Stand Out in a Sea of Noise
In a world where businesses compete for your attention in every corner of the digital realm, establishing a unique identity is paramount. Amidst the noise of the voices, one element stands out as a powerful differentiator: your brand voice.
Brand voice is a simple yet powerful tool to set your brand apart. It’s not just about what you say; it’s how you say it.
What is a Brand Voice?
Brand voice is a distinct and recognizable way a brand speaks and writes. Your brand’s voice is more than a collection of words; it’s a personality that resonates with your audience. Creating a memorable and unique brand voice is a powerful way to differentiate itself from competitors. The tone, language, and style collectively define how your brand communicates. It’s that tangible essence that sparks recognition and triggers emotions. Brand voice facilitates those more profound connections with customers by making a brand more human and relatable. The importance of brand voice goes beyond words – it’s a symphony of emotions, values, and authenticity.
Each time a brand speaks or writes – whether through brand messaging, website copy, social media, or advertising – its voice should be instantly recognizable.
Ideally, customers should be able to identify a brand’s voice as quickly as recognizing an old friend on the phone after just a few words.
The Power of Consistency
Consistency is the heartbeat of effective branding, and brand voice is no exception. A consistent brand voice creates familiarity and builds trust over time. Imagine your audience scrolling through their feed and stumbling upon a post from your business. With a consistent voice, they instantly recognize you, like meeting an old friend in a crowded room.
Why Brand Voice Matters to Your Business
Brand voice matters to your business for two essential reasons. First, it’s vital to competitive differentiation, helping to distinguish your brand – and your business – from the sea of competitors.
From online marketing to TV advertising, social media, and beyond, we are inundated by a noisy cacophony of voices these days. The ones we hear above others are unique, bold, and different. They are authentic brand voices that make us laugh or nod unconsciously in agreement. They tell pithy anecdotes that come together in a compelling brand story.
Consumers easily recognize those brands with well-defined, authentic voices. And they remember them when it comes time to make a purchasing decision.
The second reason brand voice matters is that it connects your brand to customers in personal, profound ways, thus, creating the foundation for customer trust and, ultimately, brand loyalty.
Customers are likelier to trust a brand that speaks to them in a reliable, human, and consistent voice. And research shows that 46% of customers are willing to pay more for a brand they trust.
One final note about the value of brand voice: it matters just as much for B2B brands as it does for B2C brands. Just because you sell to businesses doesn’t mean you aren’t speaking to people. B2B brands must sound human if they hope to connect with people deciding whether to partner with them.
Cutting Through the Noise
In a world where the average attention span is shorter than ever, capturing attention is an art. Your brand voice isn’t just a communication tool – it’s a magnet that draws your audience in. A well-crafted brand voice grabs attention and invites curiosity. It’s the difference between a mundane headline and a captivating one. It’s why your message isn’t lost in the noise but resonates like a harmonious melody.
How to Create an Authentic Brand Voice
Your brand voice isn’t a monologue; it’s a dialogue that resonates with your audience. And in a world of fake facades, authenticity reigns supreme. Your brand voice should reflect your true identity – your values, culture, and mission. An authentic voice resonates deeply and builds genuine relationships. An authentic brand voice isn’t something that can just be tacked on to an existing brand. It should be a natural by-product of thorough brand research and deliberate brand strategy.
Here are four steps to help you do just that – find the voice that will ensure your brand stands out from the competition and connects with those you serve.
Understand Your Audience
First – know who you are talking to.
Authentic brands don’t appeal to everyone. If you strive to create a voice that appeals to every customer imaginable, you will wind up with a bland, diffuse brand that doesn’t appeal to anyone.
To maximize the impact of your messaging, your message starts with precisely targeting a specific audience. You need to understand the unique characteristics of that audience. Talk to a handful of your best customers and discover what makes them tick. Ask them about the challenges they want to solve by engaging with your brand.
The typical audience persona answers the following questions about a representative member of your target audience:
- How old are they?
- What part of the country do they live in?
- What’s their education level?
- What industry do they work in?
- What role do they play at their company?
- What are their hobbies and interests?
- What are their motivations and goals?
- What are their needs and challenges?
In addition to the bulleted list above, a good audience persona features a short narrative that paints a more nuanced picture of your archetypal audience member.
Understand Your Competition
You must remember that your customers aren’t just hearing your brand voice. They are hearing from your competitors, trying to steal their attention away. Once you understand these other voices, you can work to set your brand apart and rise above the noise.
Performing a brand audit is one of the best ways to thoroughly understand the voices that overwhelm your brand’s competitive landscape.
A good competitive brand audit includes five essential steps:
- Identify 5 to 10 of your top competitors.
- Gather samples of their messaging and communications from websites, social media, marketing materials, etc.
- Catalog and compare verbal identify assets like brand names, taglines, brand compass, above-the-fold messaging, positioning messaging, etc.
- Assess each competitor brand’s strengths and weaknesses and identify trends in the industry.
- Use those trends and weaknesses to identify opportunities for differentiating your brand in the marketplace.
When you better understand the voices across your competitive landscape, you will better understand what is appropriate for your industry.
Understand Your Brand
Understanding your brand is just as important as understanding your competition.
Authentic brand voices are born from rigorous brand strategy. This means that before you craft your brand voice, you must take your time to understand the messaging at your brand’s core.
Brand strategy assets that will help to create your brand voice include things like:
- Brand Compass (Purpose, Vision, Mission, Core Values)
- Brand Personality
- Brand Archetype
- Brand Promise
- Competitive Advantage
- Big Idea
By defining these pillars, Dragon Horse Agency will help you strengthen your brand voice. Each provides a new layer of nuance and depth to your brand, including why it exists, where it’s headed, its human characteristics, the pledge it makes to customers, and the overall story it seeks to convey.
Create Brand Voice Guidelines
Finally, consistency is one of the most crucial qualities of a compelling brand voice. Why? Consistent voices are recognizable voices.
People learn through repetition. Repeatedly exposing customers to a consistent brand voice is one of the most effective ways to boost your brand’s awareness and build brand equity.
Consistent voices become familiar. Familiarity leads to reliability, reliability leads to trust, and trust leads to the ultimate goal of branding: customer loyalty.
Brand voice guidelines should be a part of a larger brand guidelines document that outlines all the do’s and don’ts involved in executing your brand.
The fact is, you cannot have a strong brand without a well-defined brand voice. Its voice sets your brand apart from the competition and connects it to customers on a deep human level. By mastering the art of brand voice, you’re not just making your business stand out; you’re making it resonate. From casual conversations to formal announcements, your brand voice becomes a melody that consistently engages, captivates, and leaves an everlasting impact.
Dragon Horse was founded in 2015, headquartered in Naples, FL, with offices in Santa Monica, CA, is a multi-award-winning business marketing leader offering services designed to achieve clients’ goals. Dragon Horse is the next-generation creative syndicate, a marketing and business strategy agency combining synergies of in-depth skill sets in one integrated, comprehensive solution for business success.