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PHOTO CREDIT: Veronica Benavides

Finding the right message requires one key ingredient that often is overlooked: embracing your difference. No matter what you’re trying to do—inspire, motivate, or convince—it should come from a differentiated organization, not just be a differentiated message.

The most compelling messages have to have both an analytical and an emotional element because humans make decisions based on both facts and feelings. More often than not, we use analytical drivers to justify the emotional ones. “I need a phone.” vs. “I want the latest iPhone.”

However, both the analytical and emotional elements require trust.

Let’s start with the facts.

Facts were once seen as irrefutable statements about a topic. However, our definition of facts has changed because, in order for something to be considered a fact, it has to be believed. In today’s polarized political climate, the source has to be trusted for a data point to be considered a fact. Fox News says it reports facts but for the multitude of people who only see the outlet as a mouthpiece for the far-right, little Fox shares is trusted. On the other hand, for the many who do trust Fox, whatever their anchors say is seen as 100% factual.

The same is true with feelings. Cynicism now reigns so, for a message to move us, we have to trust and identify with the source. When a stranger on the street asks us for money, we take in their story, either literally or unconsciously, to determine if we believe them and, in turn, open our heart- and purse-strings.

Therefore, if finding the right message requires both feelings and facts, and both feelings and facts require trust, the question becomes how do we earn that trust? In a word? Authenticity. In a few more words? Authentically sharing what makes your organization unique is the key to establishing trust and finding the right message.

Simple authenticity isn’t enough. Remember that the people we want our message to reach connect with a variety of organizations. Those organizations, even the ones who do not do what we do, are the ones with whom we must compete for the trust that will bolster our messages both analytically and emotionally.

Finding the Right Message: How

There are several places to look for your organization’s authentic differentiation, such as:

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Approaches and methodologies
  • Team makeup, and
  • Work culture.

If you need help, let us know. We’re always happy to apply our Ask, Build, and Connect methodology to create the Focus & Messaging Framework that will embrace your organization’s authentic differentiation.

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