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The Message Manifesto
THE MBP MODEL
  (M)
    MESSAGE

  (B)
    BRAND

  (P)
    PROMOTION
MESSAGE MANIFESTO
MESSAGE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL MARKETING ELEMENTS.
 // Great messages change the destinies of companies and people. Without message, brand
and promotion are crude instruments. Message is the essence of marketing; it personifies
your business strategy, defines your market position and declares your differentiation. The best
messages are bold, compelling and polarizing. Most messages are ships that pass in the night.




THE BIG PICTURE / THE STARR CONSPIRACY (M) FORMULA / THE STARR CONSPIRACY (M) OUTPUTS /
THE STARR CONSPIRACY (M) METHOD
WHY MESSAGES FAIL
 They ...                                You ...
 are not driven by business strategy     never believed it to begin with
 are created in a vacuum
 seek to appeal to 100% of the market
 are so neutral as to be invisible
 use words people don’t understand
 fail to connect on an emotional level
LAW OF MARKET SHARE

                 1ST

               2ND
         3RD
THE (M) FORMULA
                  STRATEGY

     ANALYTICS                  RESEARCH

                  MESSAGE
     ENABLEMENT                DEVELOPMENT

                  VALIDATION
STRATEGY
Message must flow from strategy.
 // If your strategy is not clearly defined, your message will confound employees, customers
and prospects. If you ask us to create a message and you don’t have a strategy, we will start
by forcing you to commit to a strategy.




TARGET MARKET­__ SOLUTION CATEGORY __ REQUIRED CAPABILITIES AND MARKET REQUIREMENTS __ PRICING STRATEGY
VALUE PROPOSITION __ COMPETITION __ DIFFERENTIATION __ DISTRIBUTION
RESEARCH
Confidence, deeply held beliefs, executive retreats and
anecdotal validation are no substitutes for real research.
// Don’t bet your company on a gut feeling. There is always time for research.




INFORMAL PRIMARY __ FORMAL PRIMARY __ INFORMAL SECONDARY __ FORMAL SECONDARY __ QUANTITATIVE __
QUALITATIVE __ VALIDATION
The majority of respondents believe that rewards and
recognition, and health and wellness programs are
effective in improving employee engagement.
HOW EFFECTIVE ARE THE FOLLOWING TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTS OR SERVICES AT IMPROVING
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT?

                                 Not Effective                                          Extremely Effective
                                     1		2		3		4		5		6		7
                                  2.1%           3.5%   6.3%    15.6%   30.2%   28.8% 13.5%
REWARDS & RECOGNITION INITIATIVES (6)            (10)   (18)     (45)    (87)    (83) (39)

HEALTH & WELLNESS INITIATIVES      1.4%          5.2%   11.5%   25.3%   27.8%   20.5%      8.3%
                                    (4)          (15)    (33)    (73)    (80)    (59)      (24)

                                                                 OVER 75% FOR BOTH
ROI is more important in choosing engagement programs
than doing it because “it’s the right thing to do.”
(It’s still a head argument before a heart argument.)
   100
    90
    80
    70
    60
    50
    40
    30
                     55.9%
                     161
    20                                            39.9%                      4.2%
    10                                            115                        12
         Employee engagement        I’m not sure if employee   I don’t believe that
         solutions can improve      engagement solutions       employee engagement
         productivity, revenue      can produce any benefits   solutions can produce any
         and profit, and can show   to the business or show    benefits to the business.
         measureable ROI.           ROI, but I believe that    The whole thing is a
                                    creating a culture of      waste of time and budget.
                                    engagement is the right
                                    thing to do.
dEVELOPMENT
Great messages are like jazz. First we must isolate the essential
notes. Then we must experiment with the notes to create an
utterly unique composition that defines us.




BRAND PROMISE __ UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION __ TARGET MARKET __ SOLUTION CATEGORY __ VALUE __
COMPETITION __ DIFFERENTIATION __ FEATURES AND BENEFITS __ KEY MESSAGES
VALIDATION
Never assume you got it right because it sounds good to you.
Before you spend millions of dollars weaving your message
through multiple brand expressions and campaigns, take
the time to test your message with real people you would like
to sell to.




