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How to Develop Your Brand’s Voice

With the overwhelming amount of content being produced on the web, it’s important to set your company apart. One way to do that is develop your brand’s voice that appeals to your consumers.

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Developing and sticking to your brand’s voice can be difficult, especially if your copy is written by a big team and not just one person. But here are a few tips to help you uncover what your voice sounds like and how to keep is consistent.

Find Inspiration on Blogs

Have no idea where to start?

Take cues from other brands or blogs you like that never fail to impress and inspire. What are they doing right that catches your attention? Analyze their copy. Delve into their sentence structure, vocabulary and flow.

It may be helpful to carry around a notepad or keep a word document open on your computer to capture what you feel are elements you want to incorporate in your brand’s voice. A simple list of bullet points can help you become familiar with what it takes to have a brand voice that speaks volumes to your target audience.

Define the Company’s Core Values

Although your company’s core values don’t have to directly play into your brand’s voice, they might help shape it. It’s important to identify and flesh out core values, because they partially determine how customers view the company.

Ideally, your core values and brand voice should support each other. When that happens, it creates an obvious element of authenticity.

Ask Customers How They Perceive the Brand

It’s essential to understand how customers see and remember your brand. However, some companies make the potentially costly mistake of engaging in a lot of guesswork rather than simply going to the source. Thanks to things like instant polls and social media surveys, it’s easier and more efficient than ever to check the temperature of your customer base.

You can start by asking something relatively simple, such as for the customers to describe your brand in three words or less. If you’re feeling more creatively minded, consider getting input by urging customers to take snapshots that capture the essence of what they think your brand represents. Gauging customer impressions through photographs could be an important step to take in making sure the visual aspect of the branding matches the words your audience members read.

Follow several of your potential customers on social media to see how they talk or the types of content they like. This is a huge clue into what your brand’s voice should be like. Remember, your goal is to create a memorable connection with your potential consumers. In order to do that, you need to know how to “talk the talk”.

Ditch Bland Wording

Perhaps, originally you had an enticing voice but over the years you’ve been more concerned about getting the right keywords then making your copy sparkle. Here’s an easy trick to regain your bling– Add flavorful adjectives and verbs!

Living Brands

To help you get a better idea of awesome brand voices, here are a few sites you should explore:

  • Enchanting Marketing: Henneke does an excellent job of having a consistent brand voice and a visual voice to match.
  • The Middle Finger Project: Ash is well-known for her edgy voice. Not only does her site give you an idea of just how far your brand voice can go but also the style of copy is one more way she communicates (ie italics, all caps, blockquotes etc).
  • Burger King: Recently in the news for their Peace Day Burger, BK has created a brand voice that’s fun and engaging.

Strive for Consistency in Your Brand’s Voice

Uniformity is very important for developing your brand’s voice, but that doesn’t mean you should be bland. Make sure tone and other content characteristics are detailed in a writing spec doc that all copywriters have access to for the blog, site, social channels, and other collateral. Include example sentences or even blog posts that encapsulates how you want to sound on the web.

Remember, it’s not just what you say but how you say it that impacts your readers. A strong brand voice that is unique to your company or client will help build authority and trust with readers. So don’t be afraid to create a voice that inspires and expresses your company’s personality.

Image: Photospin

Alicia Lawrence is a content coordinator for WebpageFX and blogs in her free time at MarCom Land. Her articles have been published by PR Daily, Spin Sucks and Entrepreneur.

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