Jan19

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4 Simple Steps to Developing Your Brand Voice

You’ve walked into a cocktail party – fashionably late, of course — and you see a clutch of people listening with rapt attention to someone telling a story about grocery shopping and picking the perfect pomegranate.

What could possibly be that interesting about a pomegranate? You wander across the room and are quickly drawn into the pomegranate story; making a mental note to stop by the grocery store and get one for yourself.

How did that happen??

The storyteller had a distinctive voice. They were consistent in their words and behavior. They built trust with you. That’s how pomegranates ended up on your shopping list.

Is your brand that storyteller? Does your brand stand out among your competition? Are audiences flocking to your brand in a way they aren’t to others? Can customers hear your brand voice amid the clutter in today’s crowded media marketplace?

By now you’re probably thinking: “This is just one more thing I don’t have time for.”

Not to worry, we’ll show you 4 simple steps to get started on this journey. And, of course, we’re always available to lend a hand.

What is my brand voice?

Your brand voice is its unique personality. A person’s unique personality comes through in the way the speak, the way they behave, the ideas and causes they support, and their appearance.

Your brand’s voice (personality) should clearly shine through in just as many ways. Consistency is the key. Not sure what that looks like? Read on….

Case Study: Campbell Soup Company

“Mm! Mm! Good!” from the 150-year-old Campbell Soup Company is a prime example of brand voice. On the surface, it seems like an advertising slogan – and it is. But it’s more than that. Those three iconic syllables weave themselves throughout the company, and have for generations.

Their supply chain is good. Their commitment to their employees’ health, safety, and professional growth is good. Their involvement with their communities and the environment is good. Everything about the Campbell Soup Company is “Mm! Mm! Good!”

You can easily develop a persona for Campbell’s Soup Company. They are someone who is warm and inviting. They are someone who cares about your health and safety. They are someone who is committed to environmental and community issues. At the core of this person, they are “Mm! Mm! Good!”

Step 1 to get started developing your brand voice: Develop a persona for your brand. Who is your brand as a person? How would you describe them?

Campbell’s styles and product lines have changed with the times and so has their slogan. Currently, they’re working with “connecting people through food they love”, which as a way of doing business in the food and beverage sector is: “Mm! Mm! Good!”

By consistently living and exhibiting the qualities and character of being “Mm! Mm! Good!” Campbell Soup Company has developed a loyal following and has grown to be a trusted friend in our kitchen cupboards for more than 150 years.

Why is it important to have a consistent brand voice?

Lasting friendships are those that are built on consistency. People you trust are people you can count on. Sure, they may have gone through a bangs-phase; a flannels-phase; an eco-friendly, shower-once-a-week-phase, but through it all their core values were consistent. Their heart was true to who you knew them to be.

Step 2 to get started developing your brand voice: Carefully assess your mission, vision, and values. How are you communicating them? How do your various audiences perceive them? Are they consistent in all of your communications?

A consistent brand voice that embodies your values and mission, and drives your vision, will build relationships that endure. Audiences will know who you are and what you stand for. There’s no guessing or making assumptions. You are now in control of your reputation.

Lucidpress publishes a State of Brand Consistency report. In the 2021 update, they found that among 450 of their constituents who were surveyed, brand consistency increased revenue by 10-20%

How do I get all the storytellers in my organization on board with the brand voice?

It’s very simple – you build it in to your brand style guide (which we’d be happy to help you develop).

Step 3 to get started developing your brand voice: Add a chapter to your brand style guide that shares your brand voice standards.

Include:

  • Words (specifically adjectives and adverbs) to use/not use
  • Phrases
  • Short statements
  • Voice Characteristics
  • Tone of voice (more on this in a future post)

This seems like a lot of work – how will I get it all done?

A recent study from phrasee.co Found that “82% of marketers struggle to create high-quality branded content.” But, savvy marketers like you know that content that delivers a consistent brand voice contributes significantly to the bottom line. “71% [of marketers] expect to focus more on content and language when they do their next marketing plan and budgeting.

Step 4 to get started developing your brand voice: Ask us for help.

Brand voice and tone are critical to business success today. They’re also time-consuming to develop, implement, and monitor. But, you are not without help. Our brand strategists and writers can take on this task for you, so you can get back to the 100 other items on your “to-do” list. Call today, and we’ll be working together tomorrow.

How Do You Track Your Competition?

After a few months of consistent tracking, give us a call and we’ll help you craft and implement a competitive marketing strategy.