SOCIAL MEDIA VALIDATION __ FORMAL OR INFORMAL FOCUS GROUPS __ ONLINE SURVEYS __ PHONE INTERVIEWS __
ANALYST AND INFLUENCER BRIEFINGS
ENABLEMENT
Most message initiatives fail because employees and other
stakeholders are not sold on the strategy and not given the
tools they need to adopt and amplify the message.




MESSAGE LAUNCH STRATEGY __ MESSAGE DELIVERY TRAINING __ FORMAL MESSAGE STANDARDS __
MARKETING TOOLS __ SALES TOOLS __ TRAINING MATERIALS __ INTERNAL PROMOTION CAMPAIGNS
ANALYTICS
Is your message working? There are multiple methods for
testing message comprehension, recall and performance — ­ ­
ranging from split-cell campaign testing to primary quantitative
and qualitative research. If you’re not analyzing message
performance, you have lost touch with your business strategy
and market requirements.



CAMPAIGN SPLIT-CELL TESTING __ MESSAGE RECOGNITION __ MESSAGE RECALL __ FUNCTIONAL ASSOCIATIONS __
MESSAGE ATTRIBUTES __ BRAND ATTRIBUTES __ MESSAGE COMPREHENSION
THE (M) OUTPUTS
Message management requires even more rigor and discipline
than brand management. A visual brand can change frequently
without losing the confidence of the buyer. But a message can
only change in extreme situations. Stray from your message and
you stray from your buyer.




BRAND ARCHETYPE __ BRAND PROMISE __ UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION __ FEATURES AND BENEFITS __
KEY MESSAGES __ (M) ENABLEMENT
BRAND ARCHETYPES
The notion behind brand archetypes is that brands are a
basic human social concept and that the same patterns and
ideas tend to repeat themselves over time, such that what we
now consider “brands” are roughly equivalent to archetypal
characters in literature, religion, folklore, mythology, etc.
// They’re a way for us to understand ourselves and affiliate with others, and by associating
them with those common themes and characters, we can better understand how buyers
connect with brands.



INNOCENT __ HERO __ LOVER __ CAREGIVER __ EXPLORER __ THE EVERYMAN __ REBEL __ CREATOR __ RULER __
MAGICIAN __ SAGE __ JESTER
the starr conspiracy         ASTADIA Logo Development
15




                            INNOCENT
MESSAGE FRAMEWORK
                    Brand
                   Promise


                    Unique
                     Value
                  Proposition
     Features &                   Key
      Benefits                  Messages
BRANd PROMISE
The brand promise is a phrase that communicates the one thing
that your brand intends to own in the target market’s mind
and can be delivered 100% of the time. It must align with your
archetype and should possess three qualities:

     Be extremely important to the target audience
     Be able to be delivered by your organization
     Not be addressed by your competitors
uvp
The unique value proposition is 50% science and 50% art.
It must communicate certain immutable variables. But it
must be delivered in a style and tone that brings your brand
archetype to life.

            TARGET MARKET
            SOLUTION CATEGORY
            VALUE PROPOSITION
            COMPETITION
            DIFFERENTIATION
FEATURES AND BENEFITS
Your product or service has 1 million features and associated
benefits. Your audience can only remember two or three.
Pick the right ones and hammer on them.
KEY MESSAGES
Now it’s time to apply your message framework to countless
formats and applications.




WEB COPY __ BOILERPLATE __ CAMPAIGNS __ COLLATERAL __ BUSINESS PAPERS __ PUBLIC RELATIONS STRATEGIES __
SOCIAL MEDIA __ ADVERTISING EVENTS __ EMPLOYER BRANDING
THE (M) METHOD
CONFIRM STRATEGY                       ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
FORMAL DISCOVERY                       DEFINE BRAND ARCHETYPE
FORMAL SECONDARY RESEARCH              DEFINE MESSAGE VARIABLES
MARKET RESEARCH STATEMENT              DRAFT MESSAGE FRAMEWORK
FORMAL PRIMARY QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH   VALIDATE MESSAGE FRAMEWORK
(ONLINE SURVEY)                        TRAIN
FORMAL PRIMARY QUALITATIVE FOLLOW-UP   LISTEN (MEASURE, MONITOR AND MANAGE)
(PHONE INTERVIEWS)
THANK YOU
  WE CARE ABOUT THIS STUFF.



