As we continue on in our marketing foundations series it’s time to turn our attention to developing your brand voice. Once you have you’ve uncovered and solidified your differentiating brand story, it’s important to take it to the brand voice level in order to ensure you are conveying your brand story in every piece of content or marketing you put out into the world.
What Is A Brand Voice?
The personality of a brand, infused into any and all communication touch points, is a brand voice. Or rather, how you convey your brand personality to the world consistently. This includes things like your brand traits, archetype and tone.
How do you reinforce the marketing messages you put out in the world with intangible and subtle reinforcement of your brand? A good question to ask yourself is, “If your logo or brand name weren’t on a piece of content, would the consumer still know it’s from you?” If yes, that’s the power of a strong brand voice. If not, your brand would benefit from digging in and figuring this out.
Many small business owners can easily agree that they do, indeed, have a brand voice. Often, because their own voice becomes their brand voice naturally. But taking the time to really identify what your brand’s voice is, and perhaps how it should differ from or be similar to the owners own voice, is important.
The Benefits Of Having A Clearly Defined Brand Voice
First, having a formal brand voice ensures every piece of content or marketing works harder for your brand. With a solid brand voice, even when you’re not selling or pitching or pushing your brand and products your audience will still recognize it’s you, appreciate the value of what you’re sharing, and continue to deepen their relationship with you.
Second, establishing and clearly documenting your brand voice allows the founding team to begin to step back from content creation while ensuring consistency. As your business grows this is imperative to be able to successfully scale your content, communications, and marketing. Guidelines that you can hand to contractors, employees, and others creating content for your brand are a must.
Lastly, think of your brand voice as the cover of a book. It’s job is to hook your audience and get them to want to flip to the first page, and the next, and the next. Without a good cover, or brand voice, you miss out on the opportunity to make your audience take notice, connect, and desire more. Regardless of what the actual topic of that particular piece of content is.
How To Get Started
A good brand voice includes an understanding of your primary brand archetype, or a universally familiar character that you assign to your brand, as well as your top 3 brand traits, communication guidelines, and tone considerations.
To develop your brand’s voice, similar to your brand story, you really have to sit yourself down, ask some tough questions and dig deep. Which is often why this critical, up-front marketing work is so often passed over…because it’s deep-thinking work rather than deep-doing work. But remember, without the foundation of a brand story, voice, target consumer understanding, and clear marketing goals the value of everything you do is greatly diminished.
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Identifying A Brand Archetype
There are also many brand archetype quizzes online that you can use to help identify your primary and supporting archetypes. Brand archetypes are deeply rooted in the psychology of Carl Jung. They’re a universally familiar character or situation that transcends time, place, culture, gender and age. Knowing your brand archetype allows you to give your brand a more human feel that consumers can more easily and subconsciously connect with naturally.
While brand archetypes alone aren’t sufficient for developing a complete brand voice it is an extremely helpful component for brand voice structure and inspiration. So it’s helpful to earn about your archetypes and what it would look like to bring your brand to life as those characters
Pulling It All Together
Once you have your brand archetypes identified, you’ll then need to layer in the brand voice work you’ve done to identify your top 3 brand personality traits and tone considerations. Pull it together in a template, add it into your brand bible, and make sure everyone on your team has access to it.
Don’t be afraid to use some additional resources to help you and your team understand using your brand voice! It’s important that anyone creating consumer facing content for your brand knows to always speak and write in your brand voice to maximize results, authenticity, and consumer connection.