Why You Need a Brand Messaging Strategy for Your Design Firm

Do you know what people think of when they hear your firm’s name? Do you have a unified voice across everything you do? Think about high-profile companies you know… like Whole Foods, Lululemon, Crate & Barrel, Prada, Virgin Airways.

I promise you, they ALL have a brand messaging strategy. If you look at any of their communications — social media, newsletters, advertisements, even product labels — you’ll see a recognizable, unified brand across all of them.

If you’re ready to level-up your business and step into the public eye, a brand messaging strategy might be next for you.

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What is a Brand Messaging Strategy?

A brand messaging strategy is the highly intentional way you present your business, both written and verbal, which creates the overall picture and feeling others associate with your firm.

Your brand messaging strategy includes the words and phrasing you use in website copy, blog posts, social media, newsletters, emails to clients, onboarding documents, your verbal elevator pitch, taglines, product labels, and more.

If you present a united brand across ALL of these outlets, you are essentially training the outside world how to think about your business—and you get to create and define exactly what that is.

What Does a Brand Messaging Strategy Look Like?

Although your brand messaging strategy will permeate every level of your business, there are a few important components to create first.

1. Brand Pillars

Brand Pillars are 3-4 values that you choose to represent your brand. They should represent a combination of your strengths, your design aesthetic (as a lifestyle), the value you provide, how you stand out from competitors, and your solutions to your clients’ biggest problems. And an upside of having them, in addition to unified messaging, is that they will augment your focus, purpose, and pride.

For example, Ochre & Beige’s brand pillars are: Strategy, Empathy, Creativity and Empowerment. Everything we do stems from one of these 4 pillars, and this is the value our clients get when they work with us. Better yet, just seeing them written out excites me! This is our PASSION.

The same goes for you — if you think your target clients will like your brand pillars but you find them “blah,” then iterate some more ideas until they make you feel alive. Or hire us to create a brand messaging strategy and we’ll do it for you.

2. Brand Word List, Dos & Don’ts

Your Brand Word List is exactly what it sounds like — words that connect your brand pillars and speak to your ideal client. You can have Brand Word Lists for how you talk about every aspect of your business: your process, your customer service, your design aesthetic, your team, even your target clients. You might also benefit from a list of words that you should NOT use.

EXAMPLES

A high-end interior designer might refer to their business as a “firm” or “atelier” and not as a “company.” 

A mid-market, family-friendly interior designer, might want to use more approachable words like “kiddos” and “little ones” instead of a more formal word like “children.”

There’s a free download at the end of this post that will help you discover the words that are best for you!

3. Elevator Pitch

Your Elevator Pitch is few conversational sentences that you can say in about 30 seconds (I think 20 seconds is better). The elevator pitch describes what you do, who you do it for, and why… but in a compelling way. If someone asks, “What do your business do?” — this is it. Again, these include your brand words and stem from your brand pillars. Unity, my friend.

EXAMPLE:

“We design functional homes for parents in the corporate world. You’d be surprised what a well-planned, luxurious space can do for efficiency, morning routines, and even making memories together. It’s changing how these families live!”


4. One-Liner

Your one-liner condenses everything we’ve discussed so far into… you guessed it, one line. (Or two, if you must.) This is a summary of your brand, the problems you solve for and for whom, and your mission. You can often find one-liners at the very bottom of business’ websites or in the descriptions of social media accounts.

EXAMPLE

Ochre & Beige offers simple and effective ghost blogging, content & branding strategy, blog post templates, and professional custom website copy for businesses in the interior design and home industry.

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The Benefits of a Brand Messaging Strategy

There are MANY benefits of a brand messaging strategy, and surprisingly, not all of them have to do with effectively marketing your firm.

External Benefits

  • Unified brand awareness 

  • Expresses your unique value

  • Differentiates you from your competition

  • Creates an emotional connection with target clients

Internal Benefits

  • Helps you teach employees how to talk about the firm with clients and vendors

  • Great for onboarding new employees who share your values and mission

  • Gives you a sense of focus and foundation when taking your business to the next level


If you’re eager to create your own Brand Messaging Strategy (including Brand Pillars and your Word List), you can download our free, printable workbook below and start ideating. (It’s a fun one!)

If you’d like a professional brand messaging strategy, we got you. We love words, and can’t wait to uncover the ones that love you. ;)

Cheers,
Jaquilyn