In our previous blog post, we looked at building trust online and the importance this can have for your brand, but there is another regularly overlooked area that is a major factor in creating a successful brand – how to create a brand voice and develop an appropriate tone. It might seem like something that should be second nature but maintaining consistency and building rapport with customers can be difficult. Creating a brand voice supports marketing efforts in ensuring that value is placed before cost, yes that’s right it’s not all about the sales, it’s about what value you can provide for your customer. A clear brand voice enables the customer to see the value through the mission statement and company values, which is conveyed through all content on the website, blogs and social media. By maintaining a consistent voice, customers will continue to support the company developing brand loyalty which will see the company through good times and bad.
Customers are regular people and we all know that when we are online we are seeking genuine conversation on topics we find interesting. But why is voice so important you may ask? The main aim is to open the doors of your business and provide insight – showcasing the human side to your business. By being familiar and providing a personal touch people are more likely to trust a brand. It makes your business stand out from all digital disruption that is being flung around, making you more unique and noticeable, without having to resort to scare tactics or cold sales techniques.
What is the difference between Voice and Tone?
Your voice is your brand’s personality, this doesn’t change. You should be able to convey your voice in an adjective, e.g. nerdy, or sarcastic.
Tone depends on the situation, it involves knowing your audience and creating a persona (tone) that will appeal to them. It adds depth to your voice depending on factors, such as audience or the platform.
Or more simply: you only have one voice, which conveys the essence of your business, your mission statement. But you can have many tones that will apply your values and mission statement to your audience. A successful voice will humanise your brand and create natural conversations, which is exactly what we want. It will encourage customers to talk positively about your brand, creating content for you that enhances the brand even further! Always remember that you are trying to put a face to your brand, people want connections, not just information.
So how do you create a brand voice?
Start with your business, look internally, what is the culture and environment you have created? Consider the personality of your staff, they are the ones who talk to customers every day. Next take a look at your mission statement, what do you promise your customer, no matter what industry you operate in there is something you can improve for their benefit. Consider your external customers, both new and current clients, are they a particular type? Maybe they are creative start-ups or more corporate clients, either way this will play a part in your voice. If you target the creative industries, you voice will more likely be a bit more casual, knowledgeable and approachable.
Most importantly think of a nice conversation you would have at a party or a bbq, it isn’t forced, nor does it revolve around one person. Instead it is natural, it flows and covers interesting topics that encourage discussion – this is exactly how your voice should come across. From this your tone can change depending on the topic but that openness and overall voice remain there in the background.
It’s important to assess the platform and who exactly you are talking to when translating your voice into a tone. Remember to always market your business as though it were a person. Posting behind the scenes content, pictures and humourous anecdotes (when appropriate) is an excellent way to highlight company values and the overall brand.