message brainstorming workshops

what does your organisation stand for?
what products or services does it offer?
why should anyone be interested?

These questions are so obvious that you would expect any organisation could easily answer them. But surprisingly often this isn’t the case. Executives, managers, even chief executives are frequently too busily involved in day-to-day activities to stand back and take a broader view. Small wonder they struggle to explain themselves to the outside world.

From within an organisation it can be difficult to imagine the outsider’s perspective.
Even when people know their organisation’s goals and objectives, they often assume that it is all so blindingly obvious that it is not worth mentioning. “People understand why we are interesting and important” is a common misapprehension.

Message brainstorming sessions help you see your organisation from an outsider’s point of view. Using a workshop format and flip-charts, they help analyse and explore your activities to devise a compelling set of messages, proof points and examples. These can be as broad or narrow as you want, spanning your whole organisation or focusing on a specific product or service. Messages that have undergone such rigorous questioning, testing and streamlining, are much more likely to succeed.

The three part session outlined below typically takes two to three hours.

message brainstorming part I: key messages

This session takes a step back, helping you think about your public image and consider how you look from the outsider’s perspective. It takes into account your marketplace, the competition, expectations of customers and clients, and views of sector experts. The aim is to produce a succinct list of key top-line messages that you want people to associate with your organisation or a specific product or service.

message brainstorming part II; proof points

Messages alone are not enough. To be convincing, you need evidence. Claims need to be substantiated or they sound like marketing hype. Part II involves identifying a set of proof points that underpin each message drawing on any hard data available such as performance statistics, market research, customer satisfaction surveys etc.

message brainstorming part III: examples

Case studies, examples and individual stories are the most powerful way to win over your audience. Ideally, they will name names and give details, though client confidentiality sometimes require them to be disguised. At a last resort, they can be hypothetical. This session aims to help you identify a set of strong examples that reinforce and substantiate your key messages.

features, advantages and benefits

Whenever you launch a new product or service you need to think about it in terms of features, advantages and benefits.
Features: what are you offering?
Advantages: what’s new here?
Benefits: why is it worth find out more?
Message brainstorming is the ideal way to answer these questions and prepare your marketing strategy.