Every business automatically has a tone of voice that is attached to its brand. It speaks through everything you do as a business owner from the very first day you started trading and can include everything from the letterheads you use, the style of writing in your letters and emails, the logo design you’ve chosen and the way you interact with customers and suppliers face-to-face. Creating a clear and consistent brand voice is a vital tool to help you build a business that has a strong reputation that works in the right way and with the right goals in mind.
Brand voice guidelines can be created to help all staff understand every aspect of your brand voice, creating clear instructions that make your communication; marketing and processes stand out as yours and yours alone. What can you do to ensure that your business builds a strong and clear brand guideline to help a company flourish?
Be Clear with Your Definitions – The first thing you should do is work out exactly who your target audience is and how you think they are effectively targeted by marketing and communications. From here you should put together a few short words and phrases that can be used to clearly define how you market as a company in order to target that specific audience. The personality of your brand voice might be confident, youthful and brash, or professional, experienced and understated. All of your communications will build from this clear starting point.
Compare with Competitors – Research your competitors. How do they talk to their potential customers and how to they advertise new products and services? At this point you have a choice to either copy the industry norm or to take a new path and differentiate your brand voice from everyone else. Being authentic, interesting and different from the pack could be your way to success in a busy marketplace.
Seek to Inspire not to Condescend – The last thing anyone wants to feel is that they are being talked down to. Your customers and potential customers are more likely to buy into your brand if you communicate to them in ways that inspire them, rather than just tell them what you know! Be bold in your creativity and find new ways to engage with your customers on their level, without being patronising in the process.
Relax and Engage – In order to fully maximise the potential of your audience your brand voice has to work in a way that engages with them. Stop looking to force communication and allow your brand voice to relax. A conversational and friendly tone, especially within the realms of social media, can go a long way to building real trust with your audience.
Fluidity is Key – The best businesses understand that although it is important to create a clear brand voice when first starting out and targeting specific audiences, fluidity and flexibility is the key to a long-term success. Always keep abreast of the latest developments in brand marketing, research new techniques and ways of communicating with different types of audiences and be open to new suggestions that could help you build different markets in different sectors, age groups and locations. Nothing should ever be set in stone completely.