Your brand voice can have a big impact on your entire marketing strategy, as well as other business objectives. Whether you are concerned about your user journey, want to boost your social media presence or generate more sales, your brand voice is key.
Before you start the actual process of finding this, you need to determine and understand your audience if you haven't already. This will have a huge impact on your brand voice, and how you can adjust it to best engage with this demographic.
There's no one sure-fire way to get a brand voice, but there are certain elements that can help you. Whether you are a start-up or have grown your company into something bigger like an enterprise or small business, you should always aim to have multiple people involved.
It's a creative process, so you should try and get the opinions and ideas of those working closely with you. This doesn't have to be just people inside the business; you might want to ask family, friends, or professional associates to help you, especially if you are a small startup.
Once you have your audience and your focus group to run with, you can get started. Here is our quick five minute guide to finding your brand voice:
Step One: Create a persona for your business
You'll be used to developing personas for your target audience, so why let this experience go to waste? Use the same process to create a persona for your brand.
Is it male or female; young, old or middle-aged; a serious thought leader or a quirky down-to-earth adviser? If you're struggling to get started, try picking a business owner that you admire, maybe even the inspiration behind your company. Whether you look to Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg or Ursula Burns, it should make it easier to identify the qualities that you want to replicate in your own business.
Once you have this, you can decide what goals and objectives your persona will have. This should help your brand voice to become real, making it easier to then create marketing materials with your persona in mind. Once you have this done, it'll help you keep a consistent tone across your social media, website, and customer interactions.
You may find that your ideal leader is different to the person you imagine speaking to your clients. If this is the case, follow the same process but instead pick someone outside of the business world who you think would get your brand's message across to your audience.
Your brand may want to look towards award-winning actors like Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling who have a very calm and measured approach, giving your brand a personable voice. However, if you want something a little more high-brow, you may want to look towards your favorite New York Times journalist. It may be that your brand wants to give authoritative content a more down-to-earth face, which you may find echoes the personalities of talk show hosts like Trevor Noah or Jimmy Kimmel.
Step Two: Research online
Once you have your brand persona, you can look online for how your person - or people - communicate. It's important that you don't try to emulate or copy exactly what they're doing, but determine what it is that you find so appealing and what it is you want your clients to feel from your interactions.
Most people use social platforms for their business in some way, so look at how they interact with users and compare this to how your competitors react. You may really like certain elements of their online persona, but it's important to think about how you want your brand to differ and stand out from them.
You'll probably find that you want your business leader persona to be behind your website and pitching documents, for example, while your spokesperson will be the voice of your social media and customer interactions. This will help you organize your business strategy, while still making sure they complement each other, allowing you to deliver a cohesive brand voice.
Step Three: Run it past others
Once you've completed these two steps, get together a group of people that have had nothing to do with your brand voice process. You can do this as a short presentation or an activity where they play a potential client, either way you want to ask them for their feedback.
A good way to determine whether you've managed to get the brand voice you wanted is to ask your independent group to choose three adjectives to describe their interactions with you. This will help you to find whether you are spot on or whether you need to tweak it in certain ways.