How to Cultivate your Brand Voice (Repost)
I originally wrote this post in 2013, with tips on how to define a brand’s voice to communicate with your audience. I actually came across it the other day while researching another topic and thought some of the notes were still relevant three years later. I wanted to share again today and ask what you think has changed in how you define your brand’s voice?
We believe every brand has a unique story to share. And like its story, each brand also has its own “voice.” In other words, if you were to think of your brand as if it were a person, what would that person sound like? Would it be young or old? Sarcastically funny? Or by-the-book informative?
We assist many of our clients to help channel their brand’s “inner voice.” Being writers by nature, PR professionals are great at not only understanding the essence of your brand identity, but cultivating it into a voice that can carry across your marketing channels, especially on social media.
But in true integrated fashion, the voice of a brand shouldn’t just live in an online vacuum. Rather, that voice should be the pulse of your company. It should resonate throughout your internal communications efforts. It should be evident in your branding materials. Your sales team should be able to share the voice when meeting with existing and prospective customers.
I see a lot of companies missing the mark, especially when it comes to implementing social media programs, because the content they share is completely devoid of any brand personality. The person behind the social media wall is merely pushing stuff out o satisfy a higher-ups desire to be on social media. Or worse, the social media voice sounds more like the person writing it, rather than the brand itself (which could backfire, for example, if you’re a female trying to appeal to a male-oriented audience).
In contrast, check out Skittles social media channels when you get a chance. Every single Tweet, Facebook post and Instagram update is completely in character of what you might expect Skittles to say, if rainbow-colored candies could, in fact, talk to you. The company does a great job of providing consistent, on brand updates that make the audience want to keep coming back for more. I doubt the person who develops the content sounds that way in their everyday life, but they sure do play a good Skittles character online.
Take a look at your brand’s voice, both online and offline, and ask yourself if it’s consistent with how you want to present yourself to your audience. If not, take some time to identify some key personality traits your brand represents, and work to inject that personality into your conversations. That’s what draws customers closer — helps them better connect — with you.