Many people talk about brand voice, tone and messaging, but when it comes down to it, they choose their own personal voice rather than seeking to develop a voice for the brand. This is very easy to do, and perfectly reasonable if as the leader of an organization it makes sense for you to be the voice.
When was the last time you did a review of your content to determine how you are saying something? If you cannot remember, then it’s been too long!
It’s Not What You Say – It’s How You Say It: Building A Brand Voice
If you are building a company that you intend to “stand on it’s own” – in other words be an entity regardless of where you sit within that company – then it makes sense to build a brand voice.
Think of it this way – Coca Cola, Southwest Airlines, Ford – they all have brand voices. It changes based on the target audience and perhaps the product being showcased, but it is not based on who the CEO is or what the CMO has to say. The voice belongs to the brand, and is carried out throughout the organization in a unified message that makes consumers more comfortable.
Of course, these are large organizations but it is still very possible to begin developing a brand voice for your organization, regardless of the size.
Start With These 5 Tips To Build Your Company Brand Voice
- Determine your primary target audience. We talk about this a lot, and yet we still see many creating messages that are internally focused. In other words, I still see people creating messaging that is about the company or product, not the target audience for which they are solving a problem.
- Find your differentiator. Once you know how you differentiate from your competition, you can focus on those benefits more easily.
- How do you wish to be perceived? Is it more important to be an authoritative voice, or do you want to be a friendly ally? Can you be playful in the tone, or is it crucial to be more serious? It is important to write this down in a clear, concise manner, and provide sample phrases so that it is obvious what the appropriate brand tone really is.
- Write down your unique sales proposition (or service proposition) – this is what you do very well, that your competition cannot or will not do, to serve your clients. It encompasses your differentiator and your target audience so that you have a sentence, or a few (no more than three) sentences that explain your USP.
- Build a brand persona – take the information listed above and create your brand persona. Just like your would create a target audience persona, use your brand name and make it very personal. Basically humanize the brand so it becomes a living, breathing entity.
Once you are able to view the brand as it’s own “life force” rather than a logo and some colors, you are in a good position to create a brand voice. This voice is then used in all messaging, internally and externally, so that the team can really incorporate it into their own communications.
Just like we’ve heard from our parents, it’s not what you say, but how you say it that matters. Giving your brand a consistent voice will boost the messaging, align your team and give your target audience a clear understanding of who you are, why you exist, and how you serve – as a brand.
If you have a brand voice already are you happy with it? How did you build it and what would you change?
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