Business Breakthrough Thursdays

Doug Fox on the Five Biggest Messaging Mistakes Companies Make

October 01, 2020 David J Fionda Season 1 Episode 4
Business Breakthrough Thursdays
Doug Fox on the Five Biggest Messaging Mistakes Companies Make
Show Notes

In this episode of Business Breakthrough Thursdays, host Dave Fionda speaks with brand strategy consultant Doug Fox about the top five branding and messaging mistakes marketers make. If you worry about how to balance sales and goodwill, this is the podcast episode for you.


  • When message maps don't work
  • How to close the "brand gap" between where you want to be perceived and where your consumers actually see you
  • Why pain points are the key to activating brand loyalty and advocacy
  • How to solve the conflict between allocating budget for marketing your product with the need to raise awareness and goodwill, 
  • What the biggest mistakes that brand managers and communicators are making today are
  • When competitors are hiding in plain sight

The five big messaging mistakes, in a nutshell:

  1. Trying to be all things to all people. Don't become a Lionel Hutz — a "jack of all trades." A single, well constructed, sharp message will beat out a comprehensive message playbook every time. Connect with your "thin deep wedge," and then convert.
  2. Skipping the differentiator entirely. Don't forget to include the language of differentiation in your core message (examples are "first/best/only" or "better/faster/cheaper"). But if your differentiator is "too good to be true," you may have to lead with a relevance message, follow up with a credibility message, then hit them with the differentiators.
  3. Talking like an industry insider. Don't assume that your buyer speaks "jargon" and risk talking over people's heads. The best acronym is NAA — "not another acronym."
  4. Ignoring emotion. Logic may drive you toward a decision, but it's emotion that closes the deal (and logic again that rationalizes your choice after the fact). Science shows that we can't make decisions without our emotions. 
  5. Ignoring the "why." You know how your product works, inside and out. You know what the features are. Don't lead with those. Lead with the why, then explain the how and what. The "why" is inherently emotional. It's the "benefits" message.

Doug is a proven brand and marketing strategist with 20+ years experience successfully building and repositioning global brands and businesses. He has a proven reputation of helping his clients be more ‘Foxy‘, strengthening their brands and generating more demand for their products, services and solutions. He specializes in taking very complex offerings and simplifying them down to what is most compelling and motivating for prospects. We're proud to have him as one of our podcast guests.