In a world with fierce competition, brand differentiation is key. While the occasional meme or funny graphic may make your brand more likable (for a moment), you need longevity in customer relationships. One of the easiest ways to make sure you stand out and stay memorable is to create a distinct voice, tone and style when creating communications. A brand voice does two beneficial things for your business:
- It Directs how and when you communicate with your customers (making content more strategic).
- It gives your customers something that feels tangible to relate to your brand, which fosters stronger relationships.
It takes time to develop your brand voice, but that time is well worth it. Here are 5 steps you can take to help you discover your brand voice:
1. Define your brand
What does your brand stand for? That question seems simple, but you can’t authentically express what your brand stands for if you don’t have an answer – and authenticity matters. Eighty percent of people cited “authenticity of content” as the main factor as to whether or not they follow a brand. So, take the time to figure out what you want your brand to stand for. And then ask yourself, does your brand stand for this idea now, or is this “aspirational.” It doesn’t hurt if you can boil these down into a couple of adjectives to assist in guiding your voice and tone.
2. Give it a personality
Once you have defined what you stand for, it’s time to decide how you want your audience to see you. Help assign a personality to your brand communications with an archetype! Think of an archetype as a character for your brand to play; this is who your audience will be interacting with. These archetypes will help in delivering brand value and building a relationship with your customers as they feel like they know you.
3. Do your research
Review your analytics and progress with communications; it’s important to discover the best times to reach your customer and the style in which they want to be communicated with. Fifty percent of consumers feel like most brand communication is irrelevant. This is usually due to a brand “pushing” communications as opposed to “pulling” (figuring out what your customers want and delivering it). Your communications will be more impactful and will have a higher ROI when customers see them at the right phase in their decision journey and in a tone they enjoy interacting with – especially in B2B, where customers do quite a bit of research before calling a vendor.
4. Build a strategy
We wouldn’t appreciate multiple calls a day from even some of our best friends, so why do brands feel as though they can bombard their customers with communications? Laying out a strategic plan for what you want to say, what you want your audience to take away and how often you should send updates are critical to a successful brand voice. This way you can pave several communication pathways that allow messages to build upon one another, and ensure a meaningful interaction with your brand at every touchpoint.
5. Grow as you go
While you’ll be in a great position after completing steps 1 through 4, the work is never truly complete. As you carve out your brand voice and personality, let it evolve, just as a person does over time; commit to meaningful causes, discover new ways to make connections, and find ways to interact with your audience. This is what will define your brand in the mind of the customer – and the mind of the customer is where your brand lives.