In our previous post, we discussed the importance of maintaining a consistent brand voice. Your brand voice represents your brand and, by extension, your company, in the same manner that your voice represents you as an individual.
Authenticity and Consistency
While it may be difficult to comprehend why a consistent brand voice is so vital to developing and maintaining the reputation of your business and your client relationships, consider the importance of your voice when it comes to developing and maintaining your own reputation and relationships with others. As we previously discussed, most of us would never consider using inconsistent and inauthentic personal voices to communicate with others, and the same should apply to businesses as well. If your customers or clients believe that your organization lacks a consistent brand voice, it can harm your reputation and client/customer relationships. As important as it is to maintain a consistent brand voice, it is also important to maintain an authentic brand voice as well, as authenticity and consistency are the two primary components of a stable, respected, and appealing brand.
The Importance Of An Authentic Voice
In much the same way that your customers expect consistency with every interaction they have with your brand, from one-on-one employee interactions to blog and social media posts, they seek authenticity as well. Imagine if you need to immediately find a dentist to treat a toothache – do you seek out a dentist that exudes knowledge, experience, empathy, and a masterful level of expertise, or do you choose a dentist that promises those things but communicates in an inauthentic manner? When you have the option to choose from a number of available dentists, why would you ignore your instinct when it comes to authenticity and choose the latter dentist over the former? While authenticity can be temporarily faked, it is extremely difficult to prove to potential customers or clients that their initial, mistaken impression of your inauthenticity was false – that is, if you’re ever given that chance. Consistency is, in fact, a vital component of an authentic voice, as authentic brand voices are rarely inconsistent. Authentic brands also immediately convey a sense of honesty, experience, and trust, with an unwritten or unspoken promise that whatever your needs or wants may be, you can trust the business or organization in question to deliver.
Being An Expert Doesn’t Make You Authentic
It is likely that you have already taken the first steps towards developing your authentic voice, simply by compiling and publishing information about your background, education, and experience. Even if you are an entrepreneur, freelancer, or business manager who has recently changed careers, it is likely that your previous experience is still relevant to your clients or customers. However, simply establishing yourself as an expert doesn’t automatically grant you authenticity. In fact, having an impersonal, almost authoritative tone to your brand voice, bolstered by your qualifications, can be intimidating and off-putting, negating any advantage your education and experience may provide.
The Key To Developing And Maintaining An Authentic Voice
The key to developing an authentic brand voice is to balance the elements that makes you a qualified expert with emotion and empathy, as both are very important when conveying to your customers and potential customers your desire to help them satisfy their wants and needs in addition to your ability to expertly and consistently follow thorough and deliver on your promises. Depending on both your industry and target market, your customers and potential customers may also desire that your company be involved in charitable organizations and events or use materials or labor from specific sources, and if your brand voice requires you to speak from a place of empathy, faking your interest and/or participation in these endeavors can be devastating for your reputation. Only through honesty and genuine integrity can you develop an authentic voice that will stand the test of time.