How Does Your Business Speak?
As the saying goes, communication is key.
For a business, this goes to say that the voice used to connect with your customers is a crucial part of impressions and relationships with your brand. As in any conversation, the voice you use and how you speak to someone is how you express your character. It is from your voice that people detect your warmth, your reliability, and how trustworthy you are. It is also through a voice that your business presents itself and its ability to show an authenticity that resonates with a target audience. Your business is personal, and how your brand speaks determines how you connect with your consumers, and how your consumers connect with you.
Define Your Business.
When it comes to figuring brand voice, you need to first start at the roots of your business. What is your purpose and what are the brand values? At its core, what is it that the company stands for? Company mission statements are a great place to go and see what voice is already in use and what essence your business carries. A key point is also comparing your current statements to those of your competition.
Find your unique qualities and what makes you stand out from the crowd — your audience should know your voice by it’s distinct and clear qualities. If there is any copy that your business already has, accumulate it and reread over to find similarities in that writing and with the feeling of the statements. Working backward in this way will help pinpoint what’s working and what’s not, providing a clearer vision of who your business is. From the research, define who the brand is in three words. This exercise helps determine your business’ personality in a clear and concise way that displays the core personality truths.
Find Your Voice & Tone.
Rather than looking at the facts of your business, think of it as more of a personality, someone with distinct features and characteristics. Working from the three words previously gathered, continue to build out how the business sounds.
What would a conversation be like with your business?
Would it be more light-hearted and funny, or polite yet authoratitive?
Our vocabulary and the words we use define our personalities, and the same goes for a businesses voice. Define whether it is more formal or informal. This vocabulary aids with identifying the exact wording that is used and the slang or colloquialisms that your brand might use to speak. It is also important to remember that tone is a large part of the voice and adjusts to different scenarios. While the voice is your solid personality, your tone is the attitude and is more fluid. This tone gives your company the ability to change what is being said from an informational email to a social post while remaining consistent. Check out this blog post that outlines some brands with killer copy and voice for inspiration.
Keep it Consistent.
Now that you’ve worked hard on solidifying your brand’s personality and speech, you’re not going to want to have all that hard work go to waste! As perfect as it would be to have a single copywriter forever be in charge of the voice of the business; unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. With many writers and many hands for the copy to go through, it’s difficult to stay true and consistent with the voice developed. A way of combating this personality crisis is through a voice chart.
Creating a chart that outlines the key personality traits of your brand, as well as the tone expressed helps keep comprehension of the language consistent across the board. Also having all copy go through a top editor who has had time with the voice and thoroughly understands the personality of your business removes any problem of stray speech. Be sure to use your voice in everything your brand does. Do you have a branding guideline that only your company will see or a simple business-wide newsletter? Let brand voice saturate every aspect of the business.
Need any more help in defining your voice? We’d love to chat, be sure to contact us with any of your copywriting needs.