If you follow any brands on social media, you’ve probably noticed by now that many of them have a unique voice that comes through in their posts. Take Wendy’s, for example, whose Twitter is filled with burns and witty comebacks. Even if you have just a small web business, you should give some thought to giving your brand a unique voice too. Here’s an idea on how to do just that.
Your Voice Is Your Company
Developing a unique brand voice can help your business really stand out from the competition, but to create and maintain an effective one, you should know something about your industry. Certain industries lend themselves to certain brand voices, but it is possible to go against the grain and develop a brand voice that’s somewhat incongruous with your industry. The key is to be consistent, because your voice carries the message of your brand, which should largely remain unchanged.
Your voice should capture your brand, and it should help support whatever your company is trying to stand for. If you pride yourself on providing helpful, friendly value to your customers, your voice should be helpful and friendly. If you’re trying to be edgy, your voice should probably be humorous and irreverent. This shouldn’t just apply to social media posts, either; your voice should be captured in your web copy, online marketing, newsletters, print marketing. In other words, your voice is ubiquitous wherever you’re communicating about your brand.
Consistency Is Key
Your voice needs to be consistent across your communications; your tone may change, however, based on the content of your communication. Capturing this consistency can be difficult, particularly if you have a lot of different ways in which you communicate with your market. This consistency has to permeate all of your brand. For example, the logos and graphics you use on your website, social media profile, and business cards should all be the same.
Keeping your messaging consistent across all platforms is key to building a unique brand voice that isn’t disjointed or confusing. Your customers should be able to get an idea of your voice after one or two interactions, and after a while of doing business with you, they should have a subconscious reaction to your brand. That subconscious reaction, where your customers feel a certain way when they come across your brand, should be one of your ultimate branding goals.
Get Some Outside Input
Apart from studying analytics about your customer base (which you definitely should be doing), you should have some trusted friends or advisers who you’re able to run brand messaging past before you publish it. Even one or two people that you can ask “hey, does this seem on brand to you?” will be very helpful. You can also use them to help you evaluate your current content and website, to see if they get the sense of your voice that you’re shooting for.
You probably don’t want to run every single piece of messaging you do past these people, but once in a while or on really big pieces of content, it will definitely be helpful to get a second pair of eyes. Over time, you’ll develop your own sense of whether your messaging is on brand. You can also look at other brands in your space to see what they’re voice is like. Using proven examples can help you figure out what works in your space so you don’t go too far in the unique direction and come up with something that absolutely doesn’t work in your industry.
Developing a unique brand voice is definitely an art, and you’ll be constantly learning, refining, and evaluating it to make sure it works. It’s worth the effort, as having a unique voice can help you stand out from the competition.