Whether you’re running for President, are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or are running the greatest community bank or credit union in your part of the universe, message is everything.

You and your company are what you say and what you do.

  • Do you want to be the only place in town to go to for loans? You can be.
  • Do you want to be a vital cog in Millennials’ lives? No problem.

 Think about some of your favorite brands:

  • Mercedes drives performance
  • Nike has a can-do attitude
  • Target provides a superior experience
  • Apple keeps it “cool”
  • Nordstrom is all about the customer

They don’t say, “Performance and…,” “Can-do and…,” “Experience and…”

So how do you get known for something?

  1. Focus
    It’s called “Message Discipline” for a reason … because it takes restraint, self-control. Everything is important to you, but what is important to your target? Stick to no more than 3-4 key points.
  2. Prioritize
    Anyone who knows marketing understands that you’re kickin’ butt if someone walks away from your stuff retaining just one message. So, which one’s it gonna be? If everything is important, nothing is important.
  3. Keep it Simple
    Real brilliance lies in being able to explain complex ideas to a child.Credit unions are particularly notorious for using industry jargon in marketing. Knock it off!
  4. Get Emotional
    People remember everything better when it’s tied to emotion. Maybe that’s why there’s so much darn fear in modern politics! Make your audience feel something … humor, empathy, trust, nostalgia … anything.
  5. Stay on Message
    Have you ever noticed that most politicians seem to get in trouble when they go “off script?”  Don’t get sidetracked. You only have 3-4 key messages … stick to ‘em.  At every interaction: in marketing, in the branches, on the phone, online. Every conversation and action should lead back to your key points.
  6. Live it
    Be authentic.Mercedes really is performance. Nike really does help you compete. Target really is a better experience than Wal-Mart. Apple really is cooler than the competition. And Nordstrom? Well, I assume that those who can afford to shop there get treated better.The message doesn’t just come from the Marketing department, it comes from the CEO’s office, the call center and the teller line. Everyone is a communicator.

The cliché is true, you really can’t be all things to all people. Much larger companies with a billion times your marketing budget have tried and failed.

Make every marketing dollar count. Determine what you really want to be known for and then repeat over and over and over again.

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