Messaging 101: When Clever Defeats Clarity

Branding and Messaging, Unclear MessagingYour Brand Messaging Has To Be Clear; It Doesn’t Have to be Clever

Too many businesses and marketers sacrifice clarity in their messaging so they can be clever. Don’t do it. When you do, you sacrifice the ability to get your wonderful product or service into the hands of the very person who needs it.

Why? Because Clever, by itself, doesn’t sell.

Clever may make me smile, but so do puppies. Puppies, however, won’t make me buy your stuff. Puppies don’t let me know what pain I have that you solve, and how you solve it.

Puppies, even the ones with big brown eyes and scrunchy faces, won’t tell me what your value proposition is or how you’re different than your competitors.

For instance, we’re an Austin SEO Company, but if we just put out messaging that sounds clever and catchy, but never tells you that we’re going to solve your core traffic problems, why would you care, and more importantly, WHY WOULD YOU BUY?

Don’t Make Messaging Decisions Out of Fear

The fear is natural:

“I don’t want to sound salesy”...then don’t get out of bed.

“I want to be memorable, not just talk about my business”…paint yourself blue and run down 6th street.

“I want my logo/branding message/website content to have panache”…buy the rights to a Jackson Pollocke painting, and make that your logo.

Clarity FIRST in Messaging and Positioning

When the clarity of your messaging takes a backseat to attempts at cleverness (even successful ones), you lose, and your prospect loses.

Your core value proposition has one job: get the right prospect into your sales process.

Your messaging and positioning must have a clear representation of value (foundational to your core value proposition) to your ideal prospect, and to have value, it must solve a problem.

If you don’t solve a problem, what’s the point?

How You CAN Use Cleverness Successfully in your Brand Positioning and Messaging

This is not to say that cleverness has no place in marketing messaging. Some of the most memorable messaging in our history has been clever. However, if you look at all the messaging you can easily bring to mind, you’ll find that more than half is not just clever, but memorable.

There is a difference.

For instance, “You deserve a break today” (from those famous McDonald’s Big Mac positioning commercials) is not clever at all, but powerfully memorable (especially when sung by a huge impromptu street chorus of every day people).

So in summary, don’t worry about clever.

Be clear, and let clever happen on its own.

Far better to have and develop a “normal” message that’s effective than a clever one that produces no sales and no growth.

To paraphrase, “When you can snatch the clarity from my hand, then it will be time for you to be clever”.

Future post: What if the problem you solve isn’t big enough?

If you need help with Positioning, Branding or Messaging, Contact us here.

Happy Marketing!

Sales and Seo, Value Proposition, Sales Process

2019-10-18T06:32:19-06:00 By |Branding|Comments Off on Messaging 101: When Clever Defeats Clarity

About the Author:

I'm Kyle Bailey. I'm a sales consultant and SEO & Wordpress expert living in Austin, Tx and working with clients nationwide. I love helping clients, good Tex-Mex, and great music!