5 Secrets to Developing Your Brand’s Voice, Tone, and Identity
December 1, 2020
If you want to connect with customers on a deeper level, you need to breathe life into your brand—and that takes more than a fancy logo. The best brands flesh out an authentic voice, a clear tone, and a brand identity that customers love.
Crafting a lovable brand may be easier than you realize. With a little direction, you can chisel your brand into an irresistible representation of your company.
Not sure where to start? Read on. I’ve laid out five secrets to developing your brand’s voice, tone, and identity.
Wait, do you really need to develop your brand?
Pinning down your brand’s image takes some heavy introspection. You may be wondering if it’s worth spending the time to crystalize your brand’s image, but if you want to build an unshakable customer base, it’s worth spending a little mental energy on getting your brand right.
Today’s consumers buy from brands they trust. In fact, one survey found more than 80 percent of consumers need to trust a brand before they’ll buy from them. In order to build that trust, it’s essential that you craft an authentic, relatable brand that connects with humans. Here’s how to do just that:
1. Start with personas in mind.
As a marketer, you need to develop a brand with purpose. You can spend years creating the most charming brand on the planet, but if it doesn’t resonate with your buyer personas, it probably won’t drive sales.
On the other hand, if you iron out a brand that lines up with your ideal customers, you’ll be rewarded with more loyal customers in greater numbers. After all, surveys suggest more than 70 percent of customers prefer to buy from brands that align with their values. That’s why it’s critical to line up your brand’s images, messages, and personality with the customers you want to attract.
2. Find your brand’s voice.
If you’ve been browsing marketing blogs long, you’ve probably come across a confusing term: “tone of voice.” As popular as this term is with marketers, it’s sure to prompt a palm to the face from any writing purists within earshot. Make no mistake, the best way to build your brand’s personality is to view its voice and tone as separate tools.
What does it mean to develop your brand’s voice?
Your brand’s voice is the language, style, and personality that shines through your written content. Once you establish your brand’s voice, set it in concrete. It should never change.
How do you develop an authentic voice? It helps to make your brand as human as possible. Ask yourself a few questions:
- If my brand was a person, who would it be?
- Is there a famous person or character that behaves the way my brand would?
- If I had to go out and hire a celebrity spokesperson, who would represent my brand best?
Once you have a clear image of who your brand is closest to being, it’s easier to visualize the way your brand would speak, behave, and the language it would choose. Whenever you’re writing content for your brand, try to mind-meld with those existing characters who relate to your brand, and mimic their style.
3. Uncover your brand’s tone.
Once it’s established, your brand’s voice should be unwavering. It shouldn’t change. However, your brand’s tone will shift from time to time. Your brand’s tone describes the attitude or mood it radiates.
In marketing, your tone will change depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. For instance, your content may need to be more upbeat when you’re telling customers about a new deal than when you’re emailing customers to apologize for an error.
Now you’re probably wondering, “If my tone changes, do I really need to nail down consistency?” The answer is yes. Just as some people tend to be more upbeat or more serious the majority of the time, your brand will hold common tone tendencies.
Need a few simple exercises to nail down your brand’s most frequent tones? Ask yourself what tone your brand would naturally use the majority of the time. It helps to imagine your brand as a person. Here are some questions to ask:
- If my brand was a person, what would its role be?
- Would it be an authority figure, a mentor, a friend, or someone else?
- How would my brand act on a normal day?
- How would my brand sound in a crisis?
Again, your tone may change from piece to piece, but by personifying your brand, you’ll start to hear the volume and register of its pitch in different contexts.
4. Perfect the language.
Words are directly linked to how we view the world. That’s why it’s so important to use language that’s authentic to your brand in all of your company’s ads, blogs, e-books, web copy, and other marketing content.
Here are a few simple ways to focus your brand’s language:
- Make a list of industry terms your company uses.
- Lay out any jargon that you want to stay away from.
- Identify any subjects or phrases that might cause compliance issues.
5. Tie it all together with a sound inbound marketing strategy.
If you take the time to develop the perfect brand identity, it will act like a living, breathing entity. But if you want customers to start loving your brand, it needs the right vehicle. To get the most out of your brand, you’ll want to pair it with an inbound strategy that connects with consumers.
Ready to learn how?
Download your Inbound Marketing Playbook for 2020 and Beyond, and unlock the best content-focused marketing strategies to carry your brand forward.
About the author
McCoy Worthington is a Copywriter for SmartBug Media. He graduated from Midland University with a B.A. in Journalism and has been writing professionally for more than a decade. As a Copywriter, he creates inbound marketing content for SmartBug’s clients. Read more articles by McCoy Worthington.
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