Mastering Good Brand Messaging: Ultimate Guide

What makes a brand compelling? Mastering Brand Messaging: Ultimate Guide offers insights on common pitfalls to avoid & 7 Pro Tips for crafting your brand messaging.

Having worked in marketing for 20+ years, both in corporate and startup ventures, I find excellent brand messaging vital to running a thriving business. 

Clear and compelling brand messaging unites employees, attracts customers, and fosters trust and loyalty. In this article, I’ll share insights and expert tips on developing your Brand Messaging Guide by diving into the following topics:

  • What is brand messaging?
  • Why is it important?
  • Who needs it?
  • Brand messaging key benefits
  • Six common pitfalls
  • Effective brand messaging strategy
  • Brand Messaging Guide key elements 
  • Examples of good brand messaging

Let’s get to it.

"To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement."

What’s Brand Messaging?

Brand messaging is the foundational language for your business. Organizations rely on this essential communication tool to establish unique brand identities, convey true values, and build emotional connections with their target audiences. Brand messaging can be verbal or written.

Why Is Brand Messaging Important?

In today’s AI-driven marketing environment, consumers are targeted with relentless messages every nanosecond, from TV to computers, smartphones to social media.

The abundance of products/services available and fragmented marketing channels make effective messaging even more crucial. I think of it like this:

How does one fish stand out in a school of fish?

Companies that consistently deliver clear, stand-out, memorable messaging enjoy a better chance of building strong, lasting brand identities.

Who Needs Brand Messaging?

Whether you are a publicly-traded company, non-profit, or startup entrepreneur launching a business, just about everyone needs good brand messaging. 

Brand Messaging Key Benefits

Effective messaging helps companies of all stages:

  • Raise brand awareness,
  • Build trust, loyalty, and credibility,
  • Communicate consistently across all platforms and even,
  • Drive sales

Six Common Pitfalls

We’ve experienced brand messaging in many forms–seeing billboards flash by on highways, channel surfing, and watching bus ads roll across the street. When I see a confusing message, I wonder, “Wow, somebody paid for that?

Here are six brand messaging pitfalls to avoid:

Unclear messaging

A lack of clarity in messaging can confuse your audience on what your brand offers and why they should buy from you.

Lack of uniqueness

I call this lack of WOW factors. In today’s hyper-competitive environment, consumers have abundant choices. Therefore, conveying your WOW factor is critical so you stand out. When the unique value propositions are poorly defined or communicated, customers have no choice but to decide with the defacto differentiator–price. Cost is a poor brand differentiator. 

Lack of emotional connection

I call this lack of Brand EQ. We all make buying decisions based on emotions. Without an emotional appeal, your brand does not connect with its audience. Prospects will feel unmotivated to buy, and they will quickly forget you. Remember, emotions drive engagement.

Not knowing your customer

How well do you know your customers? In a brand messaging exercise, this is a primary concern. Your message should speak to the needs and desires of your target audience.

Lack of authenticity

Consumers are savvy; they can tell if your brand messaging comes across as insincere or phony. A lack of authenticity can erode customers’ trust, loyalty, and credibility for the brand.


When the brand messaging is inconsistently applied across various communication channels, this confuses your audience. It also blurs your brand identity.

Addressing these pain points brings me to the next topic.



Effective Brand Messaging Strategy

An effective messaging strategy should focus on defining clear messaging that conveys why you do what you do and what makes your brand stand out. Most importantly, it should communicate the transformative values you bring to your customers.

Key Elements In Brand Messaging Guides

Whether you hire an expert or develop it yourself, a comprehensive Brand Messaging Guide includes the following key components:

Keystone Message

I call this the keystone message because it DEFINES your brand and includes these components:

  • Elevator pitch in varying lengths
  • Tagline
  • Mission statement

Brand Vocabulary

What keywords or phrases to use when discussing your brand, product, or service? What words to avoid? What are the Dos’ and Don’ts? What communication rules do you follow?

