All about Mortar: The Strategy Based Message that Holds Your Brand Together [Part 2 of 3]

We’re in the midst of a three-part series of posts explaining the concept of bricks and mortar and how it relates to building your brand on the radio.

Before we get started, make sure you’ve read the first post in this series to give you an introduction to what exactly bricks and mortar are. This post will assume you’re already familiar with these topics.

What is a Strategy Based Message?

Your mortar statement and strategy based message are synonymous. An effective mortar statement is your unique value proposition presented creatively for the general public to understand. It must be short and simple. Your goal here is to establish an emotional connection with the listener. Cut the clutter and wasted words. You’re confined to 30 or 60 second radio ads. Any unnecessary words are wasted.

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Here’s a challenge: try to get your strategy based message to squeeze into the length of a Tweet – 160 characters, including spaces. It's tougher than it seems.

FYI, that challenge you just read? It clocks in at 160 characters. Not very long at all. I spent several minutes swapping out words, saying things differently and rearranging the order to make it fit. Plan to spend a few hours writing, re-writing, crafting, honing, and reading your strategy based message aloud. That’s how important it is.

An example to Help Clarify

For Concrete Image Salon, their differentiator is that they give amazing haircuts that’ll make you stand out from the crowd. But just saying it like that is lackluster. Imagine a commercial for them with this copy:

“At Concrete Image, we’ll give you an amazing haircut to make you stand out from the crowd.”

All about Mortar. The Strategy Based Message that Holds Your Brand Together | Young Girl with Colorful HairIt’s missing punch and pizzazz, and it doesn’t align with their brand’s image of being trendy, hip, and pushing the limits of what great hair can do for you. Plus, any salon could say that – so it doesn’t really mean anything.

To uncover their mortar statement, Concrete Image had to dig a little deeper. They had to say it without saying it. What emotions do they want their haircuts to illicit?

Poise. Confidence. Sexiness.

What will a haircut from Concrete Image actually do for the client? It will make a statement. That’s their strategy based message: Make a Statement.

When you hear their ads, it’s crystal clear who Concrete Image is targeting. Young women who care about having a killer haircut and want to feel confident and bold. They want to turn heads on the street.

You’ll hear that mortar line in every single ad, because that’s how Concrete Image differentiates from the other salons in the area. No other salon can use those words without being labeled a copycat. In fact, it's more likely that Concrete Image will get more business if another salon copies their slogan. It will be a case of mistaken identity. Everyone who hears it will automatically associate those words with Concrete Image. That's called top of mind awareness, and it's incredibly valuable for your brand.

Tying it All Together

In essence, your mortar statement should, well, make a statement. It’s that simple. Now, uncovering how to say it without relying on tired and overused words is the hard part.

Crafting all of this isn’t easy. That’s why you should never try to DIY your advertising campaigns. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Rely on the expertise of those around you. Your radio rep and copywriter create mortar statements and plan out branding campaigns all the time. They also have access to other professionals in their network to consult with on a case-by-case basis.

Once you’ve got your strategy based message crafted, it’s time to select a voice for the ads, and a music bed to use consistently throughout. The voice and music are like audio versions of your logo. You should never change them for the same reasons you should never change your logo.

A mortar statement, along with the voice and music, are the strings of consistency to keep your ad campaign congruent and recognizable. They all work together to create your brand, a feeling you want listeners to experience when they hear your ads on the radio.

Next, we’ll dive deep into the concept of a brick as part of a bricks and mortar advertising campaign. Go ahead and subscribe to our blog to get updates delivered to your inbox.
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