HOW TO DEVELOP A RECOGNIZABLE BRAND VOICE

#brandmessage #storybrand

If someone were to introduce you to an audience only using words, phrases and characteristics that are unique to your personal brand or business, would people know who the announcer was talking about? 

If your logo didn’t appear next to your content or your face didn’t show up on the social media post, would your audience still be able to recognize the content was coming from your brand? 

Could your brand be differentiated from any other brand in your niche or industry?

Unless you are intentional about discovering and creating the brand voice you want people to immediately distinguish and recognize, it’s easy to end up with a random mixture of voices that can confuse your audience.

You might be wondering, why should I even bother so much about a brand voice. Shouldn’t my business sound like a human? 

Yes, absolutely. It’s not about creating a non-human voice. It’s about being intentional and consistent with the voice you are creating and putting out into the world. Positioning yourself as an easily identifiable and credible voice in the marketplace and in your niche. Having a consistent brand voice and vocabulary that is specific to you and your brand helps you with content creation and speaking your message effectively as well.

Here’s the good news: You can create your brand voice - the voice that represents you and your business in a genuine and consistent way so that you can stand out as a credible guide and mentor in your area of expertise.

And there’s a very tangible way to do it. That’s exactly what we will talk about in today’s episode. Not only that, you’ll actually be able to create the brand voice while you are listening.

In the rest of this article, I want to share 3 steps to developing a recognizable brand voice. This article is for you if you want to:

  • Create a brand voice people will immediately distinguish and recognize as yours
  • Position yourself as an easily identifiable and credible voice in the marketplace and in your niche
  • Represent your business in a genuine and consistent way so that you can stand out as a credible guide and mentor in your area of expertise

Ready? Let’s jump in with “How to develop a recognizable brand voice in 3 simple steps.”

  1. Clear picture of your NOW

 You want to start by taking a look at your current content and the message and feel it represents. I would encourage you to pull together your content from multiple angles and sources and take an honest look at it. Cast a critical eye on your current brand voice by asking the following questions:

  • Does your current voice represent what you want to project to your audience? 
  • Does it align with who you are? 
  • Does it feel genuine? 
  • Does it sound professional? 
  • Is it consistent? 
  • Are your words, phrases, topics, colors and even fonts consistent? 

Take all of these things into account in order to get a clear picture of where you are with your brand voice. 

  1. Describe your brand voice in 3 words: 

Again, go back to the content you pulled in your previous step and now look at it from the perspective of characteristics. 

Are there any character traits that emerge from your content? Group those traits together into a bucket. Let me explain more by asking a question. If your brand was a person, what characteristics would you use to describe it? How would you describe its personality to another individual? 

I want you to write down all the themes and characteristics that you see emerging from looking at your content but then I want you to narrow it down to the top three. What are your top three words? Let's take my brand as an example. My top three words are:

  1. Strategic
  2. Elegant
  3. Gracefully sassy

When people interact with me and my content, I want them to feel like there’s always something tangible they can walk away with - meaning they always learn a strategy. My brand voice is elegant and so is the aesthetics that I create, because to my ideal client elegance matters. 

And finally, I want to be graceful in the way I deliver the content and the way I interact with each individual. So, any time I put new content out, I always ask myself: is this strategic (tangible), elegant and graceful? 

Now that you’ve come up with your own three words, I want you to take it a step further. Describe each word in more detail.

  1. Strategic - tangible, step by step, the how, action oriented, 
  2. Elegant - poised, calm, classy, polished, chic
  3. Gracefully sassy - composed with a dose of silly, fun, not taking myself too seriously

And guess what? This is actually who I am in real life as well. So, my brand voice really aligns with my own personality, but now I am also very intentional about showcasing it in my brand to those who are following or finding me for the first time. 

Now, it’s your turn. Further describe your three words by using these two questions:

  • How do these characteristics show up in how you communicate with your audience? 
  • Do they consistently appear in your content and the topics you talk about? 
  1. Create a brand voice graph account: 

This last step is my favorite part. This is where you can really take this whole idea of brand voice home, meaning this is where the whole process becomes very strategic and tangible (which as you know from the previous point I just shared very much aligns with my brand voice... I love tangible steps).

Once your top brand characteristics are defined, you want to go deeper by illustrating more concretely in your content how this voice actually shows up. 

You want to create a brand voice bank account filled with your words, phrases and sentences that you will use over and over again to talk about your brand. This bank account or chart will also be an essential reference tool that you can come back to at the beginning until talking about your brand becomes as natural as breathing. This will ensure you are consistently using the same voice.

Here’s what this looks like.

  • Voice characteristics is: STRATEGIC/Gracefully sassy
  • Description is: I love teaching speaking skill through simple, tangible and easy to implement steps/Be kind in your speech but don’t forget to always remember to have fun and let your silly side to shine
  • Do:  Always be clear and concise when speaking. Use less and easy to understand words. Always have a clear objective and path you lead people on/be straightforward in your speech and be ok with being awkward, weird and nerdy. 
  • Don’t: Be word vomiting. Be too wordy. Use wishy-washy language. Use complicated words in hopes you sound smarter

Repeat this process with all your top 3 brand words. This will not only help you get more clarity around your own brand voice but will put you on the path to separating yourself from the ocean of other brands.

Ok, so let’s put all that we talked about into actionable steps.

Here’s your dream to done action step:

Walk through the three steps but this time actually do the work. Pick your top 3 brand words. Describe them in more details and then place them in your brand vault. After that? Revisit, rinse and repeat.

Come back to this process frequently. Revisit, refine and rework if necessary. This is not a one and done deal. Really honing in on your brand voice and owning it with confidence is a journey. A beautiful journey that’s worth sticking with. And the more you stick with it the easier and more natural it will become. It will also help you speak about your company and biz with ease and in a way that really makes you stand out to your audience and potential customers.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. What do you think makes a recognizable brand voice? Share it in the comments below. I’d love to hear.

P.S. Did you enjoy this video and the lesson I shared today? Then I’d love to invite you to subscribe to my #ScaleWithSpeaking weekly digest. Every Tuesday I send out an email with one small practical speaking and presentation tip that will help you become a more effective and dynamic communicator. I want to help you communicate your message with more clarity, confidence and in a way that deeply resonates with your audience. You can register for this free weekly digest at www.speaktoscaleguide.com

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