Setting your brand apart as its own unique, unparalleled entity is a hefty task, but one that is vital to the growth and success of your brand. How you define yourself or your company within your market is how you establish reliability and trust with your own team and your consumers. You got into your field knowing that your voice matters — and marketing it is just a matter of spelling out just what that voice has to say in the sea of your niche.
Establishing and sticking to your brand’s identity helps your audience to digest the information you’re sending their way in the way you’ve intended it. A strong brand voice communicates clearly and effectively a company’s story and vision, one that users can connect and interact with. That connection is what will drive your company upward.
To better define your company’s brand voice, heed this process and start publishing content that is authentic and true to how and why you’re in business in the first place.
Consistency with the voice you are broadcasting into your marketplace is far easier when it comes from an organic, authentic place rooted in your own personality or experiences. Customers want to recognize familiar and strong content, and the simplest way to accomplish this is to look around at what you’re doing regularly with both your brand and personal life and start from where you are.
If you’re answering emails from a ruggedized laptop on beaches across the world, that adventurous, dedicated spirit can inform your brand voice. If you’re responding to direct messages from the comfort of your home, and that aspect could serve your brand voice, emphasize an accessible or personable identity that reflects how you regularly do business with your consumers.
Ultimately, a brand voice is only as authentic as it is real. A manufactured identity will not be able to hold for long. Be sure to stick with a few authentic tenets of your own character and emphasize them when publishing content for your brand.
Just as important as updating how you’re doing business is updating why. You got into your market for a reason, and keeping that reason at the core of your brand identity is a crucial step in building a brand voice around it.
Your brand exists as a conversation with your customers, and your brand voice dictates both how you’ll interact with them and how they’ll interact with you. Your objectives when it comes to your audience is part of a greater promise you made to accomplish goals for yourself and for those who come in contact with your brand.
Take a moment to reanalyze why you got started in the first place, and keep that mission close to every decision made about your brand’s identity.
Because perceptions vary widely from person to person, it’s important to know how your brand voice is already coming across. It can be challenging to gain perspective surrounding your brand’s impressions while you’re in the company driver’s seat, so ask friends and family for a few key words they would use to describe your brand. They can be as simple as a few adjectives or as complicated as statements — whatever you need to get a better idea of what is working in your message and what you’d rather discard.
If you have an established audience, you may consider sending out a brief survey to discover how well you are communicating your brand’s identity to those who keep your company afloat. If a message or brand element isn’t resonating with your audience, it can be helpful to know where to strengthen your efforts to solidify your messaging.
When defining your voice, bigger is not always better. Too many descriptive words can leave your brand’s voice feeling vague or undefined, unable to catch the attention of your audience. It’s challenging, but coming up with a concise list of brand traits you’d like to embody allows you to focus your efforts on a shortlist of characteristics that will have a greater impact.
It’s widely recommended to describe your brand using three clear, descriptive words. It may seem limiting, but putting boundaries around a few stable core identifiers can actually provide a lot of freedom for your content whenever you publish with those parameters in mind. A company that considers itself “quirky” creates a framework to allow playful content to not take itself too seriously, while also avoiding obscure or awkward jargon that could alienate their audience.
A brand voice chart is an incredibly useful tool to expand upon the possibilities of a company’s brand voice keywords. With three rows and three columns, you can illustrate the trio of brand voice characteristics you landed on above by:
For each brand voice description column, write a short summary of what speaking with those characteristics means for your brand. In the next column, detail ways your brand will live up to that description, and in the final column lay out ways content could negate or counteract that brand voice description.
For example, a brand may choose to prioritize professionalism. In their content, they may use authoritative, economical language to establish respectability with their audience. In their ‘do’ column, they should emphasize content that demonstrates their expertise. In their ‘don’t’ column, they would detail things to avoid, such as casual or informal language.
After you’ve more clearly defined your brand voice, you will need to retroactively audit some of your content to make it align with your present identity. This may look like deleting or archiving content that isn’t in agreement with your current objectives, or it may require a re-branding announcement if it’s a large departure from what you’ve done in the past.
Take a look at anything you have planned for the near future, too. Some content may need a little fine-tuning, but with diligence and clarity, your company’s solid brand voice will stand out within your marketplace.