       FOR YOUR TIME.

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The Message Manifesto

  • 2. THE MBP MODEL (M) MESSAGE (B) BRAND (P) PROMOTION
  • 3. MESSAGE MANIFESTO MESSAGE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL MARKETING ELEMENTS. // Great messages change the destinies of companies and people. Without message, brand and promotion are crude instruments. Message is the essence of marketing; it personifies your business strategy, defines your market position and declares your differentiation. The best messages are bold, compelling and polarizing. Most messages are ships that pass in the night. THE BIG PICTURE / THE STARR CONSPIRACY (M) FORMULA / THE STARR CONSPIRACY (M) OUTPUTS / THE STARR CONSPIRACY (M) METHOD
  • 4. WHY MESSAGES FAIL They ... You ... are not driven by business strategy never believed it to begin with are created in a vacuum seek to appeal to 100% of the market are so neutral as to be invisible use words people don’t understand fail to connect on an emotional level
  • 5. LAW OF MARKET SHARE 1ST 2ND 3RD
  • 6. THE (M) FORMULA STRATEGY ANALYTICS RESEARCH MESSAGE ENABLEMENT DEVELOPMENT VALIDATION
  • 7. STRATEGY Message must flow from strategy. // If your strategy is not clearly defined, your message will confound employees, customers and prospects. If you ask us to create a message and you don’t have a strategy, we will start by forcing you to commit to a strategy. TARGET MARKET­__ SOLUTION CATEGORY __ REQUIRED CAPABILITIES AND MARKET REQUIREMENTS __ PRICING STRATEGY VALUE PROPOSITION __ COMPETITION __ DIFFERENTIATION __ DISTRIBUTION
  • 8. RESEARCH Confidence, deeply held beliefs, executive retreats and anecdotal validation are no substitutes for real research. // Don’t bet your company on a gut feeling. There is always time for research. INFORMAL PRIMARY __ FORMAL PRIMARY __ INFORMAL SECONDARY __ FORMAL SECONDARY __ QUANTITATIVE __ QUALITATIVE __ VALIDATION
  • 9. The majority of respondents believe that rewards and recognition, and health and wellness programs are effective in improving employee engagement. HOW EFFECTIVE ARE THE FOLLOWING TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTS OR SERVICES AT IMPROVING EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT? Not Effective Extremely Effective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2.1% 3.5% 6.3% 15.6% 30.2% 28.8% 13.5% REWARDS & RECOGNITION INITIATIVES (6) (10) (18) (45) (87) (83) (39) HEALTH & WELLNESS INITIATIVES 1.4% 5.2% 11.5% 25.3% 27.8% 20.5% 8.3% (4) (15) (33) (73) (80) (59) (24) OVER 75% FOR BOTH
  • 10. ROI is more important in choosing engagement programs than doing it because “it’s the right thing to do.” (It’s still a head argument before a heart argument.) 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 55.9% 161 20 39.9% 4.2% 10 115 12 Employee engagement I’m not sure if employee I don’t believe that solutions can improve engagement solutions employee engagement productivity, revenue can produce any benefits solutions can produce any and profit, and can show to the business or show benefits to the business. measureable ROI. ROI, but I believe that The whole thing is a creating a culture of waste of time and budget. engagement is the right thing to do.
  • 11. dEVELOPMENT Great messages are like jazz. First we must isolate the essential notes. Then we must experiment with the notes to create an utterly unique composition that defines us. BRAND PROMISE __ UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION __ TARGET MARKET __ SOLUTION CATEGORY __ VALUE __ COMPETITION __ DIFFERENTIATION __ FEATURES AND BENEFITS __ KEY MESSAGES
  • 12. VALIDATION Never assume you got it right because it sounds good to you. Before you spend millions of dollars weaving your message through multiple brand expressions and campaigns, take the time to test your message with real people you would like to sell to. SOCIAL MEDIA VALIDATION __ FORMAL OR INFORMAL FOCUS GROUPS __ ONLINE SURVEYS __ PHONE INTERVIEWS __ ANALYST AND INFLUENCER BRIEFINGS
