6 ways to perfect your brand voice
Creating a catchy and consistent brand voice is very important in distinguishing your brand from your competition. It can be a very tricky process that involves a lot of time and energy, so before you get the process started, you may want to follow these 6 ways to perfect your brand voice.
6 ways to perfect your brand voice
1. Create Personas
As you work on perfecting your brand voice, it’s helpful to know who you’re talking to. The process starts by having a detailed knowledge of your demographics. Then, pick one person from each of your target audiences (e.g., working parents, college students, or urban hipsters) and answer some questions about these people:
How does he or she use your product or service?
What does he or she care about?
Where does he or she work?
What does he or she do for fun?
What does he or she want from your brand?
How can you improve your communication to benefit this person?
2. Get more in depth about your persona
Now, spend a bit of time answering the following questions:
I want my brand to make people feel _______.
_______ makes me feel this way.
I want people to _______ when they come into contact with my brand.
Three words that describe my brand are _______ , _______ , and _______.
I want to mimic the brand voice of _______.
I dislike brand voices that sound _______.
Interacting with my clients and potential clients makes me feel _______.
Because you want your brand voice to be genuine and natural, it will likely be inspired by your own voice. So, pay attention to the tone you use when you’re filling in these blanks. Is it funny? Laugh-out-loud funny or wink-and-a nod funny? Is it authoritative? Scholarly authoritative, or like an older brother explaining something really cool to his younger brother authoritative?
3. Ensure your brand’s tone of voice clearly reflects the brand strategy
Consistently delivering an on-brand experience begins with making sure you know how you want people to feel when interacting with your brand. First define the personality and key messages for the brand. Be intentional about the emotions you want your audience to experience as they’re interacting with the brand. Do you want
them to feel like they’re chatting with their bubbly best friend about how great it is to use Progressive auto insurance, or are they having a conversation with their wise grandpa who recommends State Farm? Once you have defined the personality of your brand and the message you want to deliver, you’ll be more able to pinpoint the tone with which both should be communicated.
4. Create a Test Group
In life, our friends and family can often reflect back the things we sometimes miss about ourselves. And you can use the same approach when looking for your brand voice.
Get a bunch of your closest people together—ideally, ones that represent your target community—and ask what excites them most about your brand. What’s unique about it? What words or phrases do they associate with it? Then ask them to answer the same questions about you—the person who will be crafting that brand’s messages.
Based on their feedback, write a 1-2 sentence mission statement in a few different brand voices. Which one feels the most natural to you? Which one do you think is the most exciting? Don’t be afraid to combine parts of them and to keep working on your final product. Finding your brand voice is often like cooking: Sometimes you need a little splash of this and a little pinch of that to make it perfect.
Once you have a couple options you love, send them around to the group and see which resonates the most.
5. Find your source of inspiration
Once you have an idea of what you’re going for, it can be helpful to find other brands who have similar voices. Need a little inspiration? Check out some industry-spanning brands, both old and new. Some have witty brand voices, others have informative brand voices, but all of them are approachable and genuine.
6. Evaluate your success
From customer service representatives, print ads, spec sheets to YouTube videos and everything in between, monitoring the messages your brand is sending and the tone of voice with which they’re delivered is critical. This has become increasingly easier to do with services like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and other services that allow you a detailed view of user interactions. Another great way to evaluate your brand voice is through customer reviews.
In a fast paced world that bombards people every day with marketing, it is more important than ever to distinguish your company from your competitors through the use of your brand voice.