10 Ways To Build A Winning Brand Story: Part 7 of 10


By Jed Morley, CMO at Consensus

This 10-part article explains how to create a compelling brand story for your company, products and services. Great brands are great stories that are always in the process of being told, refreshed and continued. Great brand stories are easy to recognize and sometimes happen intuitively, but a clear framework can improve your chances of success.

If you missed it, read 10 Ways to Build a Winning Brand Story: Part 6 of 10

Part 7 of 10: The Brand Values Ladder

Messaging defines what the brand should communicate at specific times or under specific circumstances to specific target markets or audiences. And, of course, the number of messages and audiences varies by brand. John Jantsch, a marketing consultant and speaker, defines a market as a group of people who buy for the same reasons and who reference one another.

Richard Wirthlin, founder of a market research firmed called Wirthlin Worldwide and a pioneer in personal values-based research, developed the Values Laddering model as a way of developing effective messages and communications strategies for specific audiences in political campaigns, including Ronald Reagan’s successful presidential campaigns in 1980 and 1984.

Wirthlin Worldwide helped Ronald Reagan de-position Walter Mondale by using values-driven messaging in the 1984 U.S. Presidential Campaign.

Source: Values, Lifestyles, and Psycographics—Edited by Lynn R. Kahle and Larry Chiagouris, p. 10

The messages Nike communicates are effective because they communicate with people on all four levels of communication that are essential to persuade people to think of something in a positive way (based on reason) and to motivate them to take action (based on emotion). The four levels of communication outlined in the Brand Values Laddering model are:

Persuasion based on reason:

1) Attributes: The physical characteristics of a person, product or service that can be observed in the world.

2) Benefits: The benefits that people derive from these features.

Motivation based on emotion:

3) Feelings: The way people feel from experiencing these benefits.

4) Values: the reasons why people think it’s important to feel that way.

Key questions to ask in developing a Brand Values Ladder include the following:

Persuasion: To think of something in a positive way.


What comes to mind when you think about this product or service?

Choose the one thing that matters most from this list.


What benefits come to you personally from these attributes?

Pick the benefit that’s most important to you personally.

Motivation: To take action.


When you have this benefit, how does it make you feel?

Pick the feeling you care most about having in your life.


Why is it important for you to feel that way?

Consensus helps you communicate your key messages in a consistent way that is relevant to each member of the buying committee.

About Consensus

Consensus is Software as a Service (SaaS) that automates custom product demos to accelerate sales. Our interactive demo platform personalizes video and documents so each prospect automatically learns about your solution in the most relevant way. This cuts sales cycles and increases close rates. Our Demolytics™ dashboard helps you discover and engage the entire buying committee by gathering analytics and tracking who’s involved, what’s important to them, what they watched, and who they shared it with. This drives consensus and gets to a purchase decision much faster than traditional sales methods. Clients have cut their sales cycles by 68% and jumped close rates by 27%.

Consensus is Intelligent Demo Automation that scales your presales function.
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