BRANDING SERIES VOLUME V
I've been excited about this blog for a long time.
It's crucial to start the conversation about branding with a conversation about why you exist as a brand, what you're trying to accomplish, how you look aesthetically, and the elements that make up your marketing. All of that is well and good. But at the end of the day all of those conversations lead to this one question...
"WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY AS A BRAND?"
Your brand voice is the distinctive and completely unique way you communicate to and are perceived by the watching world. Just like your own personal voice can be recognized by those who know you best and represents the entirety of your personality just by one word, your brand voice sets the tone and timbre for how you are perceived by potential clients and communicates to everyone exactly why you exist as a brand.
"your brand voice sets the tone and timbre for how are you perceived"
Developing this voice takes time and the voice with which your brand speaks will continually evolve but to begin developing it you have to start somewhere, right?
So how do we do this?
The answer is actually quite simple – and it goes back to the previous four blogs in this series. To help you start finding your brand voice, we're going to look back at every blog in this series and apply the concepts we discussed this topic finding your brand voice. Where you take things from there is up to you but hopefully this will provide some guidance and inspiration as you look at your own brand and begin to figure out exactly what you're trying to say to the world.
FOUR WAYS TO FIND YOUR BRAND VOICE
1. IT STARTS WITH WHY YOU EXIST AS A BRAND
How you communicate to the world is intrinsically tied to why you exist as a brand. If you exist because you want to provide sleek, professional, modern services your brand voice is going to be inherently professional, refined, and corporate. If you're seeking to connect with people on a individual level your voice is going to be very laid-back, raw, and personal. If you are trying to provide instruction on a topic, your voice will be authoritative and powerful...you get the idea.
Personally speaking, my brand is built on the foundation of relationships with people so the entirety of how I communicate is incredibly personal and relational. I err heavily on the side of the conversational – even to the detriment of "proper" communication style. When I write, it's written how I'd talk if I was standing in front of you, and when I have conversations they're all about getting to know people and being myself. I consistently hear from clients that they loved how my website and social media were all about being real and honest – that's my brand voice built on the foundation of my "why".
2. IT'S CONSTRAINED AND MADE CONSISTENT BY THE NICHE YOU'VE CHOSEN
There's enormous freedom and consistency found in constraints. Once you've decided the vision for your brand and begun to own the lane you're in, you have freedom to develop your brand voice and communicate in any capacity as long as it fits within that lane. This consistency gives potential clients the ability to recognize your brand simply by your voice, while giving you the freedom to experiment and create within the parameters of your chosen niche.
Here's what I mean – if your brand is that of a lifestyle blogger you have the freedom to speak as a lifestyle blogger...in any way that shapes out. What you don't have the freedom to do is to speak not as a lifestyle blogger, because that would just confuse people. If you're a school videographer, a boho-esque jewelry creator, a marketing specialist, etc – let everything you say and do as a brand communicate that singular vision to the watching world. Be consistent to your niche but within that niche, you have enormous latitude to develop a distinctive and personalized voice.
3. IT'S REINFORCED BY YOUR AESTHETIC
Every time I talk about my brand and how I'm all about raw moments, real emotion, and authentic connection between people I always accompany that conversation with a photo or video reinforcing that concept (if you don't believe me, scroll up). That's because your voice is reinforced (or potentially negated) by your aesthetic.
When you're developing your brand voice, make sure that everything you communicate is reaffirmed by the visuals you showcase. Don't say you're a professional videographer without professional video to back up your statements, a lifestyle blogger who posts only stock or photoshopped imagery, or a marketing specialist without quality marketing. Your voice is only as powerful as the visuals that reinforce it so make sure your aesthetic is on point and your voice will become all the more powerful.
4. IT'S ANNOUNCED WITH YOUR TANGIBLES
Your website, social media, logo, business cards, blogs, marketing materials, etc – these are beacons that catch the eye of the watching world and direct them to your brand. They serve powerful functions as megaphones of your voice but what these tangibles are not and can never be is your voice itself.
"What your tangibles can never be is your brand voice itself."
It's easy to confuse your branding with your actual brand but if you don't have an intentional brand voice the tangibles of your branding will be effectively useless. A website can be unbelievably powerful when it inspires future customers to latch on to your brand and ultimately purchase your products/services, but if it's simply a website with no voice, it's just a meaningless array of products. Same with social media, your logo, etc – combined with an intentional voice they can be amazing resources but alone they're simply more noise in an already noisy world.
Ultimately, your brand voice serves as the the reason behind and the enacting force of everything you do as a brand. Finding that voice isn't an easy process and I can say honestly it's taken me years to really hone in my voice as a brand and the identity I want to maintain. In the end though, finding and developing that voice will allow your brand to develop a depth that will attract clients and inspire them to stay.
We have one more week of this branding series and next week we're going to kick off the week by talking about how to actually live the brand you've been developing and then we'll going to wrap things up next Friday with a live Q&A session so stay tuned for information on that!!
In the meantime, feel free to ask any questions you may have – see you all next week!