We (Catapult PR) talk a lot about our unique approach to positioning and messaging called Strategic Narrative Marketing (SNM). The approach defies traditional company-centric messaging because it challenges a company to look at messaging from a higher-level and focus on the industry. When this is done correctly, the company has an opportunity to be more strategic and develop a narrative that is unique, compelling and actually means something to the industry.
When we share tips and tools for leveraging SNM, we often talk about creating a “messaging space.” When a company develops a new approach and/or market category, it results in an industry “story” that is 100-percent unique – a goal many companies have, but find illusive to achieve.
Think about your company for a minute.
Does your company have an industry message that is unique and authentic, yet not about you?
This can be a revealing question. We find, more often than not, that company leaders are frustrated because their messaging sounds so much like every one of their competitors. This is where a new approach to messaging (SNM) comes in. This approach has helped dozens of companies find that unique voice and issue to champion that rides above what the company does day-in and day-out. The good news is when they have it (their unique singular message), they often go on to lead their market. However, in order to understand the approach, it’s helpful to understand the key terms we use for the SNM approach.
What does a “messaging space” mean in relation to SNM?
Here are three key elements that encompass a messaging space:
1. A new messaging space most often defines a new approach to an industry problem or, if applicable, a new “market category.” All companies have an opportunity to discover their unique “story” after a thorough examination of their industry (looking outside of themselves). Hiding somewhere in the industry mega-trends, the misperceptions and perceptions that are circulating the industry, is a unique messaging space that the company can own and launch in the form of a market category or approach.
2. Your unique messaging space drives content creation. As part of the SNM approach, PR and marketing teams have the opportunity leverage the industry mega-trends, misperceptions, perceptions, to create talking points and loads of fresh content. Not only does the content deliver a unique voice to the industry, but it is different than what the competitors are saying, and it actually means something to the industry.
3. The messaging space drives market leadership. While most companies are focused on their products and services, the SNM approach delivers a message aimed at the betterment of the industry. It’s the type of messaging that catches the attention of the biggest industry influencers (media/analysts). This is precisely how a company shifts from saying the same things as the competitor to market leadership.
The SNM approach requires a certain level of openness, as it changes the way traditional positioning and messaging is viewed. When companies embrace the process (and we’ve seen this firsthand) they are able to create this messaging space that is unique, authentic and actually aims to serve the industry as a whole. Subscribe to our blog for more tips on SNM, or check out our workshops.