter is a powerful marketing and business-building asset. 

This holds especially true for talent and tech companies who often struggle to differentiate themselves. Brand messaging that sticks and resonates with both your internal and external audiences will set you apart and set your marketing programs, campaigns, and platforms up for success

Let’s delve into the world of brand messaging, exploring what it is, why it matters, and how to develop a messaging strategy that truly makes your staffing brand stand out.

What Is Brand Messaging?

Brand messaging goes beyond just a tagline or a list of services. It’s the core narrative of your brand, the story you tell about who you are, what you value, and why you matter. It’s the essence of your brand identity, communicated through clear, concise language. A typical messaging foundation includes practical go-to-market items such as a corporate boilerplate and metrics-driven credentials. Fully developed, it’s a robust collection of differentiators, values, value propositions, and testimonials that collectively captures your uniqueness.

Why Does Brand Messaging Matter in Staffing?

While a strong messaging strategy is crucial for any business, it holds particular weight in the talent and tech industries. At ClearEdge, we often talk about a pervasive  ‘Sea of Sameness’. Many staffing firms fall into the trap of generic messaging, relying on overused phrases like “It’s all about our people!” and “We are relationship-driven.” However, a well-developed messaging strategy allows you to move beyond these clichés and truly define your unique point of view. How does your staffing firm build relationships that endure? How does your appreciation for the people behind the talent come to life every day?

Appreciative Inquiry: Start from Strength

ClearEdge leverages Appreciative Inquiry (AI) to guide all our brand building, including messaging. AI is a powerful approach that helps us uncover the true strengths of your brand. Through in-depth, qualitative stakeholder interviews, we explore what makes your company successful, what your employees love about working there, and the positive experiences of your clients and candidates.

Unlike many branding methodologies that rely heavily on quantitative data, AI is primarily a qualitative and less structured approach. By focusing on stories of your firm at its best, AI helps us tap into the emotional core of your brand, leading to messaging that resonates on a deeper level. While this model focuses on uncovering positive aspects, it’s important to acknowledge any potential challenges or opportunities for improvement that arise during the process. However, the primary goal is to find common ground—the areas of internal and external alignment that form the foundation of your messaging strategy.

Messaging vs. Brand Voice: Understanding the Difference

While messaging encompasses the core content of your brand story, brand voice is the specific personality and style in which you tell that story. Think of messaging as the “what” and voice as the “how.” Brand voice is reflected in the adjectives you use to describe your company. Is your voice clever and spirited, like ClearEdge, or perhaps more authoritative and professional?

Crafting a strong brand voice involves understanding the potential pitfalls. For example, while someone with a strong extroverted personality might be considered a great asset, those same traits could translate into a bullying or condescending brand voice. Testing sample headlines with different traits allows you to see how subtle shifts in tone can impact the overall message.

Making Your Messaging Stick: Internal and External Activation

The key to successful brand messaging is consistency. This means integrating your messaging framework into all aspects of your company communications and culture. Leadership teams should consistently communicate the core messages, both internally and externally.

ClearEdge provides activation guides to help companies embed messaging into their everyday practices. These guides include examples and best practices to ensure consistent brand communication across all levels of the organization. As an example, every week at ClearEdge we send out a Five for Friday message on Slack that highlights wins from the week, and those are explicitly linked to our values. A strategist who knocks a client presentation out of the park gets a #bringthespark and someone who steps up to help a colleague #inspiresloyalty. 

So, there you have it. Crafting a brand message that resonates isn’t about shouting the loudest, it’s about telling a compelling story that connects with your audience. By uncovering your unique strengths and values, you can build a messaging strategy that stands out from the crowd and attracts the right talent and clients.

If you’re ready to unlock the power of storytelling in your brand, we’d love to be your messaging partner. We are ready to help you craft a message that not only sticks, but inspires.