We are going to look at using your core message to engage customers and how to make your core message go viral.
Who hasn’t heard time and time again that it is essential to have a strong core message. That your core message should be the center of your business? But what is it really ? Is it a slogan? Is it a catch-phrase? Are your employees supposed to relate to it? Or is the message destined to your potential clients?
The core message of your business or brand represents your values. Your core message should never be about WHAT you do, but instead about WHY you do it. It should be a constant reminder of what you stand for, and why you’re in business. Your core message is destined both to your employees and to your clients and to all your connections and possible audience. It shows them what you care about and what’s your bigger picture.
In practice, core messages often refer to the greater goods: trust, equality, making people feel special, having fun, integrity, honesty, service, adventure, education, freedom. And the list goes on... Each brand and company can have a unique core message as a guideline in all their actions.
Let’s have a look at an example: everybody knows KLM, right? It’s a Dutch airline that flies all over the world. Last year, a video they published took over the internet with 22 million views, making it one the most viewed videos they’ve ever produced.
That’s bound to have something to do with its star character — a beautiful little beagle ! This little dog is presented as KLM’s newest team member for their Lost & Found service.
In the video, you see how KLM tries their best to get lost or forgotten items on board their planes, back to their owners before these passengers even make it out of the airport.
You see the KLM staff checking the seats and giving the lost item to their little beagle dog and how he runs all over the airport tracking down the owners. But there’s more to it than that. It triggers an emotional response in its audience. It explores an issue most of us can relate to, losing important belongings while travelling.
The 1 minute and 40 seconds of floppy-eared puppy making the day of weary travellers by returning lost items is bound to have you smiling. The video triggers empathy toward the cute dog, the employees, and of course, KLM itself. At Takeawaycontent.com we love the type of content that triggers emotional responses.
The ability to evoke emotion in the audience is, thanks to the video, which, while clearly low-budget, is well-made. Most of the scenes are of this little furball running through the airport halls and of happy customers getting their item back; sometimes even before they noticed it was missing!
Let’s back up a second and see the big picture. The video was made by KLM, right? But it doesn’t even feature planes, which would clearly be their main subject. The video does not mention reservations, airline fees, booking or anything really related to flying with KLM for that matter.
If you really think about it, the real message is not even that they have a little dog working for their Lost & Found service. That isn’t news, and it’s hardly an amazing service to mankind when you know seeing-eye dogs and police dogs go above and beyond.
The video is actually about getting their audience to feel their core message and KLM’s message is clear, that the airline is there for its customers, first and foremost. You may be thinking that being an airline, their core message should be safety of travellers. Or it should be low travel fares. But remember, a core message is not what you’re selling. It’s not your offer, or any kind of explanation about your services.
A core message is a simple principle that sums up the ethics of the brand. To put simply, what KLM is communicating to their audience with the video is two words: WE CARE.
The video is one of the best ways to get across these emotion-based messages. The highlight of the content is based on the visual impact of the dog because who could resist the sheer cuteness? Informative data or communication about KLM itself is totally absent. The moment the beagle comes leaping up the airport hallway, filmed in slow-motion and with dramatic music is sure to have the viewers' full attention.
And what’s more, you can see that the video is shot “a la sauvage”. The takes have probably been filmed in 1 single day, and include random passages and normal airport life. The camera is not on a tripod, but instead, the image sways slightly as if it were quickly hosted on the cameraman’s shoulders on the go.
The people at the airport and the KLM staff are clearly not actors, and filming in this style gives the video an authentic and truthful feeling.
At one moment, you can even see the sound crew struggling to catch up with the little creature sprinting at full speed. All in all, the video contributes to making KLM’s Core message seem trustworthy because it looks totally transparent and authentic.
This is crucial because just because you have a core message doesn’t necessarily make your audience believe it. Imagine if a petrol stations core message “save the planet”, you would think that was a bunch of bull***, wouldn’t you?
In comparison, KLM’s message comes off as very convincing. As a viewer, you want to believe them.
Does your company or brand have a core message? Even if you don’t have an official one, you probably live by certain values on a day-to-day basis.
Have you ever thought about expressing your core message to your audience in order to inspire them and make a real connection?
There are many ways to communicate a message depending on your business and the type of message to get across.
We hope this article has shown you one of our core messages: Passion for content! Passion for sharing!
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with your questions or comments.
Wendy is the project manager at Takeaway Content. Fluent in English, Spanish and French, she is really easy to talk to and she's an expert in content strategy.