Here are 8 steps to finding your brand voice:
Just like you’ve previously done when defining other aspects of your brand messaging, you should go back and review your Brand Purpose, Vision, Mission, and Values.
Remind yourself of:
- What is your Purpose?
- What future do you want to help create?
- How will you create that future?
- What do you stand for?
- What drives your decisions?
After all, These are the reasons why you exist, and your brand’s voice is simply a tool to express it.
In addition to reviewing your purpose, vision, mission, and goals, you should also review who your target audience is, and your top competitors.
Your voice is how you are communicated to your audience, so be sure you are clear on who they are.
Ask yourself questions like:
- What is their sense of humor?
- What are their personality traits?
- What adjectives describe them?
- How do you want them to feel about your brand?
Don’t try to sound like something that you’re not, just to attract a certain demographic.
The consumer will see right through that and label you as inauthentic.
Next, analyze how your competition and every other brand in your industry sounds.
If they all sound the same, this could be a great opportunity to take a different approach.
Find a way to differentiate your voice from the competition while still remaining genuine and speaking the language of your audience.
Find inspiration from other successful brands.
What brands do you connect with? How do they sound? What is their personality type, and will that same personality type connect with your audience?
For example, if you are an adventurous and rugged brand, find other similar brands and listen to how they speak to their customers.
You obviously don’t want to copy them, but learn from them and determine how you can bring out the same emotion.
Just like you did when finding your brand personality, choose 3-5 adjectives that are appropriate to use in your language.
These may be exactly the same as the adjectives you defined early, but it’s still a good exercise to look at these descriptive words from a verbal standpoint, not just as personality traits.
State what you won’t do. This is who you do not want to be.
Knowing who you aren’t is just as helpful as knowing who you are.
For example, if you are adventurous, funny, outgoing, real, and transparent, you won’t want your voice to sound pretentious, overly serious, businesslike, or humorless.
Not that there’s anything wrong with being businesslike or serious, but just be sure that your characteristics are authentic to your brand’s personality.
Now that you have all this valuable information to work with, you will want to Create a Brand Voice Guide.
This guide is a simple table that helps organize and further elaborate on the brand characteristics you’ve defined.
This will also provide your designers and writers with guidelines to use when creating content so you are confident that your brand voice will be communicated properly.
I have provided a brand voice guide template in the action guide that you can download on this page.
Now that you have defined your brand voice, the next step is to complete a final audit of your work to make sure it aligns the rest of your branding and supports your company culture.
So once again, review your brand purpose, vision, mission, and values and confirm that they all work together in unison and support each other when communicated to the customer.
The final step is to share your Brand Voice Guide with your team.
This will be a crucial reference for them to use to help your content creators understand what does and does not align with your brand.
It will unify your brand voice and maintain consistency across all your marketing channels.
So that’s about it. To continue your training, please be sure to download and complete the free action guide below.