In the old days, back before smart phones and caller ID, when your phone rang you picked it up — and if the person on the other end was familiar, you could tell right away. How? Because you could recognize their voice.
Brands have voices, too. Developing and maintaining a consistent brand voice might be one of the more undervalued aspects of marketing today.
But it’s more important than ever. With the glut of content filling up the internet — and marketers trying hard to offer content that gets noticed — a compelling brand voice can be invaluable.
A strong, unique brand voice can do a lot for your marketing. It can make your content more interesting and engaging. It can help you connect to and relate with your audiences. And it can make your messaging more memorable and recognizable.
Here are the three keys to creating a voice that will work for your brand:
We mention this one first for a reason. In this age when consumers are more informed and more skeptical than ever, it’s easy to see through the BS.
A brand voice must be grounded in the company’s culture and DNA. Much like a person’s voice, it should be a reflection of who you are and the values you hold.
Most of the time, this is not terribly difficult. Marketers are usually pretty good at developing content and messaging that stays within the brand guidelines. But when they get off the rails, it’s a big problem that can get undue attention.
This can be a struggle for large companies with various, disparate communication teams. With content coming from so many sources, it can be difficult to keep things straight.
But it’s crucial. Although blog content might come from one department… ads from another… and press releases from yet another, they are all potentially viewed and read by the same audiences.
If there are substantial inconsistencies across channels, consumers will have a difficult time deciphering which is your true, authentic voice. And your message will become muddled. That’s all done in the subconscious, of course. There aren’t consumers out there keeping tabs on your brand voice consistency across your communication channels.
But when it is consistent, you have a much better chance of being noticed and remembered.
Despite the fact that “non-boringness” isn’t an actual word, this is the most important thing to remember about your brand voice.
There’s plenty of corporate-speak out there. Too many companies can’t help but use big, technical terms to describe their product features and performance. They may think they’re being unique, but they’re not.
That kind of corporate-speak may sound impressive to engineers and product managers, but your target audiences — consumers, contractors, specifiers — have heard it all before. That’s because it’s the way nearly every company speaks to their external audiences.
There’s no quicker way to lose your audience’s attention than to bore them to tears with jargon and cliches.
For an example of how best to use your brand voice, look no further than Big Ass Fans. Their messaging is authentic to who they are as a company. And it’s consistent across all their channels.
Most importantly, it’s not boring. By using an unexpected, irreverent, humorous approach to their content. They have successfully changed an otherwise dull category into something memorable and fun.