According to a recent marketing survey, brands in the UK increase their value by over £1 million every hour. This makes perfect sense; familiar brands are considered trustworthy and dependable. However, this notion presents a problem for new businesses looking to go against giant brands.
As a new-business entrepreneur, you may seem outgunned by well-established competitors. How do you even out the playing field? You may not have the marketing expertise or resources, but you have a unique brand personality that you can communicate with your audience.
A brand voice is a unique way to communicate your brand’s unique characteristics, such as the mission and values to the target market. Voicing your brand’s identity and traits is an essential process in building brand awareness, recognition, and association.
Many businesses struggle with establishing a brand voice. To make the task easier, here is a simple breakdown of seven steps to defining a brand voice.
STEP 1: Identify and Study Your Target Audience
The first step in any marketing strategy is identifying and learning about the target market.
Businesses communicate differently depending on their audience. Learn as much as you can about the audience. Find out their demographic, geographical location, how they communicate, their lifestyle, interests, and so on.
The audience also determines the tone of voice your brand should use to communicate. How the message is coined and delivered plays a vital role in reaching out to a specific market segment.
Find out how your audience communicates so you can choose an active channel to broadcast your message. A social media voice outlet is one way to reach your audience. Others may prefer a more traditional or formal mode of communication.
STEP 2: Choose a Tone and Brand Voice Appropriate for Your Industry and Market
A brand voice is a way to connect to your audience, but it also needs to align with the theme of the industry.
The audience may dictate in part the choice of tone and the message itself. However, a lot is hinged on the image of the industry. Businesses involved in formal services generally communicate in an authoritative and firm voice. Others take on a more relaxed and friendly tone.
For instance, it is unlikely for a law firm to use funny or catchy slogans to voice their brand. However, they won’t use jargon either. It is all about finding that perfect voice between what the industry offers and what the customer should expect.
STEP 3: Establish a Mission Statement
As a business, the ultimate goal is to make a profit. But that should not be the mission. So, what is a brand mission?
A mission should be how you hope to positively influence the world or at least your target market by presenting your products or services. This is expressed in a mission statement. It needs to be accurate, well-defined, and related to what you are selling.
Every logo, tagline, slogan, blog post, and message need to reflect the mission. The voice of your brand should communicate your mission statement.
STEP 4: Study Your Competitors
In marketing, you always have to keep tabs on your competitors — see what they’re up to. It is no different when finding a voice for your brand.
It is helpful to find out how your competitors communicate and interact with their audience; however, it is suicidal to mimic or emulate their style. Remember, the branding is to make your business stand out. The goal is not to copy what they do but to find ways to do it better.
STEP 5: Outline the Unique benefits and Qualities Your Brand Offers
Every new entrant, especially in a crowded market niche, is expected to bring something unique to the table. Being competitive means providing something that nobody else is offering.
Outline the key benefits or unique feature of your brand that should make customers prefer it to others. Then, device a way to portray that uniqueness with your brand voice, for instance, with a quip or catchy tagline.
Even when your brand is the superior choice, refrain from defacing other brands openly. This comes off as a desperate attempt to sell and could spark up rivalry from competitors.
STEP 6: Create a Voice and Brand Voice Document
Collect information on your target audience and the competitors. After establishing a brand mission, proceed to create your brand voice.
Appeal to your audience and let them know what makes your brand different, better, and preferable. All the taglines, logos, images, and content should drive towards this one goal.
The voice should be informative, professional, conversational, and promotional. Let the audience know who you are and make them like what you’re offering. Ensure that every message resonates with the product, brand identity, and image.
At this stage, you may need to create a brand voice document and share it with your employees and partners. This is essentially an elaborate reference that functions as a style guide for your brand to ensure brand consistency.
STEP 7: Stay True and Advocate for your Brand Image and Voice
The final and crucial step is maintaining the brand voice. But, this does not mean sticking to the same routine.
The business environment is dynamic, new competitors may emerge, and market trends and social cultures change with time. Your brand voice needs to be flexible enough to evolve and remain relevant in changing times.
However, the brand voice must keep in line with the core values and mission of the brand, even when drastic changes have been made.
As the people most invested in the brand, founders and employees should uphold and advocate for the brand’s image and voice.
Establishing Your Brand
The brand voice is your business’s first impression when interacting with customers. Creating a brand voice is a crucial step in developing long-lasting customer relationships. These seven steps should guide you towards formulating a powerful brand voice to propel your brand awareness campaign to the next level.
Are you having trouble with your marketing efforts? Well, we’re here to help. At Climb Online, we specialize in assisting businesses to achieve their marketing goals by using our professional expertise and various marketing strategies. Contact us and find out more about our services.