A strong brand voice can take a company to the next level. But, likewise, a poor brand voice can be off-putting for customers. For your business to get its brand voice right, then, you need to:
Know your target audience and conduct customer research.
Define a “brand personality” based on your customer base and corporate values. Try picking three words that sum this up.
Research your competitors and find a way to make your brand unique.
Create a style guide to ensure consistency across the business.
Remember that developing a brand voice is an ongoing process. As such, you will need to monitor performance and adapt your marketing to suit the changing market.
For more information on each of these points, check out our guide below.
1. Know Your Audience
The first step in developing a strong brand voice is to know your audience. This includes both:
Existing customers that already have an attachment to your brand.
Potential customers that you may want to target with a new campaign.
There are many ways to conduct customer research, from web analytics to surveys and interviews. As well as identifying the strengths of your current brand, look for any weaknesses or areas to improve. And make sure to include feedback from each market segment you hope to reach.
2. Define Your Brand Personality
Your “brand personality” should appeal to your target customers and fit with your corporate values. It could be formal and serious. Or it could be informal and irreverent. It all depends on your company!
One tip here is to come up with three words that embody your brand. You can then use these as the basis for your brand voice. For Proofed, for example, we might choose to use:
Friendly – Because we want customers to trust us with their writing.
Expert – Because we are the proofreading and editing specialists.
Empowering – Because our service helps people get their voices heard.
3. Be Unique
To succeed in business, you company must stand out from its competition. And as such, your brand voice research should involve looking at what similar companies are doing.
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But while you might take some inspiration from competitors, don’t just copy them! Instead, think about what makes your company unique. How do you differ from your competitors? What do you offer that they don’t? You can then emphasize this in your brand communications.
4. Create a Style Guide
Consistency is a big part of a strong brand voice. Ideally, everyone at your company involved in communications – from copy writers to social media – will have a good understanding of your brand, target customers, and business goals. And to make sure they apply your brand voice consistently across the business, you can create an in-house style sheet or guide.
5. Monitor and Adapt
Developing a brand voice is an ongoing process. Thus, you need to keep track of how customers react to your marketing and adapt your brand voice to ensure continued success. Keep in mind, too, that your company has a dynamic, evolving relationship with its customers. A campaign or gimmick may be successful once, but if you repeat the same thing too much it may become annoying.
Instead, you should aim to know what your customers want even before they do. The key here is to seek continuous feedback from your audience. And while some of this may be from formal marketing research, it can be as simple as engaging with and monitoring people on social media.
If you’d like help making sure your marketing material is up to scratch, moreover, let us know.