Presenting your brand consistently can help you boost revenue by 23%. Are you missing out on potential profits become of an inconsistent message?
Defining your brand voice creates that consistency across social media, marketing campaigns, customer interactions, and all other communications. But you need a clear idea of how to represent your company first.
What is brand voice? It’s the personality and voice you project every time you write, speak, produce video, or otherwise communicate about your brand.
Brand voice includes your word choice, language, images, and other visuals that you use. It creates your public image and drives emotion in your target audience.
Growing your brand voice creates consistency, tells people what you’re about, and builds your authority in your niche.
Follow these steps to help define your brand voice.
1. Clarify Your Company Beliefs
Your beliefs, values, and goals are at the core of your brand voice. Those principles guide all the decisions you make. You want your clients to know about them and what your company stands for.
Pull up your belief and value statements you created when you started your company. If you never wrote those ideals down, spend some time defining how you want to represent your company.
Highlight key statements, words, and themes from those documents. Keep them in mind as you define your brand voice.
2. Pull Samples of Your Work
If you’re already in business, you have marketing campaigns, blog posts, packaging, emails, and other internal and external communications. Comb through those past pieces to look for naturally recurring themes, styles, and voice elements.
Do your past communications have a consistent voice, or are they all over the place? Do they represent your brand in a positive light? Do they give the message you want to portray?
Choose the pieces that are most on track for what you want. Use them as guidelines for developing your branding. Look at the pieces that don’t fit as examples of what to avoid.
3. Define Your Target Audience
Now that you’ve looked inward, consider your external audience. Who do you want to attract with your content? What type of people currently use your services or buy your products?
Build a persona that digs deeper into your audience’s wants, needs, and problems. Figure out what pain points they have.
Determine what types of words and message appeal to that audience. Do they prefer casual langue with lots of slang or professional corporate speak? Maybe heartwarming stories reach them more than funny or sarcastic messages.
4. Relate It to Something Famous
If you’re still having trouble figuring out your voice, look to things you’re familiar with and that are easy to recognize. It’s an easy exercise where you compare your brand to something or someone that is well-known.
You might define your business by comparing it to a famous building or tourist destination. If you’re going for a very posh, upscale vibe, you might compare it to the Palace of Versailles.
Another option is to compare your business to a celebrity. Is your brand the Melissa McCarthy of your industry, or do you see your brand as more of a Sean Connery?
When you can compare it to something so familiar and distinct, your brand becomes easier to define. You can pull some of the characteristics of the famous counterparts to help solidify your voice.
5. Decide What Makes You Different
A look at your competitors can help give you some ideas as long as you don’t copy. But the comparison is also effective in helping figure out what makes you different.
Being a carbon copy of your competition does you no good. You want to stand out instead of blend in.
You already have a brand voice whether you’ve made an intentional effort at it or not. Decide what about that voice makes you special. Then figure out how to amplify it.
Look at what’s missing that sets you apart. Does your company have a sharp wit that helps you connect to your audience? Make sure you’re showing that in every interaction and everything you produce.
6. Choose Key Descriptors
Brand awareness isn’t a one-time thing. It only begins to happen after five to seven impressions of your branding. That’s why it’s so important to have a strong understanding of your brand so you can consistently apply those descriptors to everything you do.
Drill down your overall voice in just three or four words. Think about the most important elements of your brand voice. Figure out how to best capture them in a single word.
If you can’t narrow down right away, brainstorm several words that fit. Look for similar themes between the words to see if you can combine them. If you list authentic, honest, transparent, and real, choose the best one to represent the similar ideas.
7. Create a Brand Chart
Break down your key voice descriptors in a chart to expand on what they mean. Say you choose “spunky” as one of your descriptors. What does that look like in written text, packaging text, social media posts, and marketing materials?
Create columns for the key descriptors, how you define them, what you should do to achieve them, what you should avoid, and examples of each trait.
Say one descriptor is authenticity, which you define as being honest, transparent, and trustworthy. Examples of what to do might include following through, answering honestly, and being upfront about your company. What not to do might include avoiding questions, using lots of marketing or technical terms, and being dishonest about what your products can do.
Refer to your brand chart anytime you create content related to your company. Distribute the document to anyone who handles internal or external communications. This document helps create a consistent voice so you don’t send mixed signals.
Check in occasionally to make sure your brand chart still fits your business. As you grow, your ideals might shift. You might gain a better understanding of your voice and how you fit within your niche.
Updating your branding documentation helps your image grow, too. Rethink the key defining traits and how you represent them when you do your audit.
Find Your Brand Voice
Having a defined brand voice sends your clients and prospects a consistent message. By looking at the voice you’re already projecting and the message you want to send, you can refine your branding.
Are you ready to ramp up your new brand voice throughout your marketing efforts? Check out our social media management solutions, and get help projecting your voice throughout your social media channels.