Creating your brand voice enables you to communicate honestly, authentically, and most importantly I would say, consistently. Your Brand Voice can be created by defining your Brand Essence and your Key Messages – How you Speak and What you Say.
Your Brand Essence consists of your:
Identifying these elements might not feel easy, but shouldn’t need to feel manufactured, it should feel comfortable, natural and inherently true to who you are as a business/person.
- Identify your personality. Your personality is basically your brand’s human characteristics and attributes.Are you curious and enthusiastic? Elite and sophisticated? Wild and crazy? Polished and Professional? Humble and down to earth? Witty and fun? Your personality is a reflection of your Brand Heart, influenced by your beliefs and demonstrated in your behaviour. When you have an intimate understanding of your personality, you can infuse it into every aspect of your brand, from your customer service process to your product descriptions and online copy. This is a powerful way to differentiate yourself when you show up authentically in every interaction.
- Identify your brand voice. This is the way your brand sounds and speaks. Remember that every brand voice is unique. A yogurt brand doesn’t speak the way a car brand speaks, and one car brand sounds different than another. Your personality already influences your brand voice; you just need to articulate it so that you can communicate consistently in your content.
Remember: The words, phrases, slang, and jokes you use communicate your identity in both direct and indirect ways -the same way how you speak and act makes you you, think about your brand as a person and that often makes the process feel easier. Think about how you want to speak—and how your customers want to be spoken to.
A useful exercise here is to create two columns which is What you would say vs What you would not say, this is a really helpful, practical way to start to put your brand voice in action.
- Identify your tone.Your brand’s tone is basically your general attitude. Your voice may be authoritative, but the tone is respectful. Think of your brand’s voice as how you talk, and your tone as how you talk in different contexts. You always use the same voice, but you may shift your tone depending on who you’re talking to.
If you’re not sure exactly what your tone is, think of how you want to make people feel. Should you talk to them like you’re a helpful and kind neighbour, or an impressive and knowledgeable expert. To start, choose at least 3 words to describe your tone. (For example, Uber describes their tone as “optimistic, inviting, bold.”)
Your brand essence is the combination of these 3 elements, personality, voice and tone.
Linked is a great example from the online bank Monzo of how they have articulated how they speak and how they do not speak.
With your Brand Essence articulated, you have formed a baseline and formula for communicating who you really are, consistently at every touchpoint, from the signup pop up on your site to your Instagram feed. (The brands that do this best are the ones we love the most—no matter what they’re selling. – they just sound real and we are drawn to them as a result of this core essence)
Create Your Brand Messaging
There are many ways to talk about who you are, what you do, and why people should choose your brand over your competition. For the purposes of this brand strategy, we’re starting with the most basic messaging: your brand value proposition, strapline, and brand messaging pillars.
- Articulate your value proposition. Your value proposition is a succinct explanation of both the functional and emotional benefits your product or service provides to customers. It’s not just who you are and what you do differently (that’s your positioning); it’s also how you solve their problem and why they should choose you over the competition
- You can also think of it as the promise of what your customer will receive if they buy from you. If you want your brand to succeed, you need to have the answer to this question before anyone asks. Going forward, it’s what all your messaging will ultimately support and reinforce.
- Identify your messaging pillars. Your messaging pillars are the key stories you want to tell about your brand—what makes you unique and different. Every piece of content you create should reinforce these core messages across all touchpoints.
Depending on your brand’s needs, you may want to articulate additional messaging elements, including:
- Brand promise
- Brand story
- Origin or founder story
- Elevator pitch
Telling your brand story effectively is challenging. How do you succinctly communicate who you are, what you do, and why you’re different? How do you talk about your product or service in a compelling way? How do you communicate your beliefs impactfully? And how do you tell a consistent, cohesive story?
It starts with your brand messaging.
When you can successfully articulate your brand in simple, powerful language, you can communicate effectively with the people you’re trying to reach and, ultimately, convert them.
What Does Brand Messaging Architecture Look Like?
Your brand messaging architecture is a carefully constructed framework comprised of your:
- Value proposition
- Brand messaging pillars
This framework is built intentionally, from the strapline (the big idea), down to value proposition (what you do), to your brand messaging pillars (how you do it). Thus, every element reinforces the other cohesively and consistently. Additionally, no matter where people are in the buyer’s journey, your brand messaging always provides an entry point into your brand story.
How to Create Your Brand Messaging Framework
You may have a version of your brand messaging framework already documented. You can make a start by downloading my Brand Messaging Framework or let me help walk you through it in the upcoming blog.
To really curate compelling brand messaging, It starts with understanding the core of your brand and your brand truths. Thus, before diving into your messaging, it’s crucial that you have a solid understanding of two things:
1. Your Brand DNA (Covered in blogs 1 and 2)
Your Brand DNA is the articulation of your brand’s core principles: who you are and what you believe in. Without this North Star, it is difficult to act or communicate consistently.
2. Your Brand Positioning
What niche do you fill? How are you different than your competitors? This information will influence every level of your messaging. To identify this, you need to conduct market research, as well as a thorough competitive analysis.
In the next blog I will give you the tools to define your brand positioning, a meaty and crucially important part of your brand strategy, and the explainers to craft your own brand messaging framework.
If you would like to explore how I can help you developing your brand strategy, or facilitating a brand workshop with your team, get in touch via email, firstname.lastname@example.org