Junction 32 Blog

What Kid President Can Teach All Brands About Messaging

Julianne Kim January 16, 2018
Julianne Kim
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You’re a business or brand with a purpose, a message, and products to sell. But it’s one thing to have a message and a completely different thing to figure out your messaging 

If you don’t have marketing experience, you might feel like throwing your hands in the air and proclaiming: “I’m just not good at this!” We completely understand, but we promise that you have the power and talent to write your own, amazing messaging. 

This brings us to Kid President. Ever heard of him? The sweet and hilarious 9-year-old has 2 million subscribers on YouTube, has given a TED talk and lives by the motto “treat everybody like it's their birthday.”


On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day, Kid President released this video:


I saw the video shared about a dozen times on my social media feeds over the course of MLK day. It resonated with people because it told us about a problem, reminded us of the solution and inspired action.


Here’s how you can use Kid President’s method to help you with messaging:


1. “Once upon a time…”


Once upon a time, there was a man named Martin Luther King, Jr. He taught us that things won't always be awesome, but your response can be.


Kid President sets up the problem. Why does MLK day matter? What was the context of the world when MLK was alive? We need to understand why the message we’re about to hear is important.


Does your business set up the problem in it’s messaging? Does your potential customer know what problem you’re solving? It can be literal—like Kid President’s—or it can be implied. Take Nike, for example: just do it. Nike doesn't explicitly spell it out, but just do it  tells us that starting is often the hardest part. Walmart says: Save Money. Live Better. The problem here is that living well is expensive… unless you shop at Walmart. Set up your problem, so that you can set up yourself as the solution.


2. “Isn’t it cool how we can change things?”


The solution that Kid President offers is that we—all of us—can be the change. He doesn’t say, "Isn’t it cool how I can make a video and get people talking? " He wants to inspire you to be the solution.

Your customer is the hero, not you. Use terms and phrases that make you their guide and supporting character.


3. “Let’s dream like that.”


Kid President perfectly combines inspiration with action. When people are done watching his video, they’re likely thinking “Yes, let’s!” Does your brand messaging inspire or cause action?


4. #BookItForward


As a marketer, this part of Kid President’s video might be my favorite. After his story, he tells you about a new book written by Martin Luther King III. Then, Kid President tells you that he loves it so much that he’s pledging to #bookitforward. This means he is promising to buy 30 copies of the book and gift them to a local school.


How different would this message be if he had just said “this video is sponsored by [the new book]. Buy your copy today!” Not the same warm fuzzies, right? That’s because a good brand is a generous brand. He’s telling you that he loves this book so much, he thinks all kids should be able to read it. And that, friends, is how you position a product.


Maybe you’re not an adorable 9-year-old YouTube sensation, but there are a lot of lessons we can learn from how he’s gotten to be so well known and loved. Messaging is everything, and we're excited for you to get to work on yours.


What’s your brand’s messaging? We would love to read it in the comments!


Topics: communication, branding, messaging, story, storytelling, youtube, brand, copy writing