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.
Will 2018 see an aggressive rotation toward defensive sectors? Morgan Stanley’s Chief U.S. Equity Strategist Mike Wilson says the tipping point may have already arrived. https://t.co/RvMLrGscD7 pic.twitter.com/12AOdsQlLQ
— Morgan Stanley (@MorganStanley) July 14, 2018
A brand like Moon Pie, however, can generate attention through humor and a bit of cheekiness:
Listen I know it’s kinda late or whatever but there’s still time to tear open a MoonPie and just tell it all about your day everything’s gonna be ok
— MoonPie (@MoonPie) June 29, 2018
And what if you’re in the business of helping others? The American Diabetes Association strives to be informational and useful:
Getting bored w/ your exercise routine? Try mixing things up! Go for a walk one day and then opt for a workout at home w/ your family. Check out more #T2D management tips here & remember to work w/ your doc before making changes: https://t.co/E8ZFtJEsW8 pic.twitter.com/dgSyE0TnTm
— Amer. Diabetes Assn. (@AmDiabetesAssn) July 12, 2018
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?
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.”
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.