The Key to Connecting with Your Ideal Customers

What is Value Based Messaging and Why Do You Need It?


In our #30DaysOf Branding, we talked a lot about why your brand is an integral part of your marketing, and we’ve written about Why Your Brand Matters, No Matter How Small You Are. A big part of that is because your brand is how you connect and communicate with your audience and your ideal customer and how they connect with you in return.

Next week, we are going to talk about how you use that connection to better understand your ideal customer, their needs, and how your brand and your products fit within their needs. But today, we are going to talk about the broader concept of value-based messaging and why it is a key factor of business.

Value based messaging, or as we like to call it, painkiller messaging, takes your ideal customer from “that sounds interesting” to “I NEED this!” It connects to the root emotion your audience is feeling and uses that emotion to inspire an immediate purchase. Value based messaging moves your audience out of their logic center and into an emotional one instead. It is very easy to logic yourself out of a purchase, but it is much harder to ignore emotional pulls.

So how does it work?

There are three parts to messaging when communicating with your audience: tactics, outcomes, and value. Imagine a pyramid with tactics at the bottom, outcomes in the middle, and value at the top. Each part is vital for your messaging, but we see so many companies — small and large — leave off the top, value section, of the pyramid.

Tactics are the ‘how’ of your business. How are your products or services delivered? How do they work? How do you achieve outcomes?

Outcomes are the ‘what’ of your business. What are the benefits your customers get from your products or services?

Value is the ‘why’ of your business. It goes beyond the tactics or outcomes and answers WHY your customers are looking for your products or services in the first place. It addresses the underlying pain your customers are feeling and provides the solution.

Addressing your customers’ pain points through this value based messaging, or painkiller messaging, is not just a great way to inspire immediate purchases, but it is also a fantastic way to have consistent messaging across all of your platforms and to build brand loyalty based on an emotional connection.

If you can do this not just for your brand, but also for each one of your products or services, you can avoid a huge pitfall for many businesses: entropy. Many times it’s not other competitors we need to worry about but customer inaction. If we aren’t inspiring purchases, it’s not that other businesses are getting those purchases, but that our customers aren’t purchasing anything at all. The way we get around entropy is through reaching our customers’ emotions and addressing their pain points in ways that they are unable to ignore. We do this with value-based messaging.

This can be an extremely difficult exercise for many companies. Oftentimes, we think we have it, but then later realize we are still talking tactics or outcomes. So here are a couple of current examples of brands that are getting it right in the travel industry that was hit so hard this last year: VRBO and Hotwire.

Take notice with both ads, they are not talking about deals, price points, or sales, which was the focus of so many ads previous to 2020 (and, quite frankly, remains the focus of many of their competitors). They are not talking about tactics (deals or sales), or even outcomes (having a vacation, being away from work, going to a beach, etc). They are talking about value and they are addressing their customers’ pain points. In the VRBO ad, they paint a picture of an experience: a grandfather and grandson, two people who have been separated due to a pandemic (painful), coming back together to play checkers (an experience they haven’t been able to have) because you (the audience) took action (booked with VRBO). In the Hotwire ad, they address the pain that so many mothers have experienced all the time, but especially this last year (being caretakers of the family), and present the solution: we will be your caretakers.

Each ad addresses the pain and emotion their audience is experiencing or has experienced, presents themselves as the solution to that pain, and inspires action.

This is value based messaging. It identifies the emotion and pain of the audience, presents your brand, product, or service as the solution, and then inspires immediate action.

Next week we will go into more detail about how to find your value based messaging. If you are looking for more inspiration, check out our blog archive or our podcast. If you need more direct help with finding your value-based messaging, schedule your free consultation call. We love helping small businesses find their voice!

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