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  • Writer's pictureJean Clavelle

What is Core Messaging and Why is it The Most Important Thing You Haven't Done?

Updated: Aug 10, 2023

We’ve all been there: you’re grabbing a coffee and you run into an old acquaintance. You know they fit the core customer profile but when they say “Tell me about your new business,” you struggle to come up with a simple answer or hope what you said is meaningful enough, they’ll get the gist. But was it good enough?


Not having the right words to explain what you do can be frustrating! And more importantly, how many leads have you lost because you weren’t persuasive enough?


Don’t worry, it’s not a you problem, it’s a messaging problem. And it happens to a lot of companies.


What is core messaging?


On the surface, it’s as simple as it sounds. Core messaging is a collection of go-to messages, ideas and phrases that represent your brand, products and services and explain key truths about your business in a single handy document.


Digging deeper, core messaging is the official transcript – the playbook – that explains what you do and why your business is special. It not only defines who you are, but it also clarifies what you’re not, which lets you establish boundaries around your brand and helps you carve out your special niche. It defines the direction, intent and purpose of your company explained through clear, accurate and compelling language your audience will understand.


Core messaging includes:

  • Brand elements (tagline, values, vision, purpose, mission statement, etc.)

  • Tone of voice

  • Your target audience demographics and defining characteristics

  • How you compare to competitors

  • Your unique value proposition

  • Your “elevator pitch” / company statement

  • Messaging that captures the essence of your business in repeatable, concise language and that resonates with your target audience(s). It uses all the above as a filter to ensure that what you say uniquely positions you in the marketplace accurately and speaks directly to your audience, every time.

In our experience, every core messaging document is as unique as the business itself. Sure, it includes all the information above, but just like every person is different so is every business. Core messaging is not about filling space on a page, it’s about finding the right words that sound like you and resonate with your customer.


When done right (and I can’t over sell this), core messaging is a transformative tool that should be used by the entire team to create the outcomes you’re looking for.

Here are 5 reasons to invest in core messaging:


  1. It’s written for your customers and drills down to what matters to them. This results in deeper connections with your audience and a more effective sales process because it demonstrates you understand their struggles and explains how your solutions solve their problems.

  2. It ensures your team is on the same page so that everyone from the customer service rep to the CEO tells the same story. No one is guessing and no one is going off script.

  3. It levels up marketing (PR, internal communications, etc). Core messaging clarifies who your audience is, defines why your products and services matter and helps you remain consistent across all customer touchpoints. The result is that every marketing activity you engage in is clear and compelling and focused on your business’s objectives.

  4. Core messaging helps you allocate your marketing budget more efficiently. Core messaging acts as a compass to guide decision-making and distribute marketing resources. Although it’s an upfront investment, it pays off later by speeding up future marketing campaigns, leading to cost savings and a better return on investment.

  5. It generates more consistent internal communications. The result is an organized, cohesive team working together to drive sales.


How do you use core messaging?


Once captured on paper, core messages can be applied to:

  • Copy for your website to ensure it speaks directly to your customers with clear calls to action and compelling product stories.

  • To fill out your social media content calendar with on-brand topics in a consistent voice.

  • Topic ideas for blogs, articles, newsletters and other customer-facing marketing content.

  • An onboarding document for new hires to familiarize themselves with your company, products and customers.

  • Marketing campaigns that target your core audience on the platforms they frequent with the information they value.

  • Trust - building sales campaigns that resonate with customers.

  • And so much more!


It doesn’t matter where you are on your business journey, whether you’re a start-up or an established company – it’s never too late to develop or refine your core messaging. The best time to start is today. You won’t regret the investment!

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