As I prepare for another client workshop on brand awareness, spending hours reviewing their marketing materials, social media, and website copy, and whatever else I can get my greedy hands on, I am amazed again at what I see. That confused message, that all-over-the-place brand voice that may have started off clear at the beginning, but has gotten lost along the way. Trust me, I know how easy it is to get confused, particularly when social media marketing crashed the party. But if ever there was a time to take another look at your brand’s tone of voice, it’s now. It’s tomorrow, it’s every single day. Developing a unique way of speaking to your audience, and then maintaining that voice consistently through all your marketing efforts, is key in creating your true, authentic brand.
“The art of marketing is the art of brand building. If you are not a brand you are a commodity. Then price is everything and the low cost producer is the only winner.” Philip Kotler, Professor at the Kellogg School of Management
Ah, and there it is, right? Beautifully spoken by the wise Philip Kotler. How many times have we complained to other entrepreneurs about a potential client “price shopping” us, or pushing us to talk fees before they’ve heard who we are and what we offer? If that happens to you too often, it’s time to revisit your brand messaging. Are you clear as to who you are, what you do, and what differentiates you from others? Does your brand identity resonate through your tone of voice used online?
The tone of voice is not what you say, but how you say it.
This includes not only the words you choose, but their order, rhythm and pace. When seen in the world of business and marketing, the phrase ‘tone of voice’ generally refers to written, rather than spoken, words. A little confusing, right? But suffice it to say, a company’s tone of voice will inform and populate all of its written copy, including its website, blog, social media, newsletters, brochures, advertisements, emails, and packaging.
Your tone of voice is also an expression of the people behind the brand.
Again, brand voice is not just what a company does, but who it is that makes it a brand. A tone of voice both embodies and expresses the brand’s personality and set of values. It’s about the people that make up the brand – the things that drive them, their loves and hates, and what they want to share with the world.
Does your brand voice set you apart from your competitors, is it unique?
It’s like knowing you shouldn’t eat that piece of cake but you eat it anyway. We all know that a lasting brand is a unique brand. A one of a kind message that everyone has to have even if they don’t want it. When we set out to create our creative businesses, aren’t we striving to offer the world something new, something fresh, something totally ours? A brand’s tone of voice should be distinctive, recognizable and, you got it, UNIQUE. We all use words and language – both written and spoken – in our own distinctive manner. Thankfully, as humans, we each have our own idiosyncrasies, humor, favorite expressions, inflections, rhythm, and so on. Harness that originality and use it in your brand voice.
A clear tone of voice can move mountains.
It’s no secret that carefully crafted words are powerful influencers. Reviewing your brand identity, revisiting where it is now, today, and then breaking down that identity into a working, authentic brand voice, is persuasion personified. Let your tone of voice tell the story of your business on a grand, mission level as well as a daily, working level.
By and large, a successful tone of voice should go without notice. The aim is not for your clients to remark on your pretty website, or your tremendous writing but, instead, to remark on your great business. When your brand voice is clear and consistent, the brand message is trusted, believed and BOUGHT.Comments ( 0 ) | Posted in Branding