• Maeve McCormick

4 Easy Ways to Conquer Competition by Building Your Brand Voice

When consumers think about Apple, they think of innovation. Between iPhones, iPads, AirPods, and Apple Watches, Apple has, again and again, proved that they are ahead of the technology curve. But, it’s not just Apple’s products that communicate innovation. It’s the way they present themselves to consumers. They get right to the

point when showcasing their original products through short, declarative taglines, such as “Wireless. Effortless. Magical.” for AirPods. Widely publicized press conferences to announce new products are another Apple specialty. These press conferences’ intent is kept secret so the world is left wondering what Apple is inventing next. Innovation is what consumers expect and associate with Apple.

What do consumers think of when they contemplate your brand? If one or two adjectives are not popping into your head right away, it may be time to develop your brand voice.

A brand voice is the identity and emotion permeated into every aspect of a company’s communications with its consumers.

In essence, it personifies and humanizes the brand. A brand voice should be included in every facet of your business, from your mission statement to your marketing strategy. Especially in crowded markets, brand voices can help your company stand out to consumers.

It is important that consumers understand and recognize your brand voice, even if they do so unconsciously. This way, you leave a lasting impression on them. The first thing that should come to mind when they think about your brand is the impression you want them to have through your brand voice.

For example, after watching the Simpson Racing Products company overview video, what word would you associate with their brand? Something along the lines of reliability? That’s because Simpson Racing Products has an easy-to-grasp brand voice, even if it is your first time hearing of them. It’s hard not to think “thank god they’re such a dependable brand!” after watching Courtney Force’s car explode.

Why Having a Strong Brand Voice Matters

Imagine you receive two emails from Tiffany and Co. on the same day.

One features professional photos of gorgeous engagement rings in their signature Tiffany blue box with the caption, “for the world to see” in beautiful script.

The next email features a bright yellow background with highly saturated pictures of necklaces with the tagline “buy me!” in Papyrus font.

This second email would seem ridiculous and confusing. You’d probably double-check that it’s from Tiffany’s because the idea of their brand voice changing so drastically would be baffling.

This is because enduring and successful companies all rely on a distinctive brand voice that everyone recognizes. Having a strong, consistent brand voice is critical because it distinguishes your unique personality from the competition.

Additionally, consumers will view your product as reliable if they are consistently seeing the same content from your brand. If your personality keeps changing, it will leave consumers bewildered.

Vital Farm's passionate brand voice appeals to consumers who also believe in the importance of treating animals humanely. Vital Farms knows that 89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values, which is why they emphasize their ethics through their brand voice. The key to a strong brand voice that will resonate with consumers the way Vital Farms’ does is through consistency and repetition. This is because it takes between five to seven impressions to start creating brand awareness. Being uniform with your brand voice will make your impressions stick in consumers’ minds easier.

How Can You Develop a Brand Voice?

Since your brand voice is important to make your business memorable to consumers, how does your company generate a successful one that will stand out?

1. Identify your audience and what appeals to them

To be successful, your brand voice must appeal to your target audience.

If you are unsure of who your target audience is, start by looking at your current consumer base and collect demographic data to uncover their similarities.

Once you’ve narrowed down your consumer segment, you can start working on your brand voice. In appealing to your target audience, use language familiar to them, whether that be regional or generational. For example, if you’re targeting Baby Boomers, you should probably steer clear of sayings that would resonate with Gen Z, such as “boujee” or “woke.” But, still, be authentically yourself; don’t force a brand voice that doesn’t work for your company culture. Consumers can tell when businesses are trying to force a persona that doesn’t work for them and 86% of shoppers favor authentic and honest brand personalities on social media.

2. Review your mission statement

If you’re having trouble identifying exactly what you want your brand voice to entail, start by reflecting on your company’s mission statement.

The values you want to shine through in your brand voice can most likely be located in your mission statement. For instance, Nike’s mission statement is “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world (*if you have a body, you are an athlete),” which ties in perfectly with their motivational brand voice.

3. Look at old communications with your consumers

More likely than not, you’ve unintentionally had a brand voice in mind.

By looking through old marketing materials sent to consumers, you can pinpoint what sort of language and tones have stayed consistent. It is also important to note past inconsistencies in these materials to see what did and didn’t resonate with your audience. If all your top-performing content has a quirky tone that questions the status quo, then you know what works as your core brand voice.

4. Stay consistent

As mentioned earlier, staying consistent is the most integral part of a brand voice so you don’t confuse your audience. To stay consistent, provide clear guidelines for the brand voice so you sound like one brand or person, no matter who is producing the content.

To develop these guidelines, try a “we’re this, not that” exercise.

Instead of just listing adjectives that you want to come through in your brand voice, also list adjectives that you don’t want to develop through your brand voice. To illustrate, “we’re irreverent, but we’re not immature.” Another great resource to make sure your brand voice is consistent can be a brand voice document. This document can contain grammar rules to follow, terminology to highlight, and guidelines for visuals. A brand voice document can be especially helpful when you hire a new employee so that they have a document to refer to when making brand content.

How Your Brand Voice Can Help Your Consumers Connect With You

The Importance of Storytelling

Storytelling is one of the best tools you can use to connect with consumers. If consumers love a brand story, they are 55% more likely to buy the product in the future because the story will stick with them.

Take the story told in the Caregiver’s video above. It’s almost impossible to not connect with their featured patient, Richard. Through testimonials, you learn that the once shy and easily upset Richard blossomed under the mentorship and patience of Caregiver’s employees. A heartwarming story such as this will not soon be forgotten by consumers.

The Significance of Videos

Videos can help develop your brand voice through the range that can be produced, such as process tours, company overviews, testimonials, how-tos, and vlogs.

53% of marketers say that video helps them raise awareness of their brand.

The message and theme of your videos can easily tie back to your company’s values that resonate with your target audience, like in the above Caregiver video. Additionally, it is easy for videos to stay consistent with your brand voice through a uniform look and feel to each video.

The Magnitude of Social Media

Over 3.6 billion people use social media around the world, a number that is expected to increase to 4.4 billion by 2025.

Although social media can seem daunting, it can be a powerful tool to interact with your consumers. 57% of consumers will follow a brand to learn about new products or services, while 47% will follow to stay current with company news.

Social media is where your brand voice becomes a huge advantage. Consumers like and notice consistency in a company’s feed, especially when this consistency is aesthetically pleasing. In fact, 45% of consumers will unfollow brands on social media for posting irrelevant content. A great social media tool that also helps with brand voice is the use of the same person that your audience can identify with. Washington Post has nailed this through their TikTok personality, Dave Jorgenson. Jorgenson manages to communicate important news through TikTok trends that he puts his own unique spin on, making their page a memorable one.

The Ongoing Effort of a Brand Voice

We won’t lie, having a brand voice is work. It’s not something that you can work on for one day and hope it’ll stay consistent.

Companies work for years to cultivate their signature brand voice. Once again,

that’s why the most important aspect of having a brand voice is to stay consistent. Your brand voice is what sets you apart from the competition. Don’t lose this edge by being too busy or lazy to put in the work, but keep trying until you continually nail the PERFECT brand voice for your company.

The Value of a Brand Voice

If you’re still unsure about whether your brand voice is worth determining, keep in mind that presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%, a significant return on investment.

So next time consumers contemplate your brand, what will they think, feel, or know? Do you still have to continue developing your brand voice?

Then get to work and let humanstory help you today with content that connects!

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