  • 13. ENABLEMENT Most message initiatives fail because employees and other stakeholders are not sold on the strategy and not given the tools they need to adopt and amplify the message. MESSAGE LAUNCH STRATEGY __ MESSAGE DELIVERY TRAINING __ FORMAL MESSAGE STANDARDS __ MARKETING TOOLS __ SALES TOOLS __ TRAINING MATERIALS __ INTERNAL PROMOTION CAMPAIGNS
  • 14. ANALYTICS Is your message working? There are multiple methods for testing message comprehension, recall and performance — ­ ­ ranging from split-cell campaign testing to primary quantitative and qualitative research. If you’re not analyzing message performance, you have lost touch with your business strategy and market requirements. CAMPAIGN SPLIT-CELL TESTING __ MESSAGE RECOGNITION __ MESSAGE RECALL __ FUNCTIONAL ASSOCIATIONS __ MESSAGE ATTRIBUTES __ BRAND ATTRIBUTES __ MESSAGE COMPREHENSION
  • 15. THE (M) OUTPUTS Message management requires even more rigor and discipline than brand management. A visual brand can change frequently without losing the confidence of the buyer. But a message can only change in extreme situations. Stray from your message and you stray from your buyer. BRAND ARCHETYPE __ BRAND PROMISE __ UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION __ FEATURES AND BENEFITS __ KEY MESSAGES __ (M) ENABLEMENT
  • 16. BRAND ARCHETYPES The notion behind brand archetypes is that brands are a basic human social concept and that the same patterns and ideas tend to repeat themselves over time, such that what we now consider “brands” are roughly equivalent to archetypal characters in literature, religion, folklore, mythology, etc. // They’re a way for us to understand ourselves and affiliate with others, and by associating them with those common themes and characters, we can better understand how buyers connect with brands. INNOCENT __ HERO __ LOVER __ CAREGIVER __ EXPLORER __ THE EVERYMAN __ REBEL __ CREATOR __ RULER __ MAGICIAN __ SAGE __ JESTER
  • 17. the starr conspiracy ASTADIA Logo Development 15 INNOCENT
  • 18. MESSAGE FRAMEWORK Brand Promise Unique Value Proposition Features & Key Benefits Messages
  • 19. BRANd PROMISE The brand promise is a phrase that communicates the one thing that your brand intends to own in the target market’s mind and can be delivered 100% of the time. It must align with your archetype and should possess three qualities: Be extremely important to the target audience Be able to be delivered by your organization Not be addressed by your competitors
  • 20. uvp The unique value proposition is 50% science and 50% art. It must communicate certain immutable variables. But it must be delivered in a style and tone that brings your brand archetype to life. TARGET MARKET SOLUTION CATEGORY VALUE PROPOSITION COMPETITION DIFFERENTIATION
  • 21. FEATURES AND BENEFITS Your product or service has 1 million features and associated benefits. Your audience can only remember two or three. Pick the right ones and hammer on them.
  • 22. KEY MESSAGES Now it’s time to apply your message framework to countless formats and applications. WEB COPY __ BOILERPLATE __ CAMPAIGNS __ COLLATERAL __ BUSINESS PAPERS __ PUBLIC RELATIONS STRATEGIES __ SOCIAL MEDIA __ ADVERTISING EVENTS __ EMPLOYER BRANDING
  • 23. THE (M) METHOD CONFIRM STRATEGY ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FORMAL DISCOVERY DEFINE BRAND ARCHETYPE FORMAL SECONDARY RESEARCH DEFINE MESSAGE VARIABLES MARKET RESEARCH STATEMENT DRAFT MESSAGE FRAMEWORK FORMAL PRIMARY QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH VALIDATE MESSAGE FRAMEWORK (ONLINE SURVEY) TRAIN FORMAL PRIMARY QUALITATIVE FOLLOW-UP LISTEN (MEASURE, MONITOR AND MANAGE) (PHONE INTERVIEWS)
  • 24. THANK YOU WE CARE ABOUT THIS STUFF. FOR YOUR TIME.