How important is the tone of your brand voice? Every entrepreneur, freelancer, and business owner knows branding is, at the very least, a necessary element of your business. After all, you need to give your business a name, and it helps to have a tagline, logo, and color scheme in order to create signage, packaging, and even uniforms. Unfortunately, this is as far as most entrepreneurs go when it comes to the branding of their business.
You Must Be Relevant To Your Target Market
Whether by disinterest, frugality, or a combination of the two, many choose to not reevaluate their brand strategy or voice after their initial brand is developed and launched. However, if you are determined to grow your business and stand out in the crowded small business landscape that exists online, specifically within the realm of social media, you must ensure that your brand voice and strategy are fresh, honest, compelling, and relevant to your target market. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to throw everything out and start over if you aren’t happy with your brand voice – in many cases, simply changing the tone of your branding can give your business a powerful boost in the marketplace.
Understanding The Tone Of Your Brand Voice
While most of us aren’t communication experts, we all have a basic understanding of how tone affects our speech. Even a simple statement, such as “my soup is cold,” can be interpreted very differently when spoken with an angry, sorrowful or even calm tone of voice. For instance, it may be easy for the listener to determine if the soup is supposed to be cold simply by paying attention to the speaker’s tone of voice.
As adults, we all understand how to use tone effectively in our interpersonal communication, but understanding how tone affects your brand voice can give you a valuable insight into how your target market perceives your brand and your business and, very importantly, how your brand makes them feel. Your customers may not remember the name of your business or even the specific product or service they may have purchased, but they will remember how the experience of interacting with your business made them feel, and that feeling will greatly influence whether or not they choose your business in the future and recommend it to family and friends. Just like with your personal communication, changing the tone of your brand doesn’t mean you have to throw out the words you use, it means you have to deliver those words with a different tone.
Your Brand Voice Must Be Accurate And Authentic
There are many components of a successful business, and many of those components can depend entirely on skill, hard work, and even a bit of luck. You can create a catchy and memorable marketing and advertising campaign, tirelessly work to build business relationships and improve the backbone of your business, or even luckily stumble upon a great brick and mortar location or snag a great Internet domain. Yet one element of your business success that can’t be changed overnight or given a quick boost through hard work or even luck is the authenticity of your brand voice. Simply put, you can’t “fake” this element of your branding, simply because your customers will see through your authenticity the minute they begin interacting with your business. Your brand voice must be an accurate reflection of the personality and spirit of your business.
Don’t Try To Be Something You’re Not
If you are concerned at this point because you believe there is an inherent flaw or deficit in your business that you were hoping to cover up in your branding, don’t panic – there is no business that can do everything for everybody, and that includes the most popular and successful brands and businesses operating today. For instance, some consumers believe that Apple products are too expensive and seek out cheaper alternatives, while many health-conscious consumers avoid sugary colas such as Coca-Cola. While Apple and Coca-Cola do offer some products and services to cater to these consumers, their overall brand voices do not reflect an attempt to be something they are not. Apple’s brand voice communicates harnessing the power of personal technology with beautiful products, while Coca-Cola represents fun, warmth, and friendship. The key to mastering your brand voice is to identify the most attractive and positive aspects of your business and promoting them through your brand.
In our next post, we will discuss ways you can boost the confidence of your brand voice.