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How do you know if your messaging is hitting the mark?

As a brand manager or marketing manager for an outdoor brand, you understand how important it is to create effective brand messaging that resonates with your target audience. But how do you know if your messaging is hitting the mark? That’s where testing comes in.

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of testing brand messaging and provide tips on how to do it effectively. We’ll also cite experts in the field of marketing and branding to give you a well-rounded perspective on this crucial topic.

Why Testing Brand Messaging is Important

Testing brand messaging is important because it helps you understand how your target audience perceives your brand and whether your messaging is effective in achieving your marketing goals. Without testing, you could be investing a lot of time and resources into messaging that doesn’t resonate with your audience, leading to lost sales and wasted resources.

According to the American Marketing Association, “Testing your brand messaging and positioning is critical because it is the only way to ensure that you are actually communicating what you intend to communicate to your target audience.”

Types of Brand Messaging Tests

There are several types of brand messaging tests, including:

A/B testing

This involves testing two different versions of your messaging to determine which one resonates better with your audience.

For instance, the control headline could be “Introducing our new outdoor product: The Wilderness Backpack” while the variation headline could be “Experience the wilderness like never before with our new backpack.”

The goal of the test would be to see which headline resonates more with the target audience, based on the metrics that matter to the business such as engagement, clicks, and conversions.

By conducting the A/B test, the brand managers and marketing managers could gain valuable insights on how to optimize their messaging for better performance in future campaigns.

Focus groups

This involves gathering a group of individuals from your target audience and presenting them with your brand messaging to gauge their reactions and perceptions.

But beware. Focus groups can sometimes lead to groupthink, where participants tend to agree with each other or the moderator, rather than expressing their own individual opinions. This can result in biased or inaccurate feedback on the copy being tested.

Another pitfall is that focus groups typically involve a small number of participants, which can make it difficult to generalize the results to a larger audience. Additionally, the participants may not be representative of the target audience for the copy being tested, further limiting the usefulness of the results.


You can create a survey to distribute to your target audience to gather feedback on your messaging.

Let’s say you’re a marketing manager for an outdoor gear company and you want to test two different versions of a product description for a new tent. You could create a survey and randomly assign participants to one of two groups: Group A and Group B.

Group A would see the original version of the product description, while Group B would see a modified version. Both groups would then be asked to rate the effectiveness of the product description on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most effective.

Tips for Effective Brand Messaging Testing

Know your goals: Determine your marketing goals before you start testing so that you can ensure your messaging aligns with those goals.

Use a diverse audience: Make sure your testing audience represents a diverse range of your target audience so that you get a well-rounded understanding of how different groups perceive your messaging.

Keep it simple: Avoid using complex language or industry jargon in your messaging, as it can make it harder for your audience to understand.

Test early and often: Don’t wait until you’ve invested significant resources into your messaging to start testing. Test early and often to catch any potential issues before they become major problems.

Analyze and adjust: Once you’ve completed your testing, analyze the results and adjust your messaging accordingly. Don’t be afraid to make changes if the results indicate that your messaging isn’t resonating with your audience.

Expert Perspectives

According to branding expert Laura Lake, “It’s important to test your brand messaging because you never know how it’s going to be received until it’s out there in the marketplace.”

Marketing guru Seth Godin also emphasizes the importance of testing, stating, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell. The best way to tell those stories is through testing and experimentation.”


Testing brand messaging is a crucial part of creating effective marketing campaigns for your outdoor brand. By using a variety of testing methods and following best practices, you can ensure that your messaging resonates with your target audience and helps you achieve your marketing goals. Remember to test early and often, analyze the results, and adjust your messaging as needed to stay ahead of the competition.

PULL is a full-service branding and consulting agency specializing in outdoor brands. We have experience in both building brands from scratch and shepherding established brands to their next peak. 

If your brand could use an outside perspective or you just want to shoot the breeze, don’t hesitate to drop us a line

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