Think of a Ford F150. Now think of a Mercedes Benz Coupe.
What do they "feel" like? Are their voices distinctive? Memorable? Does a certain character or personality come to mind when you think about them? How are they represented on social media and other digital spaces?
The answers to those questions help describe the brand’s established voice.
Maybe it’s easy to recall other brand voices that have resonated with you, but how much thought have you given to your own? If you’re not sure what your organization's brand voice is, who it’s for, or why it matters — a lot — then keep reading so we can help you find it, and make sure it’s heard.
Who are You?
It may seem like a simple question, but it’s also one of the most important. Why? Because those brands that you thought about a few moments ago? They are memorable for a reason: they know who they are.
While you and your team may have a solid understanding of what you do, how you do it, and why it matters, that’s an awful lot to assume of your audiences — especially if you’re not making the effort not only to tell them who you are and show them why that matters to them.
Your brand voice is so much more than a messaging style, or the way you describe yourself on your website, in your marketing materials, and in your interactions with customers and clients. All of that is part of it, but it’s also something more. It’s an integral part of your brand identity. Without it, your audience will not only struggle to understand who you are but also why they should care.
It’s the first impression you’ll make on prospects, a reason they’ll choose you over your competitors, and the reason your brand will be the one that stands out in their minds long after their first interaction with your business.
Ready to find yours? Awesome. Let’s get started.
Choose (and Use) Your Words
Establishing your brand voice may sound like a daunting task, but we’re here to help. Chances are the building blocks for your brand voice already exist. You just need to put them into words.
When in doubt, start with your core values. Make a list of what you want your customers to know. How can you help them? Why are you different? What will they miss out on if they miss out on you?
These distinguishing qualities, or “traits,” of your business should be the same ones you use to craft your brand voice. Try to ensure that the traits you choose are the ones that would resonate most with your audience, speaking to who they are and what they need. Combine those traits, then imagine what a person would sound like if they embodied each of them. Once you have a clear understanding of how that “person” would communicate, congratulations, you’ve just brought your brand voice to life.
Need some help getting started? Here are a few traits to consider. Pick a handful that resonate and then use them as a guide whenever you’re speaking to your audiences.
Helpful Empathetic Direct
Quirky Reassuring Enthusiastic
Personable Bold Knowledgeable
Own Your Expertise
Your voice and personality may get you through the door, but it’s important to remember that they’re not the only reason your customers chose to come to you. While they may be drawn to your character, values, or quality offerings, your customers are also more likely to seek you out when they know they can rely on your knowledge, skills, and expertise.
In addition to creating a firm foundation for your customer relationships, your brand voice is also an invaluable tool for positioning your brand as a thought leader in your industry. So, while your personality can, and should shine through, your voice should also showcase your unique perspective, insights, and aptitudes. Owning your expertise will not only make your brand voice more memorable, but it will also help you establish trust, transparency, loyalty, and authority with your audiences.
“You can’t be everything for everyone.”
It’s a sentiment that is often applied to our personal lives, but it is no less true for your brand or your brand voice.
When developing your brand voice, remember that it doesn’t need to resonate with every single person who hears it. Just like all of your other marketing efforts, your brand voice should be focused primarily on your target audiences — the people you can help the most, and the ones you most want to reach. Your brand voice isn’t supposed to resonate with an infinite number of people. Its true power lies in its ability to help you identify, attract, and genuinely connect with the right people.
Limiting your potential audiences may sound restrictive, but in actuality, it’s incredibly freeing. Now, rather than spinning your wheels to create toneless, over-generalized messages that are too broad to truly stand out to anyone, you can use your brand voice to hone in on what you really want to say. Chances are, your audiences have been longing to hear it.
Ready to get started? Get in touch with us. Or, learn more from CID’s team of branding, marketing, and digital strategy experts in our blog and see how our team can build momentum for your business with a little bit of creative intelligence.