Creating a Brand Voice is a Critical Component of a Solid Brand Strategy
Does your company have a brand voice? Not just your logo or what you are tweeting at any given time, but a comprehensive and well thought out strategy as to how, when, why, where and to whom as it pertains to your brand voice? For many companies, this is an after-thought or something that isn’t even considered when devising a brand strategy. But a solid brand voice can be the catalyst to ensuring you are staying true to your own mission, vision and identity. We’ve provided our top 8 tips to consider in developing your brand voice. Many overlap but all must be addressed in order to have a really powerful brand voice.
1. Define Your Personality
Your brand voice should effectively reflect your company values and the overall personality of your business. It’s ok for a business to feel more human… it’s actually more preferred. Like the old saying, people do business with people, not businesses. Don’t be afraid to inflect your personality in your content and communications. Think about how your personality can help differentiate you in the market and how your brand voice can help reinforce and carry this message.
2. Be Consistent
Your brand voice should be consistent, yet evolving, across all your channels (both internal and external to your company). While you shouldn’t project a completely different brand voice at any certain point in time or across one medium to the next… it is important to note that your voice should evolve as the world around you does. Now that doesn’t mean your values and such have to change with it. But our world moves at such a fast pace… that what was new today is quickly outdated. Be open to changing your voice with the ever-changing landscape of how we interact with one another, and with the technologies that shape our future. It’s important to note that there will be nuances in your brand voice across different platforms (as different types of customers may be on each), but the overall nature of your voice should remain consistent.
3. Inflect The Right Tone
It’s not just what you say but it’s very much about how you say it. This, when in written form, can often prove challenging for many businesses. Knowing how to inflect tone into your communications is a critical part of developing your brand voice. Your tone should reflect your personality and should be fairly consistent as well. You may choose to express your brand voice in a casual, fun, uplifting and humorous way… or you may choose to remain more business focused. However you choose to inflect tone, be sure it aligns with your overall brand strategy.
4. Be Relevant
Your brand voice should resonate with your key stakeholders… and most importantly, your target customers. If you are trying to reach a sophisticated audience, then your brand voice should effectively speak to that audience with the tone, personality and communication style that this target audience would best respond to. The best approach is to create a brand voice that your customers expect of you. Take a close look at the collective brand voice of your target market – how do they communicate, what style do they respond best to, how do they perceive themselves. Knowing your customers will help you to share your own voice and how you interact with them in more relevant ways.
5. Be A Storyteller
A solid brand voice is one rooted in great storytelling. Your brand and your voice should draw people in and evoke emotions within people. There are many opportunities to embrace storytelling in brand and content marketing today, don’t miss out on the opportunity to extend your brand voice into your storytelling. Your brand voice is expressed through the how, when and with what you communicate. It’s your story…be good at telling it.
6. Style Matters
How you write, what you say and where you say it are all important in shaping your brand voice. Visual communications are a key opportunity to help form your brand voice. Ensure that what your customers and key stakeholders see and visualize as part of your brand consistently matches the brand voice you are projecting. Knowing your audience and what they respond best to is a key component of how you can style your content and communications to best take advantage of this.
7. Extend To The Brand Experience
Does your brand voice hold true with every experience someone has with your brand? Whether it be opening the packaging for your product, calling into your customer service department, or seeing your brand in their social timeline… your brand voice must exude the values you stand on, each and every time. Every brand is essentially a combination of experiences that someone has with your company, your products, your communications, your employees, etc. Make those experiences matter by having your brand voice be heard… consistently, relevantly and correctly.
8. Employees Represent Your Biggest Brand Voice
Everyone in your company should not only know what your brand voice is, but how to integrate it into their role and how to effectively communicate it in what they do. They should project the brand voice when interacting with clients, partners and customers alike. Employees of your organization are without a doubt one of the most important factors in creating consistency in your brand voice. Equip them with the right tools to be able to do so.
As you can see, these elements are all intertwined in what makes a strategic brand voice come to life. Does your company have a brand voice? What other elements would you add to ensure your brand voice is optimized? Please share your thoughts below!
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