Successful companies with strong brands recognize that it’s no longer just about making and selling products, it’s engaging people in a dialogue with each other, through the medium of brand storytelling in ways that matter to them.
Brand storytelling is the medium in which a dialog is conducted with all the people who matter to you – employees, investors, customers, communities, suppliers, distributors, etc. Each conversation has to be rooted in an authentic Brand Voice that ensures a consistent understanding of who you are and what you stand for and, more importantly, it has to be conducted on a level that is particular and meaningful to the individual.
A Brand Voice encompasses a set of key elements: the Positioning Statement, which articulates the company’s strategic business path. Complementing this is the Brand Essence statement, a concise distillation of the positioning, often integrated into the corporate identity as a public ‘brand line.’ There is the Brand Lexicon, rooted in a set of core brand attribute terms, and elaborated into a broader vocabulary. And, finally, the Messaging Matrix – a comprehensive set of key messages that addresses each constituency in a way that is directly relevant to them.
The Massaging Matrix begins to connect brands to people. An example: for AMN Healthcare, the nation’s largest healthcare recruitment company, we created a messaging strategy with a proprietary language to differentiate the company from competitors and the industry in general. This matrix focused communications to strategic audiences—namely, Clients, Clinicians/Physicians, Investors, and Internal. We added one other audience, “General,” for use with other audiences such as media, certain AMN executive speeches.
The Messaging Matrix has enabled AMN Healthcare to leverage brand storytelling as “Healthcare’s Workforce Innovator”, speaking with a clear, distinctive voice with messages that are relevant to each and every constituency in its sphere of influence.