If you spend any time online, you’ll know just how noisy and crowded the digital space can be. There are so many networks, platforms, channels, apps and ways to connect and consume online, and even more are being developed and added to the mix every day.
So if you want to position your business so that it can hold its own amid all the internet noise and busyness, it can be helpful to tap into the ways that will allow your unique products or services to stand out.
One powerful way to do this is to develop a compelling and engaging brand voice.
What is a brand voice?
Essentially, your brand voice is the tone of all the touchpoints of your business – all the ways and places that potential customers can interact with your brand.
It’s common to regard a brand as simply a logo, typeface or colour palette, but brand voice goes much deeper than mere surface graphics.
If you think of your own interactions with the businesses you deal with – what is it that makes you feel you’re in the right place, that you’re valued and understood, and that draws you to a particular product or service?
Maybe it’s the beautiful photography, or the playful sense of humour in the company’s copywriting, videos or social media posts. Perhaps it’s the attention to detail or the exquisite packaging that just oozes quality or craftsmanship. It could also be the customer service – how you’re spoken to or dealt with when you get in touch.
All of these are aspects of a strong brand voice – the subtle and sometimes subliminal connection points between a business and its audience – and when you put all of these aspects together, you get an overall sense of the brand’s personality, its values and who it’s for.
Why does brand voice matter?
Your brand’s voice matters because humans are emotional creatures and a great number of purchasing decisions are based not on logic but on emotion. We buy what we love, we spend our money in line with our deepest core values, and we seek out the businesses that make us feel good.
Brand voice is a powerful way to connect on a deeper level with consumers and potential customers. While many people will justify their purchasing decisions with common sense reasoning, the real decision is often made at the level of the heart and soul.
Learning how to develop a brand voice that speaks directly to the emotions of your customers is a potent way to connect with and engage your audience through the subtle distinctions that can make a big difference to your business.
5 tips for developing your brand voice
1: Start with clarity
Before you can develop a distinctive brand voice you can communicate to your target audience, it helps to be as clear as possible on what makes your business unique.
Spending some time honing a deeper level of clarity around things like your business mission, your ‘why’, and your dream clients or customers, will be a valuable investment in developing an authentic brand voice that speaks most strongly to the people you most want to serve.
You don’t need to have all the answers to get started – all businesses evolve and adjust over time, so this type of work is never completely finished. But if you do your best to really get to the heart of your own business offering, you’ll find it much easier to communicate that unique essence to the right people.
2: Be authentic
In the realm of brand voices, the subtle cues and emotional connections can’t be faked. So aim to prioritise authenticity when presenting your products and services.
When people are connecting with your business on an intuitive level, they can often sense when something is not quite genuine, and while they may not know why, they will often just move on to another option that feels more honest and authentic.
So authenticity is good for business, but it also helps make it easier to develop a truly unique brand voice. Your business is not like any other, and so reflecting the real and true quirks that make it unique will go a long way to supporting an authentic brand voice.
3: Listen to your customers
Developing a brand voice is all about communication and the best brands achieve this by making it a two-way conversation.
While you may think that your branding is all about what you tell your customer, there is real value in also listening to your customer. Aim to learn what resonates with them, what they value about your products or services, and what they would love even more.
This connection with your audience will not only help you to hone your offerings to fit real needs, it will also inspire new ways to develop your brand voice to incorporate the things that your ideal customers really love.
This kind of valued connection is what creates raving fans – the holy grail of marketing for any business.
4: Stay flexible
A brand voice is a living thing, it grows and develops over time. So while it’s important to have some defined brand voice guidelines, as your business changes, it can help to stay flexible with your brand strategy.
What worked well in the beginning, may not be quite as effective as your business grows. Perhaps you’ll begin to reach a more sophisticated audience and you need to rise to that new challenge. Or maybe your passion fades for proven strategies and you need to pivot a little with your branding.
Staying flexible with your brand voice can help you to keep it fresh and alive, so that it’s inspiring to both the business audience and business owner, because that kind of energised excitement makes for a palpable customer connection.
5: Monitor the right metrics
Keep an eye on how your branding is working for you and your business. Brand awareness and emotional connectivity are notoriously difficult to track and measure, but there will likely be some key metrics that reflect the impact of your brand voice.
Decide which data is the most important to your business goals, and then monitor the impact of any changes to your branding or the subtle cues that make up your brand voice.
Attract more customers with the right brand voice
A brand voice can be a tricky thing to define, given that it is so multi-faceted and quite often subliminal. But with a little attention and a willingness to track, test, and learn, it’s possible to hone a strong and engaging brand voice that not only speaks directly to your favourite kinds of customers – it has them coming back for more, and telling all their friends.