By Emily Soccorsy + Justin Foster
As a child, magic is an accepted part of the world.
Yet as adults, magic becomes something that “doesn’t exist.” (Until we head off to Disneyland or Disney World and throw ourselves full bore into the idea of magic once again.)
While as adults we eschew magic, yet we embrace the idea of magic wands.
We seek them out in our diet, in our physique, with our parenting, in the quality of our skin or the thickness of our hair.
But there is still magic in marketing …
And it’s found in the message.
A compelling message has always been magic. A well-crafted message opens new places in the mind. It enters the soul. It quickens the heart. From “Follow me” to “I have a dream” to “Tear down this wall,” a message driven by conviction changes the world.
The main issue is that most brands don’t think of message this way. They still view message as a cheesy slogan, a witty one-liner, or a cute tagline — often delivered via the battering ram of advertising and the waterboarding of sales pitches.
Here are three simple tips for ensuring that your message is magic and not mundane:
- Speak from and to the heart. We ask our clients “What does your heart want to say to the world?” This is your message. It requires leaders to go inward to consider this deep question. This moves you away from two things that kill the magic: 1) trying to make an intellectual argument and 2) delivering a message based on what you think people want to hear.
- Meld your message with design.Dream about your message until you feel confident creating art with it. Infusing beauty transforms your message into art. Art inspires both the soul and the mind, draws the attention of your audience and makes your message stand out. Blending message and art creates a sensory experience that subconsciously attracts people to your brand.
- Be consistently dedicated to your message. This sounds extremely basic. But. When you dedicatedly and heartfully deliver your message to the people who matter to you — in life, in business, something magical happens. It starts deeper conversations. It leaves people wondering and longing to know more. It suspends you above others. It begins a deep discovery process. A word of warning: don’t pursue consistency at the expense of conviction. Stay rooted in the meaning of your message as you practice this consistency.
Most of all, and if you do none of these things, just stay open to seeing the magic in what you do. Start by considering what part of your work is easy for you. We tend to dismiss what we are best at — and not appreciate the magic of our own talent and how we magically apply it.
Finally, a challenge for you …
Revisit the message you are sharing with the world as your brand. As you examine your foundations of your brand with these fresh ideas, can you feel the magic in your heart and bones? If not, you don’t have a message.
Emily Soccorsy + Justin Foster are cofounders of the intrinsic branding practice known as Root + River. Together with their defiantly different clients, they uncover then articulate the foundational elements of the brand. Then, they provide brand strategy and brand coaching as the brand is rolled out internally and externally. Obsessive about language and differentiation, Emily + Justin are also authors and speakers. Follow @rootandriver @fosterthinking and @emilyatlarge.