How to Develop an Unmistakable Brand Voice (by Josh Miles) | Business LockerRoom
Mar 12
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How to Develop an Unmistakable Brand Voice

by Josh Miles

 

Welcome to the third installment of the Bold Brand Challenge. Today we’re focusing on brand voice.

 

What is brand voice?

Brand voice lives alongside your brand positioning and visual identity as a part of your larger brand strategy. So, if brand positioning is how you want your brand to be thought of in the marketplace, and brand identity is how you want your brand to look and feel, then brand voice is how you want your brand to “sound.”

Of course, brand voice is much more than the messages that you can hear. Brand voice is also about the tone and attitude of your written content.

Would you like your brand to sound helpful, or be more authoritative? Should it demonstrate a sense of humor or is it more serious? Your brand voice should echo the core values of your company and reflect the character of your brand.

Most of all, focus on consistency, because a consistent brand voice inspires trust. (<<Tweet this)

 

Is your brand voice distinctive and consistent?

Open your website up alongside your fiercest competitors and strip away the mentions of the company. Does your brand sound distinctly different? Would your clients and prospects immediately recognize your brand voice as coming from you and only you?

Now compare the tone of your website with your proposals, email marketing, and brochures. Do they sound like they came from the same company? If not, you have some work to do!

A recognizable voice helps to humanize your brand.

Of course, this implies that your brand sounds indeed, human. Does it?

If you’re aiming for a more “human” tone, but can’t seem to get there, follow these simple suggestions.

 

How to make your brand sound more human:

1. Ditch the technical jargon.

Avoid overly important-sounding language, in favor of more conversational prose (that is unless your audience is literally rocket scientists and professors—and even if they are, they’re people too.)

2. Mistakes were made.

While you’re at it, ditch passive voice. Opt instead for active voice. The simple formula is: actor, action, object.

Passive: Too much seafood was consumed.

Active: Josh ate all of the seafood.

3. Write to just one person.

Another way to instantly feel more human is to imagine writing to a micro-target audience of one. That’s right, just one person. Write to Miss Jones, marketing director at XYZ Corp. What are her pains? What questions would she have? What’s most important to her?

 

Homework:

Are you ready to develop your unmistakable brand voice?

Do the side-by-side website test.

Is your voice distinct from your competitors, and consistent throughout your marketing materials? Make a list of what’s working and what needs to change.

Humanize your messaging

Brands that avoid jargon, and speak in active voice, directly to their audiences sound inherently more human.

Extra Credit: Channel your inner celebrity.

If you want to take this a step further, think about which celebrity best embodies your brand. If you’d like more tips, check out this post.

 

You can do this!

If you’ve missed either of the first two challenges, check them out here.

See you next month, when we’ll discuss brand identity and logo design. And remember to share your questions, challenges, and successes on your favorite social networks below!

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About the Author

Josh Miles is a caffeine and Twitter addict, and the principal and founder of Miles Design. He was honored as one of Indianapolis Business Journal's 2013 40 Under 40. Josh is also the author of Bold Brand: The New Rules for Differentiating, Branding, and Marketing Your Professional Services Firm. His expertise is highly sought after by professional services firms from coast to coast.

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