When people read your website copy or your brochure or your billboard, do they hear a strong, successful, and smart brand voice? If your business was a person, who would it be? Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, or maybe Oprah Winfrey?
What Does Your Brand Voice Say About Your Business?
Most business folks say they want a brand voice that’s “friendly but professional. Smart but not boring or too formal.” Simply put, your business needs a unique brand voice – something that makes you stand out from the competition and is exclusive to you. It’s all about how you want people to view you, to “hear” you, and to think about you. Creating your brand voice actually requires thinking less about you and more about them.
Think about THEM
Obviously, communicating with customers and prospects is your top priority. You should spend a lot of time thinking about what they want to hear from you – and the writing style that you should use in communicating with them.
Do you want them to view a Gates-ian or Einstein-ian highly intelligent expert? A trusted, “invite them into your home” person like Oprah or Martha Stewart? An entertaining, slick-but-cool personality like Richard Branson?
Of course, you have other audiences to think about as well. Will your brand voice be relevant/usable when you’re talking to your industry? The press? Any other audiences you may need to consider?
Whatever kind of brand voice you choose, make sure it’s authentic and unique.
Look Inward for Brand Voice
Now you’re ready to take a good long look at yourself in the mirror. Well, really, it’s taking a look at your company. But sometimes that’s one and the same!
The big questions:
- What does your company “sound like” right now? (You may need to ask someone outside the company for a more objective opinion.)
- Does it reflect who you really are?
- What are your company’s strengths and weaknesses?
- Who do you want to be in the next year, 5 years, 10 years, etc.?
- Are you memorable? Do you stand out? (If not, how do you get to that point?)
Use Your Brand Voice
Building your brand means using your unique brand voice consistently – in everything you do, online and offline. Consistency breeds familiarity and continued interest/loyalty!
When you’re communicating, be interesting and be relevant. Saying important things in your own voice should generate interest and make people care. Then they’ll seek out more information about you and look forward to your communications.
Your Brand Voice Should Speak to THEM
- Decide who you are.
- Communicate using that voice – always.
- Make it about your audience.
- Tell them why they should choose you. (What’s the WIFM?)
One last thing – you cannot be all things to all people. So don’t try to be Billoprah Gatestein. Just be you!
Have you created your brand voice? How do you use it? Feel free to post in the comments below. And please share this blog with your social networks if you found it interesting!