Step 9 ⇒ Core Message


What is Core Message?

Your core message is an idea that captures the essence of your business, helping your customers “get” your work. It reflects why you do what you do, what you stand for, and the difference you make in your customers’ lives.

Your core message is what you want your audience to understand about your brand
Why you need a core message

We’ve all been there: You are cornered at a conference and someone asks, “So what does your company do again?”

Either you stammer trying to come up with the simplest answer, or you’re hoping that whatever you usually say is the same thing your boss is saying in the opposite corner of the same conference hall.

Fear not. The confusion is not a you problem; it’s a messaging problem. And a lot of companies have it.

Creating cohesive and effective marketing messaging is one of the biggest challenges many companies face.

When working with a client, one of the very first places we start is examining their brand messaging. We’re looking for consistency. When done right, everyone in the company should be singing from the same hymnal on who the company is, what they do, and most importantly how their clients/customers benefit from using them.

The 4 Key Components of a Core Messaging Document
1. Unique Value Proposition & Key Benefits

Right out of the gates this is where a whole lot of companies fall down. This is where you should describe, in just a few sentences, the unique, tangible value people get from your product or service. Make sure it also passes the “so what” test. It has to grab people’s attention and be interesting.

Your unique positioning statement should be benefits-focused. However, many stray from the path here also: They can’t wait to tell you about all their features and solutions instead of telling you the benefits they provide.

Here’s the reason features make for a less effective message than actual benefits: features center around your experience. But savvy marketers know a seller-centric playbook no longer works to build deeply engaged customers.

2. The Elevator Pitch

The elevator pitch is your 30-second response to the, “What do you do?” question and should fall directly out of the value proposition and benefits you outlined in the step above. Again, make sure you focus heavily on the benefits here. Why should the customer take time to care about what you do? But remember, this isn’t a sales pitch. It’s just a conversation with someone, theoretically in an elevator. Once they show an interest to know more, then you can get into the details.

3. Boilerplate

This is the short 2-3 sentence description of who you are and what you do and again falls right out of the positioning statement. You find the boilerplate copy most frequently in press releases or short online directory submissions.

4. Buyer Persona Pains and Your Solution

The buyer persona descriptions will likely be the largest part of your messaging document, but don’t let that scare you. In this section, start by thinking about who actually purchases your product, and listing out each of the buyer roles (i.e., marketing), and representative titles (i.e., VP Marketing, CMO, Marketing Director).

How to Find Your Core Message

One of the most practical and powerful tools is the ‘60 seconds and a microphone’ visualisation.

Imagine yourself in a room full of your ideal clients. They are all struggling with the same problem. Sit for a minute or so with your eyes closed, and feel the pain, fear or frustration all around you. Get really clear on what it feels like to walk in their shoes. Then open your eyes and imagine that you have 60 seconds and a microphone. What would you say to reassure these ideal clients that you can solve their problem? Take out your journal and scribble down everything that comes to mind. Put it aside for a day or so to allow those ideas to percolate, before looking for a common thread or theme.

People want to be part of something that is more than a transaction. By finding your core message and sharing it with heart, you not only attract the right clients, you elevate a simple purchase into something powerful and meaningful – and ultimately more satisfying for both parties.

💥 Take Action

Core Message

1. Write a key message that captures what you want your audience to understand