To successfully connect with current and potential customers online, a business must be able to present content in a way that is accessible to the customer while being authentic to the brand and what it stands for. In the world of digital and social media, the fine line between authentic and forced connection can be tough to navigate. Building a strong brand voice is the key to developing the right connections with your audience.
First, let’s define brand voice: the way that the brand is presented to the public in terms of language and visuals. It determines how the brand will engage with the public. What marketers call voice is basically a brand’s personality.
Brands with a strong voice are easy to identify. Take Life Is Good, for example. The company, which sells clothing and accessories with inspirational messages, presents itself in a positive way at all times, on all platforms. Life is Good focuses on telling uplifting stories and sharing mantras meant to motivate and energize. The theme resonates across their website, social media presence, at live events and in retail outlets. The company is selling a lifestyle and mindset first and foremost. Those who are drawn to the brand’s voice are then compelled to purchase and become very loyal to what the company stands for in addition to the products that it produces.
Now, I’m certainly not suggesting that brands can develop a voice with the strength of Life is Good overnight. That brand took many years to build. But, businesses can set a clear vision for their voice and work toward developing it into a recognizable feature of their brand.
Here are a few things to consider when developing voice:
- Audience demographics
- Who are your target customers: age, gender, special interests?
- What type of content and voice will they be responsive to based on those demographics?
- In what environment will they be consuming your messages: online, in their homes, at work, in a retail location?
- Nature of your product/service
- Is your product/service a commodity, standard or luxury?
- Is it for business or pleasure?
- Based on the reputation and branding your company has already done, what makes sense for your brand? You don’t want to develop a voice that doesn’t make logical sense, such as a playful voice for a brand that has been set up to be prestigious.
Once you decide what your brand voice should be, how do you implement it? The easy answer is that it should be implemented everywhere and at all times. Consistency is key when developing something that is recognizable.
Keep these tips in mind when implementing brand voice:
- Create a chart of terminology, so those crafting social media posts, advertising, or other public-facing language can remain on-brand.
- Develop branded #hashtags to use in social media posting.
- Engage with those who post about your brand by using the voice to respond to their questions, comments or concerns.
- Always remember: consistency is key!