Important messages may not stick if not creatively delivered. It’s one thing to craft well-honed key messages. It is another to leave a lasting impression.
At this year’s Portland Communicators Conference, one of the workshops covered creativity in messaging. The presenter, Betsy Hanning of marketing communications agency AHA!, said that to communicate key messages effectively, we need to create something remarkable.
She offered these tips as part of an overall exercise that the team at CFM has incorporated into its work when creating key messages as part of a larger communications strategy.
- Think – this is the rational part of the brand strategy. What do you want your customers to think about your brand?
- Feel – this is the emotional part of the brand strategy. What do you want your customers to feel as a part of your communication?
- Business objective – what do you want your customers to do as a result of your communication? (Be sure to make it easy.)
- Who – Who is your target customer? Put a face on your customer so that you can really get inside their head when creating your messages.
- What – What’s the medium you plan on using to communicate your key messages? The medium you choose to communicate says everything about how you communicate. Use the medium at its ‘edges.’
Here are two examples from CFM case studies about creating lasting impressions.
When the Blitz-Weinhard brewery in Portland closed after almost 140 years of operation on the same site, developer Gerding Edlen purchased the five-block site in the emerging Pearl District. It turned to CFM for help in selling an ambitious plan. The respected development company wanted to renovate the historic brewhouse and undertake a massive sustainable redevelopment project for the surrounding area.
To help the public relate to the importance of the historic site, CFM tapped – pardon the pun – into the rich advertising history for the brewery. Some of these TV spots originally were done in the 1960s, such as the Blitz Border Guard ad series. (“Hey there! Where you going with all that beer?”)
These spots were incorporated into a special event video announcing the project. CFM also created a booklet detailing the life of Henry Weinhard, which was used to emphasize the fact that the redevelopers of the old brewery would be sensitive to the cultural significance of the landmark. A project logo incorporating the brewhouse also helped drive home the link to the past.
As a result, developer Gerding Edlen was able to secure public support and excite city leaders and media about the project. Today, the Brewery Blocks is a key part of the Pearl District, a vital urban neighborhood between downtown and Northwest Portland.
Loafy: Tillamook® Cheese’s new mascot
CFM helped Tillamook Cheese create a new mascot to personalize and deliver the dairy co-operative’s products. It created an icon of Loafy, Tillamook’s signature Baby Loaf – or two-pound block – of Medium Cheddar, who interacts in first person with Tillamook’s followers on Twitter and Fans of Tillamook Cheese on Facebook. Through a combination of recipes, information about upcoming events, links to blogs and to CFM’s own Tillamook Fan Club Web site, CFM kept a steady stream of informative and entertaining content available for those who wanted it.
Using this approach, CFM created an experience that was both active and interactive. In a little more than a year, CFM grew the account to more than 4,000 Twitter followers. This was accomplished simply through creative messaging and humorous interaction. No promotional contests or auto-follow programs were used.
From the traditional way of communicating in the Blitz-Weinhard example above, to the modern way of communicating in the Tillamook Cheese example, there is one approach that holds a common theme: create remarkable messages. It’s the only way you’ll get your clients/brand/company heard.