Building a brand that your company can take pride in isn’t easy. You have to build a strong visual identity that will help you stand out in your industry while still making sure that your brand looks and feels reputable. Perhaps more critically, you need to build a communication strategy that ensures that entire teams can sound like your brand as well.
This is where building an authentic brand voice is an essential excercise. You want to have a brand voice that is accessible to your target market while still being authoritative and true to your business. The biggest problem with building a brand voice, however, is knowing where to start.
1. Your Brand’s Positioning
First things first, you have to start with your brand’s positioning in the market. Until you know who your brand is and why people buy from you, it’s impossible to build an effective brand voice.
- A brand positioning statement
- A competitor’s positioning statement (i.e., “Why we’re better than the other guys”)
- Individual product positioning statements (i.e., “What product is right for you”)
- A list of value propositions, features, and benefits for each one of your products
Once you have completed these items, it’s time to discuss messaging.
2. Your Brand’s Messaging
As opposed to your brand’s positioning, your brand’s messaging is less focused on what you do and more focused on how you communicate. This messaging should go hand-in-hand with your brand’s visuals. The following items should help you build a well-rounded messaging document:
- A mission statement (i.e., “How we help”)
- A vision statement (i.e., “Where we’re going”)
- Your company’s values
- Social Media Guidelines
- Blogging guidelines
- Press guidelines
- General communication guidelines
If you’ve completed all of the above, you can finally create your brand’s voice document.
3. Your Brand’s Voice
Your brand’s voice document is designed to inspire. While your messaging document is geared towards providing guidelines and restrictions to those representing your brand, a truly authentic brand voice should inspire those representing your brand to truly embody your brand’s best qualities.
- Your brand’s personality traits - If your brand was a person, what would this person be like? Would he be buttoned up and professional or easygoing and likable?
- - Write some sample blog excerpts, tweets, or responses to Facebook posts. Show us how your brand would talk in real life.
- Your brand’s doppelgangers - What celebrities sound like your brand? Are you thoughtful and wry like Morgan Freeman, or are you clever and quick-witted like Seth Meyers?
Once you’ve completed this checklist, your brand’s voice should be ready to be released into the wild. This will help equip your entire team with the tools they need to look, talk, and act like your brand.