To engage an audience, a performer needs to have a distinct and unique personality. Similarly, to engage your audience, as a business you need to have a unique and distinct brand personality or brand voice. Companies and businesses that have stood the test of time have a strong sense of purpose and clarity in their messaging. This message is delivered through the means of various different channels on a consistent basis which helps their audience develop a sense of what the voice of the business sounds like.
Consistency and repetition is the key to build a strong recognition in the community and if your style of communication keeps on changing frequently then that will lead to confusion in the minds of your customers and potential consumers. Your efforts may fall flat on its face if you lose track of your voice and constantly keep pivoting to new voices. To ensure that your hard work gets the recognition it deserves you need to unify your efforts of building a strong brand voice. In this article, we are going to take a look at what exactly is your brand voice and how can you develop one for your small, medium or large business.
What Is A Brand Voice?
Any communications with the external environment are essentially what your brand’s voice is. This can include elements like a website, flyers, brochures, visiting cards or any other marketing collateral which you use to get your message across to your customers.
The tone of the voice of a person is a reflection of their unique personality, similarly, the voice of your brand is a reflection of your business’s personality. If your voice is friendly and approachable, your consumers will feel free to reach out to you. However, if your voice is formal and stern it may drive away any potential customers.
Let’s take a look at some prominent brand voice in the industry. Nike, the sporting giant, uses strong and independent writing which is clear and crisp. They get the message across while motivating the audience to just do it.
Harley Davidson uses a rebellious and fiercely independent tone which is also bold to get their point across that they are not bending for anyone and that they set their own rules.
The voice of a brand can encompass the wording, imaging, personality and any other marketing asset which a company incorporates in the brand messaging to create a memorable impact.
How to Develop a Brand Voice
Developing a brand voice isn’t rocket science but it isn’t particularly easy either. Here are a couple of steps you can take to ensure your voice is consistent and clear through and through.
1. Review your Mission and Vision
Your values and ethics should reflect in your mission and vision. This will ensure that your audience knows, right off the bat, what they should expect. If your company doesn’t have one then you should get in touch with a consultant and get one immediately. A good mission and vision statement help you relate your marketing efforts to your core values on which you build your business.
2. Critically Analyze Whatever Marketing You Have Done Up Until Now And Understand What Is Your Natural Voice
Analyze and audit your content like websites, blog posts, social media communications, print and virtual media collaterals, signage and hoardings et al. to understand what your natural voice is. Observe any theme that may be found and see if your current voice fits with your messaging. If it doesn’t it may be time to switch things up.
3. Research Your Audience And Ask Them What They Think
To better understand how your customers perceive you, simply ask them! Choose the top 10 customers you may have and ask them to describe your brand and what would your company sound like, if it were a human. Does their answer match your vision? If yes you are good to go ahead but if the data is contradicting then research about them and check out their interests, their writing or their tone/voice and what they read and then try to narrow it down to find common grounds and see if If it matches your voice. If it does then you are on the right path.
4. Monitor Your Engagement
Using social listening tools, keep tabs on the conversations that happen around your brand. You can also use google trends to see how far your brand has come since inception and whether it is headed the right way. You should also ensure that you address any questions, complaints or accolades on your social channels so that your customer is able to connect with you on a deeper level.
5. Create Consistent Messages
If you haven’t done the best work till now, you can still change it. Start with creating messaging and marketing communications with consistency and clarity in them and ensure that your values are being clearly communicated to your customers. Schedule your communications to reach them at a certain time and date and commit to delivering it so that they start recognizing the pattern and appreciate your efforts, this will help your brand develop an easily recognisable voice in the long run.
6. Develop A Brand Voice Chart
Design and create a chart with the characteristic of your voice, its description and do’s & don’ts and ensure that all of your marketing team follows it religiously. This will help your communication be consistent no matter who the creator of the content is.
7. Be Proud and have fun with your brand
The steps above may sound all uptight and formal but don’t forget to have fun with your brand and be proud of it because if you don’t then who will? Enjoy the journey and be happy with what you have created which will eventually translate to a wholesome brand voice.
Now that you have developed and streamlined your brand voice, the next step is to create content and be consistent with it. This will not only help your brand reach new heights but also help you in growing an organic following. If you wish to experiment with the voice, don’t be hesitant but keep in mind the elements from the brand voice chart and develop the messaging accordingly. Now go create a brand the world will remember!