Updated: Jul 14
Does your target audience recognize your competitive advantage?
What happened to unique?
“Why do so many corporate key messages sound and read-alike?”
Very often the strengths that a company is founded upon evolve over time. Albert Humphrey, the credited mastermind behind this classic model said that ¨the strengths of a company are those characteristics of the business or team that give it an advantage over others in the industry.¨
This sentence thereby implies that the strengths of a company are actually quite unique or special; if that were not the case, the competitive advantage could not be suggested.
Given this tidbit of knowledge, something comes to mind that seems so obvious… why do so many corporate key messages sound and read-alike? How can sustainable competitive advantage be used to your benefit?
I learned that if a company could substitute a competitor´s name for their name in their key messages and they still rang true then there would be a problem with a capital P. The key messaging being anything but ¨key.¨
Own Your Sustainable Competitive Advantage
Sustainable Competitive Advantage is what allows a business to survive over time and a specific set of competitive advantages is the company´s strength. This is what the key corporate messaging should be all about. This is what message crafting is all about.
“Be original, show off your style, and tell your story.”
Message crafting starts with a basic corporate questionnaire. Simple questions such as what are the company´s strengths and weaknesses are asked of executive committee members, partners, managers, clients. Given the high rate of predictable disparity between those responses, the obvious becomes just a tad bit more obvious… coherency in key messaging and corporate image are in dire need of a makeover.
Effective and coherent corporate messaging is a solid foundation for any corporate culture. So often, strengths and competitive advantages go unnoticed by key corporate figures. Convincing sales arguments never see the day and the lack of a homogeneous base in messaging creates for a cacophonous mix in terms of internal and external communication.
Only once a company is conscious of its shortcomings in terms of corporate messaging can any transformation begin.
As a very famous Material Girl once said: Express Yourself…