It’s difficult to compete in today’s world. The saturated market means you must differentiate yourself to become notable. And one way to make sure you stand apart is to formulate a personality around your product or service — your branded voice.
For Sublime Designs Media, branded voice is an active verb — it sets the tone for every piece of marketing you release. Your voice gives your organization a unique personality, makes your products and services memorable to customers, and distinguishes your brand from the competition.
It’s not just the way you sell your products, but the words you use within ads, social media, blogs, and white pagers. It’s not only how you sell your products, but how you provide your customer service and how you brand events (right down to the hors d’oeuvres you choose).
Your brand’s personality
The way you write reflects who you are, so it makes sense that your branded voice should reflect who your company is and what you hope it will become. It should paint a consistent picture of what your product does, how it is different — even what your organization stands for.
On the flip side, your target audience will form opinions on your services and products based on your branded voice, so be aware of how your branding will be consumed by the general public. According to Sprout Social, many consumers are drawn to honesty in a company’s branding, while they’re often repulsed by a snarky attitude. (But the possibility of antipathy doesn’t keep certain brands, like Moon Pie from being glib.)
Your voice might come from what your products can do. For example, Lowe’s is a familiar nationwide home improvement store because they market with a helpful and knowledgeable ‘voice’:
Look at the competition
Look no further than Firehouse Subs for faultless branding. They use a distinctive “hero” voice for all of their marketing materials, because their founder used to work as a firefighter. It’s common knowledge that a portion of all their proceeds goes back to fire safety, which pulls double-duty in bestowing their brand with a gallant edge.
Marketing properly is a learned skill. Look to your competition — do some research on their marketing successes and failures. Ask a few questions about them, your answers might lead you to success. Do they have a strong branded voice? What does their voice sound like? How does your company’s personality differ from theirs? Celebrate your brand by setting yourself apart from your competitor’s voices.
Connect through consistency
Consistency is important for staying connected with your clientele. In order to stay consistent, provide your marketing staff with the training and guidelines they need to understand your brand’s personality.
Ensure everyone is on the same page by creating a branded guideline document. This guideline will allow everyone to easily visualize the branded voice and understand what language to use across all channels. Plus, your staff will find it is easier to develop content for a well-understood voice.
Sticking close to your branded voice sets the expectation that your products and services are reliable. For the past few years, Verizon has proved to be dependable with their branded voice; sticking close to short, stoccato-like, direct sentences that are both familiar and friendly.
Show dependability to your customers by defining and clearly communicating your voice across all of your marketing channels. This means understanding how to accent your unique personality on all platforms — from Twitter, to LinkedIn, to blogs, one pagers, and even events. You’ll want to show your brand’s voice off in the best light, so consider hiring a dedicated writer who understands how to market your voice.
One last tip …
The marketing landscape changes often. You’ll want to revisit your company brand’s voice often. Be willing to re-evaluate your branded voice because your organization will change and mature over time.
Whether you’re just starting to find your voice or you’ve been playing the game for a while and need a refresher, our specialized Sublime Design Voice Workshop can help you find and understand your brand’s voice. Contact us and we’ll help you roadmap your way to a strong set of brand voice guidelines.