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The essential components of brand messaging

Creating Clarity Newsletter #007

 Hey 👋🏻

How DO you create a powerful message?

It’s a question I get a lot. This question follows it – “Is there a formula?”

Actually, there is a formula, and it’s a pretty simple one: O + O = O

While the formula itself is easy, finding the right words to plug into the formula is challenging.

🤝 The three O’s of a powerful message

When it comes to creating powerful messaging, you must keep in mind this one thing – It’s not about you. Unfortunately, too many businesses and brands make their messaging about themselves. Here’s the secret no one talks about.

When someone sees your messaging for the first time, they DO NOT care about you. They care about themselves. All they want to know is, do you understand them, and can you help them?

If your message is only about you – when you started the company, the products/services you offer, your personal story – it’s tough for prospects to relate, and that’s where the three O’s come into play.

  • Objectives
  • Obstacles
  • Outcomes

For the O’s to work for you, you MUST put yourself in your prospects’ shoes.

💭 Objectives

Everything starts with the Objective. What does your prospect want, or what are they trying to achieve? You need to list these things out in the way THEY think about them, not how you think of them.

The best way to do this is by listing out the features of your product or service. Next to each one, ask, “So what?” Why does that feature matter to the prospect, or what does the feature enable the prospect to do/achieve?


If you sell a physical product that enables super-fast wifi connections, why does that matter to your prospect? What does a super-fast wifi connection allow?

If you sell a service to build websites for someone, why does a website matter for your prospect? What does it enable your prospect to achieve?

There’s a tool I used to use when I worked as a lean manufacturing/six sigma implementor in a previous life, called the Five Whys.

At first, the five whys seems like this super annoying way to challenge people (because it is), but it is very useful when digging deeper into something.

If you get stuck determining objectives, ask why five times – why is that important, why is that important, why is that important…you get the point.

🤔 Obstacles

Just like it sounds, obstacles are the things that get in the way of progress. From a messaging standpoint, they are preventing your prospect from achieving their objectives.

Obstacles are tangible. People can name them, and they come in many forms.

  • Lack of knowledge – I don’t know how to create a powerful message
  • Lack of time – Too busy with 1:1 work
  • Lack of a system – It feels like starting over every time

Notice there are layers to obstacles.

The first layer is the way you say it.

The second layer is the way your prospects say it.

The second layer is more important because it gets you to speak your prospects’ language, not your own. If you struggle to speak your prospects’ language, check out this TRAINING.

There is also a third layer to obstacles.

The third layer is something people don’t like to talk about, but it is crucial to building a powerful message; feelings.

For each Obstacle, capture how the Obstacle makes your prospect feel. More than 80% of purchases are made because of how something makes us feel. When you can capture that feeling in words, your message becomes fire. Speaking of fire…

🔥 Outcomes

Outcomes are the results you help your clients achieve. You’d be surprised how many business owners struggle to answer this question. You know you get great results for clients, but what are they? How do you measure them?

Outcomes are the justification prospects use to buy from you. So even if you nail the Objectives and Obstacles part of the formula, if you miss the Outcomes, the formula doesn’t work.

Once you know the outcomes, capture and share them as testimonials or logos on your site. Talk about Outcomes in your copy, on your website, in your content. Don’t shy away from sharing the success you help others achieve. It’s why people hire you.

🧮   The Essential Components of a Powerful Brand Message

To get the most from the formula, create a spreadsheet with four columns or rows, depending on your preference.

  • Column 1: List the Objectives prospects want to achieve
  • Column 2: List the Obstacles that get in their way
  • Column 3: List how each Obstacle makes them feel
  • Column 4: List the Outcomes you help your clients reach

Start by listing all of the Objectives in column one. Then, next to each Objective, list the Obstacle, the feeling, and the Outcome. Now read across the row from Objective to Outcome and see if it makes sense. If it does, move on to the next row. If it doesn’t, start asking yourself the five whys.

When you do this exercise, you’ll be well on your way to creating a powerful message.

That’s it for this edition of Creating Clarity. See you next week.

Cheers 🍺


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