When people start working with us, they come to us for branding- visual branding. They want a new look and feel for their business.
But, what most of them don't realize until we start the process is that what's just as important is the fundamentals of their brand that people don't see.
One of those essentials is brand voice.
Brand voice is the personality of your brand. For most of us, that personality is rooted in us, personally.
When I get messages from each of my sisters, without even seeing their name, I'd be able to tell who it is right away by the words, phrases, emojis, gifs and punctuation they use.
And think about when you meet a new person. You can often instantly tell aspects of their personality from a short dialogue.
The same idea transfers into our brands. There are some ads that we would be able to name in a flash because of their strong messaging. This could include visuals and copy, but their 'name' is written all over it (without ever really mentioning their brand name).
Brand voice distinguishes you. So it's important to know what yours is and use it.
Most of our fields are saturated. Knowing, and using, your brand voice is a key component of differentiated your brand and building your unique place in your industry.
Here are some simple steps to find yours.
Start with your mission statement
When developing your brand voice, it's incredibly important to begin with your roots- your mission. Your brand's objective. Starting with your purpose and values helps you define your voice.
A reminder here. Your mission statement is NOT why you're doing what you're doing. We often have a tendency to explain what we do and WHY we're doing it. (for example, to show my kids that they can be their own bosses). But, a mission is rooted in what you do, how you do it and who you do it for. Don't get sidetracked!
What do you want your audience to experience
When thinking about your brand voice, you're curating an audience experience. You are the architect of the experience; don't leave it up to them. So consider what you want them to understand and feel from your brand.
What tone do you take towards your subject
Consider the way you approach your subject. Do you use humor to break down barriers? Do you have an air of reverence towards your rituals? Are you approachable and relatable? This tone is rooted in your personality so be what you ARE. Don't try to be something you're not.
D0 some research on what works and what doesn't
You've definitely already paid attention to brands around you and the brand you're attracted to (and the one's you're not). Do some market research on what you think connects and what doesn't. It's a time to investigate what resonates with you so you can consider your tone and the experience you want to create. This isn't a time to copy someone else's voice, only to decipher what resonates with you.
Create a do's and don't list
After working on al the above, create a list of thinks you want to do, words you want to say, and phrases you want to include.
Also, create a list of things you want to keep out and never want to be a part of your brand's voice.
Put it into a doc and consistently draw upon it
Now is the time to put all those ideas into a tangible, usable list. We have a chart that is our brand voice document. We refer to this all the time! We create this chart for all our brand clients as a part of their brand deck. It's used to create tagline, call to actions. It's basically your brand voice bible. Not only will YOU be clear on your voice, but anyone on your team like like social media managers, web deisgners etc... will understand your brand voice.
We recommend continually assessing your brand voice. Keep adding to your dos and don'ts list and let that voice be heard across all you do so you be come distinguishable, unique and stand apart in your industry.