Referral networks are wonderful tools to help speed up growth and expand the range of influence an individual or company requires to increase their client base. However, having successful referrers aid, you reach clients will only go so far. You will need to supplement the refer network with a strong presence.
Your marketing presence will include several initiatives that you will have to create and adhere to, and one of those initiatives will be your message.
Just to understand what we mean by the message:
- Your corporate message tells everyone who you are, what you are selling and what makes you stand-out you from your competition. It is the main message you communicate to your target market, clients that will purchase your product or service via various methods.
- The message must be identical in all your methods of communications, and includes your company name and motto in all your taglines, websites, online pages, and campaigns as well as verbally in person, on signage, and in other marketing materials.
As you can see, a message includes your identity as well as your vision, it is a mix of icon, words, and pictures and must not only convey the message you want to send out, it must also create a subjective dependence and urgent desire to buy your service or product. Examples of successful messages that evolved include:
Notice that there are focused messages such as coca cola, which was built over decades of continuous marketing work supported by a good product as well as sector messages such as Milk, which is funded by dairies and dairy farms, and supported by medical and nutritional documents that promote you to buy milk products. Googles message was very simple; it is a search box in the middle of a screen, it focuses the surfer on the search engine only. Uber used aggressive marketing techniques and expanded globally very quickly, forcing the public to associate rideshare driving with its brand.
How to create “The Message”
- First, decide what it is you sell and to whom you are selling it. This is the key to creating a successful message.
- Create a Logo and Company name that encompasses your identity. If you are one product or service supplier then use the product, if you offer a mix, then create a graphic identity that best covers your area.
- Choose your colors; this is important since it defines how you will be viewed by your market.
- Create a motto, a short sentence of no more than five words that describe your vision.
- Write a short paragraph describing what, who and why you are, do not discuss or mention competitors. Focus your descriptive paragraph only on yourself and your products or services.
You will need to create variations/options for each stage; this will allow you to choose which mix of identity factors delivers the best message.
Creating a message for service providers is like manufacturers or retailers of products, but with one difference. Service sellers concentrate their message on themselves, while manufacturers and retailers concentrate the message on their products. This makes the message intrinsically different and more complicated for service providers.
Why is it easier to create messages for products?
Because products can be assessed and compared with physical, functional, and cost attributes. Services are harder to compare since the human factor makes gauging concepts such as trust, efficiency, quality, speed, and communications much harder. Creating a message that focuses on the positive attributes without sounding overconfident, boastful, and pushy is one of the arts that PR specialists specialize in.
Consider the Politician
Politics is the ultimate referral network system; it is about selling a person through the persuasion of others by others. A politician must create a cadre of supporters that will refer his/her attributes to others, leading to a continuous (pyramid) referral network that expands as it grows further from the source. It is more of a circle than a pyramid, like a circle you see when throwing a stone into water. A politician must create a motto, just like a presidential campaign where mottos such as “Make America Great Again” was used to propel Trump into office. Presidential campaigners use similar colors, usually around the stars and stripe US Flag.
It is not relevant if you supported the politician or not, it is the success of the outcome that proves the effectiveness of the campaign. Most successful campaigners create specific issues and create an unwavering stance on each issue.
Service Providers like Politicians
A service provider must copy the concepts of a Political campaigner, since his message is identical to that of the Politician but delivering a professional reason to support. While the message building technique is similar, the referral network is completely different, and that is an issue discussed in another article.
The bottom line of the message is to grasp the minds of the client, catch their attention and make the potential client WANT to hear and know more. It is about showing off all the positive attributes, never showing any weaknesses and promising to provide the best service possible.
Product Sellers must Boast
Unlike the service provider, a product seller must exaggerate and boast the superiority of the product to all other alternatives. The message must be graphic, bombastic, colorful, with enough information, sometimes even too much information to WOW the consumer and to catch the sale. Anything goes in consumer product messages, and there are plenty of examples that show success reached through the most abstract of concepts.
One such obscured message was the 1990’s “Colors of Benetton” which showed gory scenes full of color, that the consumer would then associate vivid colors with Benneton’s clothes. Or Coca Cola’s 1970’s I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke song, sung by The New Seekers, and remains a strong song that is immediately remembered by many as well as associated by all to Coca-Cola.
For a rideshare success story, you must take Uber and project it as a strong global provider, use the company’s strengths together with your cars, and drivers. Show off your services as an integral part of Ubers success in your area. It’s not a crime, nor is it unethical to use Uber as a stepping stone for the successful expansion of your services for their customers.