Messaging, Message Map

Building our Story

This framework provides the foundation for brand messages that are clear, consistent, and compelling.


The message map prioritizes and organizes the most important messages for telling the RIT story by illustrating the relationship between attributes and benefits. Our story always connects to the center of the map — the core brand promise. Based on the needs of the target audience and the specific message we need to deliver, we can determine an appropriate secondary message and proof points.

Attributes: What we Offer

An attribute is what we offer to our audiences. Attributes include things like programs, facilities, culture, and experiences.

Benefits: Why it Matters

A benefit is what our audiences get. It’s the value of the attributes that we offer, and why they matter.

Staying on message allows us to communicate our offer to the world in a compelling way that’s uniquely ours.

Message Map

With our brand essence as inspiration, we begin to shape our story around three pillars that make RIT distinct: our programs, our perspective, and our people. At the core of the map, our brand makes a promise, which is at the heart of what we do and why it matters. Secondary messages establish a point of view for our story, and specific supporting points prove our message true in very real and specific ways.

Graph with directions on how to read a marketing message map

How to use the Message Map

Determine your audience and objective.

Figure out who you’re talking to before you decide what to say and what you’re trying to achieve.


Determine the attributes.

Consult the message map to align your topic with specific attributes. When possible, connect supporting points with a secondary message to strengthen your message.


Determine the benefit.

Once you’ve established that your topic links to a brand attribute, you need to identify the benefit or benefits. (Note: In most cases, your audience cares more about the benefit than the attribute.)


Craft your message.

You may have found one benefit, or you may have found several. You’ll want to narrow your focus to the most important benefit—that’s what you need to get across first. Any supporting benefits should act as talking points, complemented by the attributes of the topic you are promoting.


RIT’s Messaging Map Log in with your RIT account to view

Blurred version of the message map.