4 Rules to Follow When Deciding, “What’s Your Message?”

Today we read and hear about target marketing; magnetic marketing, relationship marketing, permission marketing and I could go on.

What's Your Message?

What’s Your Message?

Marketing greats such as Dan Kennedy, Seth Godin, and others have broken the code, so to speak, on what it takes to connect with your client or customer.

Breaking the code is easy: As a business owner you MUST communicate your message to your targeted client or customer to draw them to you and build a relationship.

Implementing the code—not so easy.

Here are 4 simple rules to follow when deciding, “what’s your message?”

  1. Understand that a message is NOT a slogan or tagline.
  2. Your message is a way of communicating why your client should do business with you versus any other option.
  3. Your message must be customer centered. No one really cares that you need to make sales, feed your family, or take that vacation in Hawaii. What they are concerned with is WII-FM (What’s in it for me).
  4. When you formulate your message…don’t make it to “your ideal client”. Have a real-life person in mind when you make your message. You can do this by really getting to know your client. See my previous articles about What’s the Why and Finding Your Market.

Here’s an exercise to help you understand message:

  1. “Think different.” Apple, Inc.
  2. “Fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes, guaranteed.” Domino’s® Pizza.
  3. “There are some things money can’t buy…” MasterCard.

Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes. I, the consumer, want something. Which of the three above: A, B, or C tell me what you can do form me differently from any other business?

Put that way it seems pretty obvious A is the correct answer—it’s a MESSAGE. It tells me what I can expect, “Fresh, hot pizza…” When I an expect it, “…delivered in 30 minutes…” And includes a guarantee.

Taglines (C) and slogans (A) are cute and sexy but when you get right to it…what do either of the above examples DO for me?

Dominoes message tells me why it’s different from other pizza companies. It’s fresh and hot and at my door in 30 minutes…and with a guarantee. At the time Dominoes was born it was the ONLY pizza business that could make those boasts with a guarantee.

Dan Kennedy likes to point out Domino’s® DOESN’T say it’s the best pizza…it probably isn’t. It doesn’t use momma’s recipe from the old company, nor does it promise red and white-checkered tablecloths with multi-colored candles flowing out of Chianti bottles.

The message is customer centered…it doesn’t whine, “Buy my pizza,” no, it gives the intended client a picture of fresh, hot pizza in a short period of time. What I, the customer, want.

When Tom Monaghan founder of Domino’s® began delivering his pizzas it was to local college students at Eastern Michigan University in the 60’s. You remember the 60’s when a certain herb was smoked for pleasure with an interesting side effect of making the smoker…hungry. Know your customer!

When it comes to what’s your message, you need to be different, you need to be interesting, and it helps to have something bold and exciting to your clients.

Keep in mind the 4 rules above and don’t get frustrated if it takes some time to tweak and refine your message. It’ll come.

To your business success!


Can you put the 4 rules to use? Do you agree with them or disagree? How about leaving a comment and sharing this post. Thank you in advance.


Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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