Building your brand narrative

Your messaging and positioning are what set you apart. It is a big part of the strategy needed to move customers down the sales funnel to increase your conversion rate. It is the foundation on which all of your marketing and PR efforts should be built. No pressure, but it better be good!

Initial company positioning should capture more than just an individual piece of functionality. It should encompass the essence of what your company does as a whole, not just one aspect of your business. The message should also be realistic in terms of objectives you profess to the media or to stakeholders. Over-hyping your product or company’s capabilities will only damage your reputation if you can’t deliver (some augmented reality companies, for instance, perfect examples of failing to deliver on sky-high expectations because their marketing was too hyperbolic).

You want the message to drive momentum, but not raise expectations that can never be fulfilled (see: vaporware). It’s important to realize your potential early on, and then work to exceed it rather than overhype it and fall short.

Your message should identify gaps in the current market. This is where you’re able to see whether or not your company can “own its own backyard” as we like to say around the office. Know what you’re good at and make it known through thoughtful storytelling, relevant content, awards and other similar public relations elements.

When announcing funding, it typically means you’re in the earlier stages of growth, indicating that the external messaging can shift slightly as your company expands or shifts. While you should be conducting internal research to identify the positioning that best resonates with your stakeholders and differentiates from competitors, now is the time to determine how well a reporter, for instance, receives and writes about you company. Determine the foundational elements on which your company is built, then expand on them as you grow and pivot as needed.

A few key questions to answer that should remain relatively the same in the first few years:

  • Are you a mission-focused company? Does your positioning and messaging reflect that?

  • Are you customer- or product-centric?

  • Is your company a product, service or both?

  • Whom do you serve? Do you see that changing in the next year or two?

  • Why are you building this company? What is its fundamental purpose and what problems does it address?

Answering these questions early, and revisiting them often, will be pivotal in growing your business and telling your brand narrative in ways that accomplish your business objectives.


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