In a nutshell: Give your organization a personality by highlighting your behaviors and values.

Branding, like beauty, is more than skin deep. The visualaspects of branding, such as logos and color schemes, are related to how you appear to customers, prospects and the general public. But the verbalaspects of branding — how you write and talk — reveal your organization’s unique personality and can help create and sustain deep, long-lasting relationships.

There’s no one-size-fits-all prescription for developing a brand voice. The best examples are those that reflect what makes their organizations distinctive.  If you’re like Morgan Stanley, you should strive to be accessible yet authoritative in your communications.

A brand like Moon Pie, however, can generate attention through humor and a bit of cheekiness:

And what if you’re in the business of helping others? The American Diabetes Association strives to be informational and useful:


Your Brand Is an Extension of Your Organization

The first step toward developing a brand voice is to find out what makes your company distinct. If you don’t know your values and positive characteristics, it will be very difficult to make a connection with consumers. There are many ways to help define and discern your values — Fast Company and The Muse, among others, have written about this topic — but you can start with a few questions:

  • What is our mission?
  • What behaviors do we want to see from our employees?
  • What makes for a good relationship?
  • What do we do better than anyone else?
  • What does success look like?

Be Honest

Once you have a handle on your company’s values, start thinking about how to express those ideas authentically. If your organization were a person, how would it talk to other people?

Sprout Social, a social media management platform, says the four behaviors consumers want to see from brands are honesty, friendliness, helpfulness and humor. As long as these behaviors are consistent with your company’s beliefs, customers can sense trust.

“By maintaining your fundamental beliefs across content, advertising and social media posts, you create similar experiences,” Sprout explains. “These recognizable actions help drive people through your marketing funnel.”

Be Consistent

Once you’ve developed your brand voice, remember to use it everywhere. Ads, social marketing, emails to customers and prospects — they should all sound like they are coming from the same organization. If there are a lot of touchpoints, you might want to put together an informational guide that provides some examples and points out things to avoid.

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