If your company were a person, who would you be? Are you brash and adventurous like Red Bull, or innovative and inspiring like Apple? Having a strong and distinctive brand voice not only sets you apart from the competition, it allows you to connect at a more meaningful level with your customers and prospects.
Your brand voice is how your company expresses its messaging. It cuts across all channels, from traditional media to social media. The two primary components that go into defining how you communicate your brand are voice and tone.
Voice is your brand personality described as an adjective. For instance, brands can be professional, humorous, peppy, or sophisticated. Is your company personable and friendly; spontaneous and high energy; modern or high tech; cutting edge; fun?
Tone is like adding hot sauce to your tamale. It adds a specific flavor to your voice and says something about what it’s like to do business with you. Is it a casual experience, or more formal? It shows something about your attitude, whether you’re friendly and accessible, or rigid and specific.
Essentially, there is one voice for your brand and many tones that refine that voice. Depending on who your customers are, the way you use your brand voice should match your audience. For instance, if you are speaking to c-suite executives your style might be more fact- and data-based. Some other ways to describe your voice could be conservative; classic and traditional; established; serious; or upscale.
Here are some tips for developing a voice that speaks loudly and proudly about your company:
- Know your mission and what your company stands for. You should be able to articulate your company’s raison d’ȇtre, or your reason for being.
- Tell your story. Tell people why you’re doing what you’re doing and what it will mean to them to have you in their life.
- Make the words count. The words and the language you use should be very specific and reflect your brand personality.
- Express it with attitude. Be careful here. There’s a difference between being bold and daring versus being arrogant and obnoxious.
- Be distinctive and stand out. This is your chance to inspire your audience and put a stake in the ground about who you are.
Business guru Marie Forleo gives you four strategies to find your voice as only Marie can.