What is your brand voice? It is the tone all your communications take. This includes anything you write, your website, emails and social media activity.
Is your brand voice important? You bet. It is the thing that will differentiate you in the minds of your audience. It can help you attract and engage with people. It builds trust.
Unfortunately, if you get it wrong, it can drive potential customers away or damage your reputation.
How do you go about finding this voice, that will make you stand out, and that will help define your brand as unique?
What’s So Special About You?
To find your brand voice you must get to the heart of what your business is all about. What clearly defines you?
What makes you special? Think about your products or services, your company culture, how your customers see you.
You must go beyond the generic here. You’re looking for what makes you unique.
However, be warned. If you simply choose words such as “helpful”, “friendly” or “reliable”, you’re not doing yourself any favours.
Similarly, be careful about how “leading edge” or “passionate” you are, because the chances are, those are words everyone else is using to describe themselves.
No, it’s not easy, but defining yourself as unique shouldn’t be too easy. The success of your brand voice depends on it.
Think in terms of describing your business in ways that capture and evoke its character.
Discover Your Style
This is where it gets interesting. You’ve got your descriptive words, but now you must turn them into a style that fits your business.
Here’s a quote from Giorgio Armani:
“The difference between style and fashion is quality.”
Don’t make the mistake of jumping on the bandwagon, or thinking that you must just fit in by aping other sites you might think are attractive.
If, for example, you think creativity is one of your brand values, how can you express this in a way that genuinely comes from your values and your personality.
Don’t do it off the cuff: write it down. Create your own style guide.
Yes, this might sound like a lot of effort, but it you want to develop a consistent brand voice, you must make your rules and stick to them.
Basic Brand Voice Considerations
Firstly, what about jargon? Who is your audience? Will they automatically know what you’re talking about if you fall back on jargon?
Jargon can convey a shared mindset, so your audience knows they have come to the right place, but use it sparingly.
Displaying a certain depth of knowledge is fine, providing it makes things clearer in the minds of your audience. If you use jargon to make yourself sound more complex, you’re likely to turn your audience off.
Don’t be frightened of simplicity. Remember, you’re there to help them.
Secondly, who’s doing the talking? Is it a first person, or a company? Are you “I” or “we”?
Think about what kind of a business you have, and whether it’s something built on your personality, and what you personally offer; or if it’s more of a general service.
Whichever you choose though, be consistent. Don’t keep chopping and changing between the two.
It’s important that it always remains clear where your brand voice is coming from.
Some Final Thoughts
You have a brand, even if you don’t yet see it as such. It’s how your business appears to others. Even a supposedly non-branded business is a kind of brand, even if it defines itself as much by what it isn’t as what it is.
It makes sense, therefore, to ensure you use your brand as effectively as possible to win business by developing your brand voice.
- Your brand voice is an expression of you, of what’s behind your business, what drives it.
- It can set you apart from your competition and make you more distinctive.
- A brand voice is a powerful means of building trust with your audience.
- You can use your brand voice to attract, engage and connect with prospects and customers.
- The way you say certain things can have a direct appeal to people’s emotions. People are sensitive to language. You should be too.
What are Words Worth to You?
Do you need help developing a powerful, consistent brand voice? Contact me.