It takes just 50 milliseconds for a user to make a judgement about a business and its products. Branding plays a huge part in this, defining company image and values through components like a logo, slogan, typography, content and visuals.
With so many aspects to consider, building an effective brand can seem a daunting task. It determines how others will interpret your company, making it vital that you get it right. To help you along, we’ve created a Branding Toolkit.
Perhaps the most important aspect of your company’s identity is brand voice.
A brand voice gives consumers a better idea about what your business is all about. It reflects your company’s personality and conveys its core values and beliefs, the ideas and views that shape it. Here, we take you through the three key steps to creating a strong brand voice.
1. Understand your target audience
The most effective brands have a thorough understanding of their target audience – their demographics, their interests and vitally, how they communicate. Casual and conversational or formal and with authority? Understanding your audience lets you to build affinity by using similar tone and sentence structure, allowing you to better appeal to your customers and offer them what they want and will engage best with. Just a couple of ways that you can gain this insight is through looking to comments on social media or holding surveys undertaking keyword research.
2. Be personable
People want to connect with other people, not faceless brands. To truly engage your customers, your brand voice should be personable and show the humanity behind your business. Just as humans have beliefs and values, companies should too. To develop a brand voice you first need to establish your personality.
To do this, start by considering what adjectives best describe your brand – are you knowledgeable, bold, amicable? It helps to think of your brand as a person, so compile a list of personality traits and condense these down to a small number of defining words, bearing in mind who your audience is and how best to appeal to them.
3. Be consistent
Your brand voice should be consistent across all platforms, be it onsite or on your Twitter page. If you’re inconsistent with brand voice you risk sounding insincere and undermine its intended purpose of conveying a unique, distinguishable personality. A brand should communicate in the same way that it would in person and every aspect of your communications needs to take this into consideration, from your actual content to typography.
Equally, just as people change, brands can develop too. Once you’ve formulated your brand voice, you’re not done there. A brand voice should never be considered final, but instead be open to evolution over time with your audience and strategies.
A strong brand voice is essential to your company’s success. When your customers read a blog on your site, browse your products and then receive an email from you, they should be able to know that everything came from the same company. Avoid generalising to try and appeal to a wider audience – this can often hinder more than help your business by diminishing a distinct sense of personality and removing any personal appeal. Ensure that you establish a strong brand voice that will dependably reflect your company’s values and effectively engage your target audience.
To learn more about how to create a strong brand, download our Branding Toolkit below.