December 6, 2016
Finding Your Brand Voice
3 Reasons Your Brand Needs A Personality
If you could personify Tesla — give it a name, voice, clothing — what would it look like? Tesla wouldn’t be blue collar. He might be a retired astronaut named Vince, who’s athletic, well-dressed, and dammit, he looks good in a suit. And what about Ford? Well, he’s probably a “whatever it takes to get the job done” sort of guy with a wife, three kids, and a dog. His standard uniform is jeans and a t-shirt. And what about Corvette? Well, she’s a successful business woman, driving off into the sunset, with sunglasses and a quiet smirk, completely aware of how cool she looks.
While these are all simple guesses at Tesla, Ford, and Corvette’s brand personalities, each of these brands have strict guidelines in place to ensure everything they say or do is on brand. Their colour palette, word choice, and use of slang intentionally reinforce their brand personality.
A strong brand personality draws viewers into an influential and memorable experience with your company. Your brand is easier to interact with because you don’t sound like a blank canvas spouting out professional sounding buzzwords. You look and sound like a real person with relevant knowledge and a recognizable voice.
My job at Agency Media is a content writer. I’m a master of your brand’s language, surgically manipulating the nuances, keywords, and mood to speak to your target audience. When I write for a brand — from website content and blogs to video scripts — I don’t want to sound like me. My goal is to seamlessly blend into your brand voice. But many brands either don’t have a strong voice or their voice could use refining.
Here are three reasons why your brand needs a distinct voice — and the value this voice will provide for your company.
1. To Provide A Memorable Experience
A distinct voice provides your customers with an experience. When you invite your audience to your website, social media post, or video ad, you’re inviting them to an experience. One primary reason that experience might not leave a lasting impression is because the voice isn’t specific. It doesn’t have anything to differentiate it from any other brand. Take these two social media posts for example. Which one stands out?
Both of these tweets were posted by travel companies advertising deals in December. While they’re similar, one is better at capturing your attention. The second tweet speaks its own humorous language — consistent across all its channels — to draw you into their deal, while the first tweet communicates its message without much personality.
2. To Be Relatable
Your target demographic speaks a certain way — whether it’s 15-year-old snowboarding enthusiasts or 30-year-old city dwellers who work in media. Each member of those audiences has commonalities that you can use to your advantage. You can talk to them in a way that’s familiar and deliver content that meets them where they’re at.
For example, if you’re writing content for 15-year-old snowboarding enthusiasts, you might be tempted to insert demographic-specific words you find online like “gnar” and “pow”. But doing a simple Google search is a good way to end up sounding like an uncool step-dad. Focus on sounding familiar, but authentic. Be fully aware of the snowboarders’ world and craft a voice that appeals to their adventurous and carefree tendencies. When a brand talks to their audience at their level, customers are far more likely to buy.
3. To Make Your Audience Feel Something
The best thing a brand writer can do is make their audience smile or tear up. A lighthearted and fun tone will help your audience feel comfortable while adding a human element will help your audience feel emotional toward your brand. For example, if you’re writing for a moving company don’t just tell your audience that you’re professional. Show them your professional ethos through clear and respectful language. Then go beyond that. Introduce your brand’s pride by sharing a story about going the extra mile, literally, to help a family move. At the end of the day, a distinct brand voice will help your audience feel something. Because the only thing you don’t want your customers to feel is nothing.
However, this doesn’t mean you need to be heavy handed in your voice. And not every brand will have a really funny or obvious brand voice. The most important thing is to really know your audience and understand where they’re coming from. The last thing you want to do is write a social media post that shouts, “I’M APPEALING TO MILLENNIALS! But I have no idea who millennials are or what they’re interested in . . . ” (Nevermind the fact that millennials is way too broad of an audience. But we’ll write more on audience segmenting another time.)
If you’re looking to define a brand character that will appeal to your target demographic, we’d love to talk. We’ll work with you to refine your brand voice to make sure that you always leave a lasting impression.