Why are key messages important in tendering?

In tendering and marketing we talk about “key messages” or “core messages”. Developing key messages is a powerful method to use in your tender response because they create focus, strengthen your win strategy, and make the bid clear and effective.

Key messages should simply summarise in very few words why you are the best choice to solve the problem or answer the need that the customer has. They should be very clear and be easy to understand and remember.

They are important because they serve as the basis of bid branding and be reflected and amplified in all the written and graphic communications.


The key message should be really obvious and supported by everything you write. What you really want to tell your audience is why they should you buy from you. They should point the reader only in that direction.

Most key messages are attempting to show a point of difference that adds value. If you concentrate this even more—your core message is your simple delivery promise.


Some examples of the types of key messages that we have developed for clients in tenders:

  • We are good at relationships so there will be no disputes [so there is no way the contract will go over budget]
  • We have done lots of similar work before so we are the lowest risk
  • We have successfully worked with you for many years so we understand what you want [better than our competitors]
  • We have innovative management software that makes us more efficient [and saves you money]
  • We have specialist equipment that means we get things done quicker [than our competitors]

Each message is backed up by imagery that is the most appropriate. Relationships are shown by having lots of people in the images (which is always a good idea). Experience is shown by showcasing previous projects.


When we write a complicated proposal or report we have a lot of information to include and a lot of requirements to address. Making sure you develop core messages is a way of making sure that your reader understands clearly what you offer in the middle of what can be information overload. Without them proposals risk being a labyrinth of explanations about what you provide without giving a clear idea of why they should choose you.