Your brand needs to have the right ‘voice’

It can be hard enough for aspiring authors to find their own writing ‘voice’, let alone brands. The authorial voice comes from some mysterious place between the conscious and the subconscious, infusing all the writing with a feel that is uniquely you. The same should be true of brands. And by brands I don’t just mean well-known consumer names, I mean any organisation or company, any kind of product, B2C or B2B. You all have a relationship with your various target audiences. They all have perceptions of you – or will do as soon as your communications touch them. But what do they actually think and feel about you? Does it match with the reality of who you are and what you offer?

This is where voice comes in. Your brand is the tangible ‘skin’ that your target audiences touch, see and hear. How you sound (tone) and what you say (message) needs to match with how you look. Because only this consistency and coherence will enable your target to understand you, believe you, trust you and ‘get’ you. And potentially buy you, apply to you, choose you, recommend you, come back to you, stay with you.

It’s all about truth and trust. About taking a place in your market that is uniquely you.

The voice you use must come from an honest place. Likewise, your brand messages, to build true perceptions. Together, your voice and messages constitute your brand language. Getting this right is bigger than ‘Tone of voice guidelines’. It’s about your brand story.

So, your voice must be consistent in the copy across your communications – all the places where you touch your consumer, even though the pace and style will need to fit the context.

And when you do all this, you’ll create a “blink” moment for the person you want to reach. In an instant, their gut will say you’re the real deal – or you’re not.

I hope I’ve helped to make this sound simple and clear. But to make things complicated for a tic, it’s important to add that I’ve come across some situations where clients need and want to sound reassuringly similar to their competitors – yet even and especially then it’s vital to clarify their brand messages so that their customers know why they should choose them instead of the competitors.

Establishing your brand voice and messages is easier said than done. You may be dealing with a boss who’s convinced they can write copy but their own writing style is getting in the way. Or colleagues who all want to have a say on the copy, and of course who are all correct – even though they disagree.

So how do you actually find and create the right voice for your copywriting? It is possible. But it’s a process. (This is where an outsider’s objectivity can help. Big hint.)

More about this in other blogs to come…

 

By Liz Holt