Messaging Pillars

What are your brand’s major talking points? What is the critical content that helps boost your brand? How should this content be presented? How do these talking points funnel into your social media strategy?

Brand Personality

A brand is like a person; each brand has a story and a personality. What is your brand voice? How do you define your brand narrative? 

Brand Uniqueness

What is the WOW factor your brand offers? To find your answer, spend time doing some deep dives. Clearly understand your target audiences and competition. Finding your differentiators, aka unique value propositions (UVPs), is like unlocking your brand’s superpowers. Totally worth it.

A peek behind the scenes: On a deep dive to find the right words for brand messaging.

Good Brand Messaging Examples

There are abundant examples of well-crafted messaging. To name just a few, here are some personal favorites of brand taglines:

Apple “Think Different”

The tagline emphasizes Apple’s value of a breakthrough mindset. This message also differentiates Apple–its philosophy in everything they do.

Airbnb “Belong Anywhere”

This tagline captures the universal human desire for belonging—a shared sense of community regardless of who and where we are.

Coca-Cola “Taste the Feeling”

This tagline emphasizes the positive experiences Coca-Cola offers its customers. It also evokes a sense of curiosity—what does feeling taste like? Subliminally, the message motivates buying behavior to experience it.

McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it”

This tagline reflects McDonald’s core value of offering customers experiences they love, effectively tying the brand’s positive emotions with customers’ satisfaction.

Oreo: “Wonderfilled”

This tagline evokes Oreo cookies’ joyful emotions while capturing the cookies’ uniqueness.

Red Bull: “Gives You Wings”

This tagline paints a fantastical picture of the transformative quality of Red Bull’s energy drink in a fun way. The visual cue is as simple as it is memorable.

Messaging excellence is awe-inspiring! Read on for advice to help guide your brand messaging exercise.

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart."

7 Pro Tips For Crafting Your Messaging

Effective messaging focuses on the WHY. It conveys your brand’s core values and what makes it stand out, connecting with your target audience emotionally. It says why people should choose your brand over your competitors.

As you set out to craft your Brand Messaging Guide, take the deep dives to find the following gems—they will make your messaging sparkle:


Clarity is essential. Describe why you do what you do—clearly and simply–with just the right word.


Brevity is golden. Being succinct is crucial in elevator pitches, boilerplate, and mission statements—all the keystone language.


The ultimate goal of messaging is to build an emotional connection with your stakeholders. This Brand EQ helps build trust, loyalty, and credibility in the hearts and minds of your audience. Brand storytelling works wonders. 


Customers make business possible. So wear your customers’ hats and take the customer journey to uncover your brand’s WOW factor. This exercise helps you identify what makes your product or service compelling, differentiating it from your competitors.


How to make your messaging memorable is easier said than done. An awe-inspiring art form. We all have seen them: McDonald’s ads.


There’s nothing like the truth. Effective brand messaging should reflect your brand’s true values. Messaging authenticity helps draw customers to your brand.


In this digital era, companies have a wide array of marketing channels in their arsenal to spread messaging. Once you have an effective Brand Messaging Guide, apply it consistently across all communication channels.

Consistent messaging includes traditional and online marketing channels, from websites to investor pitch decks to social media, employee handbooks, email campaigns, newsletters, etc.

In summary, brand messaging covers the communication spectrum for the entire business. It defines the company’s identity as a brand, using core language that conveys its values and connects with its customers and stakeholders.

Developing good messaging requires deep dives to understand why you do the work you do, what makes your work impactful, and what differentiates you from the competition. Capturing these vital elements will help you craft effective messaging.

Need expert help to develop your Brand Messaging Guide?

Christy Hui

Christy Hui

Award-winning producer, brand/content marketing strategist, and founder of BrainLush. Fractional CMO helping businesses get MarketingFit for growth.

Scuba diving for brand messaging Brainlush

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