Steady, consistent dialogue strengthens connections in business relationships… as much as it does in personal ones. For a brand, that dialogue can be summed up as brand voice.
Put simply, a brand voice is the language and tone delivered by a brand. It determines how a brand sounds and feels to a customer or prospect. A steady, intentional brand voice maintains a consistent promise across all modes of communication — in a catalog, blog post, e-blast or on social media platforms.
When accomplished, a strong and cohesive brand voice projects and instills confidence. And positively influences purchasing decisions.
Tell a compelling story
In well aligned B to B sales and marketing programs, target audiences are of course, other businesses. That said, the decision to “buy” always will be made by a human being. And it’s important to remember that people respond to communication that informs and entertains. A unique and consistent brand voice can help to command attention… and help lead a prospect through their buyer’s journey.
Communication channels such as podcasts and Clubhouse chat rooms — that depend on storytelling — benefit from a consistent brand voice. However, brand voice isn’t limited to mere storytelling. That same, consistent language and tone can elevate everything from customer service scripts to thought leadership articles on LinkedIn.
An effective brand voice is a key component of attraction marketing that seeks to draw customers in… rather than to push products out. It educates potential customers about the desirability of a product before a brand ever suggests a purchase.
A solid brand voice sets the stage for prospects to trust a brand’s promises.
Following are four considerations for building awareness and trust when establishing a brand voice.
Company values. Integrity, innovation, leadership… are all core values that may be closest to the heart of a brand’s identity. And should be reflected in its brand voice. When a company promotes integrity — that value, will influence every interaction and communication — with a commitment to follow through on execution. Emphasis will be placed on honoring promises… with candid, clear-eyed interactions.
Mission statement. A brand voice must resonate in both existing products and in services… as well as providing for a long-term mission. As an example — when a brand or company is focused on sustainability — then its brand voice should reflect a respect for the natural world. And a commitment to respond to environmental issues and opportunities.
The target audience. To be effective, a brand voice aligns well with its audience targets. Creating detailed buyer personas will help to clarify exactly who is included… and how their preferences will help them interact with particular brand promises.
The platforms. Different circumstances — and distinct platforms — call for subtle variations of brand voice. For example, a “helpful and approachable” brand voice will have a slightly different posture in an instructional video… than it will, in a blog post.
Maintain a consistent voice
Projecting a uniform brand identity makes it easier for customers and prospects to connect while encouraging trust. Here are some ways to help maintain a consistent brand voice.
Commit to authenticity. Always keep a brand voice aligned with company values and mission. As many as 86% of consumers say authenticity influences their purchasing choices.
Establish standards and guidelines. Defining a brand voice in a manual… helps to clarify and set the rules that a team must follow. Just as there are specific, standardized approaches to how a logo appears… so too should the language about a brand, be standardized.
Make brand standards easy to understand. Use clear, concise language to organize guidelines. Decide ahead of time the differences in tone — and language — between channels and situations.
Revisit standards when necessary. Brand voice evolves… and so do audiences. When a company’s brand voice feels outdated — or no longer suits customer preferences – it’s likely long past time, to revise it.
Schedule reviews. On-going maintenance isn’t just for engines… so set a schedule for evaluating how well current interactions continue to align with the established brand voice.
The benefits of a strong brand voice
Consistency is a critical part of any marketing program’s long-term success. Notably, consistent brand representation can quadruple visibility and increase revenue by up to 23%. Inconsistency, on the other hand, will create confusion and can negatively impact a brand’s revenue and reputation.
Keeping a brand voice uniform across all channels allows a brand to:
- Improve brand recognition by making brand messaging memorable
- Maximize first impressions with the right messaging
- Build stronger connections with audiences
- Set expectations through clear communication
- Distinguish a brand from competitors, commodity and ambiguity
- Build trust early in the sales journey
Brand voice provides an opportunity for Building Product Brands to showcase unique identities, missions and core values. The more confidently — and consistently – sales and marketing team members can leverage that voice… the more customers and prospects will sit up and take notice.
Interested in exploring how to optimize your brand’s voice? Send an e-mail to email@example.com to get the conversation started.