In the age of COVID-19, lockdowns, restrictions on movement and business operation as well as the plain old fear of infection has driven more and more people to stay at home and spend more time online. Which means that making your voice heard over digital marketing platforms has become more important in the last few months than ever before.
It’s amazing how many otherwise brilliant businesses owners out there simply do not realize the value of identifying a brand voice. They pour money into high-quality products and professionally-designed logos. They attend workshops on social media scheduling. They do everything right, apply every business-building technique in the book, but are still disappointed by the results.
You can have the best looking storefront, website, and Instagram grid on the planet, and still lose out on business if you haven’t honed in on your business’s brand voice.
Your brand voice is the cohesive, clear, and recognizable way in which your brand communicates your purpose and values with your customers and your community.
So how do you find your unique brand voice?
Find Your Brand Voice In 6 Easy Steps
1. The Mission Statement
What is your company’s mission statement? If you haven’t created one yet, now is the time to bump that up your priority list.
Your mission statement reflects the core values of your business. The opening line of your mission statement should state these values.
How do you figure out what your business’s values are?
Well, a good way to describe what your business is is to state what it is not. For example, it is formal but not stuffy, informative but not arrogant and so on.
If you have just opened a small business selling hand sanitizer, your core value may be the protecting the health and safety of your customers. As this is currently an extremely competitive industry to be in, it is important that your core value is unique. Remember that this core value should lie at the heart of every aspect of your brand building campaign and will form the foundation for your brand voice.
2. Marketing Review And Analysis
Go through all your existing marketing, advertising and other material and analyze it to identify any common threads.
This material includes:
– Website content
– Social media and blog posts
– Digital media marketing and advertising material
– Print media advertising and marketing material
– Audio and visual media
– Radio and television advertising
The common thread is the message that you are currently delivering to the world. If you are happy with the message that is being delivered, great! You have identified what your brand voice is saying and should integrate this into future branding and marketing campaigns.
If you are not satisfied with the message, however, this is the time to hone in on what you would like your brand to be saying to the world and make some changes.
If you cannot identify a common thread, this is a sign that your branding or marketing campaign is failing and it is probably a good idea to start from scratch – building a campaign around your core values and the message you want to deliver.
3. Comments, Complaints, Compliments, And Criticism
Stay connected with your existing customer base, target audience and community to find out exactly what they think about your business. Your brand voice may be speaking loudly and clearly to them even if you’re not hearing it.
Find out what people think of your brand, what your brand is saying to them and whether they approve of the tone.
Doing a fun survey in your Instagram stories or a poll on your Facebook page is a great way to engage your audience, and find out how folks are feeling about your brand!
An important thing to keep in mind is that you might discover some unpleasant truths through this process — remember to accept all of your feedback mindfully and without becoming defensive or discouraged.
4. Create A Chart
Pick four words that describe the character of your company.
Is it quirky? Serious? Environmentally friendly? Fun-loving? Passionate?
If you’re feeling stumped, you can look to your employees and company culture to find out what characteristics provide the most appropriate description.
Enter these words into a chart, and then fill in a description for each word and what it means in the context of your company. Then create “DO” and DON’T” columns. In the “DO” column, type in some actions you can take to enhance the characteristic. In the “DON’T” column, list what to avoid that will weaken the characteristic. This exercise will help identify and strengthen your brand voice.
5. Consistency And Tone
Consistency might be the single most important ingredient when building a recognizable brand.
The color, font, style, etc, is the theme of your content. Your company logo is the symbol that identifies your company. Your tone reflects the voice of your company. All these factors need to be consistent across the board.
So if your social media campaigns are fun and quirky, your content marketing strategy shouldn’t be stuffy and uptight. Make sure that your tone of voice reflects your values, is relevant to your audience, and ties in what makes your brand unique.
6. Unique, Niche, And Distinctive
Your voice can easily become lost in the crowd, especially in a highly competitive industries. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that your voice reflects something unique and distinctive about your company, values, products, services and overall brand.
This uniqueness will set your company apart and provide a distinct voice that is easily recognizable. Brands that are easy to recognize are the most successful. Brand loyalty is built on brand recognition.
Whether it is a name, logo, jingle or slogan, they all have a voice and that voice should speak as one. It is also extremely important to identify what that voice is saying and how it is being said. Tone and relevance are key to connecting with your target audience and market demographic.
What helped you hone in on your brand voice? Has your brand voice changed over time? Tell me about it in the comments!