The Digital Glue Podcast

EP: 13 - How To Define Your Brand's Voice ...

February 09, 2021 Episode 13
The Digital Glue Podcast
EP: 13 - How To Define Your Brand's Voice ...
Chapters
The Digital Glue Podcast
EP: 13 - How To Define Your Brand's Voice ...
Feb 09, 2021 Episode 13

“Brand is the promise, the big idea, the expectations that reside in each customer’s mind about a product, service or company. Branding is about making an emotional connection.” 

Welcome to Episode 13: How to Define Your Brand’s Voice 

By definition, a brand is a process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product or service in the consumers’ mind with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.

Brands have become a part of every single person’s day-to-day life. As human beings, we are naturally built for connection. We tend to personify things, and a businesses’ brand is something that we look to connect with. We want to trust the people we buy from. And as entrepreneurs it’s our job to create a brand that is consistent, attractive, trustworthy and genuine, in order to attract and keep our dream clients. 

So, no matter what type of entrepreneur you are -- every single interaction with your audience says something about your brand. From the tone of your voice, to the words you use, to the way things look. And with a little brainstorming, some research and hard work, you can create a brand that tells your audience exactly what you want them to know.

Here's what we will be untangling in this episode ...

  • The core elements of a strong and genuine brand
  • 5 soul searching questions to ask yourself about your business
  • 5 things an effective brand can achieve
  • The steps to take to find your brand’s voice and tell your unique story

 

Are you ready?

Pop in your awesome earbuds and let's dive in!

Show Notes Transcript

“Brand is the promise, the big idea, the expectations that reside in each customer’s mind about a product, service or company. Branding is about making an emotional connection.” 

Welcome to Episode 13: How to Define Your Brand’s Voice 

By definition, a brand is a process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product or service in the consumers’ mind with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.

Brands have become a part of every single person’s day-to-day life. As human beings, we are naturally built for connection. We tend to personify things, and a businesses’ brand is something that we look to connect with. We want to trust the people we buy from. And as entrepreneurs it’s our job to create a brand that is consistent, attractive, trustworthy and genuine, in order to attract and keep our dream clients. 

So, no matter what type of entrepreneur you are -- every single interaction with your audience says something about your brand. From the tone of your voice, to the words you use, to the way things look. And with a little brainstorming, some research and hard work, you can create a brand that tells your audience exactly what you want them to know.

Here's what we will be untangling in this episode ...

  • The core elements of a strong and genuine brand
  • 5 soul searching questions to ask yourself about your business
  • 5 things an effective brand can achieve
  • The steps to take to find your brand’s voice and tell your unique story

 

Are you ready?

Pop in your awesome earbuds and let's dive in!

For those of you who may not be familiar … by definition, a brand is a process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product or service in the consumers’ mind with a consistent theme. And said branding aims to establish a significant differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.

And as we all know, brands have become a part of every single person’s day-to-day life. We’re surrounded by them! And as human beings, we are naturally built for connection. We tend to personify things, and a businesses’ brand is something that we look to connect with. 

We want to trust the people we buy from. 

So, as entrepreneurs it’s our job to create a brand that is consistent, attractive, trustworthy and genuine, in order to attract and keep our dream clients. No matter what type of entrepreneur you are, every single interaction with your audience says something about your brand. From the tone of your voice, to the words you use, to the way things look. 

And with a little brainstorming, some research and hard work, you can create a brand that tells your audience exactly what you want them to know. And more importantly … how you want them to feel! 

Crafting an authentic experience with your brand is more than just building a website and a few social media pages, profiles and groups. Creating a logo and a colour palette is not enough!

You need to be armed with a passion for cutting-edge technology, new trends and platforms alongside best practices. 

You must strive not to be just a success, but rather to be of value.

CEO of Branded by Britt says it best …

“Your brand is the face, body, heart and soul of your business. It should be a reflection of who you are and how you want people to perceive your business. When you establish your brand identity and apply an effective brand strategy, you will start attracting the people you want and begin building trust in an authentic way.” 

 

That quote is literally the dream of one who wants to build a successful brand, not just a successful business. It’s all about attracting the people you want and begin building trust in an authentic way. Ah-mazing! … So, how do we do this?

Having purpose is the center of your brand. It is WHY we exist. And without purpose, it’s going to be remarkably hard to unite people to your brand or your “cause”. And by “cause” I mean purpose. For me, it’s “untangling” business owners -- of all shapes and sizes.

So, let’s talk a little bit about the ways we can capture the essence of your business, and the essence of who you are as “the genius behind the curtain”. But before we do, some definite soul-searching questions are in order. Because even after all the hard work you put into building up the perception of your brand, it is the customer, not you, not your friends and not your family, that chooses what your brand means to them. You get the opportunity to influence your customer’s opinions of your brand. But it is entirely up to them to choose how it makes them feel … 

 

  1. WHY does your business exist? (your purpose)
  2. WHAT are you aiming to achieve? (your vision / “claim to fame”)
  3. HOW do you plan to achieve that vision? (your mission)
  4. WHAT does your business stand for and how do you behave? (your values)
  5. HOW are you different from the competition? (your expertise)

So as you can see … it is so much deeper than just pulling out the colour swatches and creating an eye-catching logo with a never to forget slogan. It’s a very personal story, a unique story that is yours and yours alone. Branding is not only about having your target audience choose you over everyone else, but about your business being seen as the sole provider of a solution to their problems, needs, wants and desires. 

Objectively, a good brand will achieve the following:

  • Delivers clear and conscience messaging;
  • Emotionally connects target prospects with what is being offered;
  • Motivates the buyer to buy;
  • Creates real and true user loyalty; and
  • Confirms credibility.

 

Another fantastic quote that I find incredibly motivational is by Aline Wheeler  …

“Brand is the promise, the big idea, the expectations that reside in each customer’s mind about a product, service or company. Branding is about making an emotional connection”.

 

And with those inspiring words in mind … let’s get started! …

Good research is key. Learn all the needs, wants and habits of those prospective customers. Defining your brand and developing an entire strategy for it can be quite complex, but once you have everything narrowed down, and all of the intellectual tools in your toolbox, you can take next steps to getting the word out.

And the first thing you should do is … DEFINE what your product or service is. What is the message you want your brand to portray to the world? 

Consider what exactly you are offering. Articulate your vision as this provides guidance. So, it’s important to know why your business exists. 

 

Next step … 

Narrow your thoughts down to the top 3 things your business has to OFFER. Then with that in mind, try to get your message down to one sentence. You want this to be short and sweet. Not a 10-minute speech. That knowledge and the simplicity of your single sentence just screams confidence! And confidence is attractive to customers. You’ll intrigue them so much that they will be curious to scour the inter-web to find out more about your brand, who you are as a person and how you can potentially help them solve their problems. Knowing what you do and why you do it is POWER.

 

Next up is your STORY …

  • What is your story?
  • Who are you and why are you here?
  • What do you care about?
  • What do you do? And why does it matter?
  • How is what you’re doing making a difference?
  • How are you different than your competition?

A great brand story helps differentiate you from everyone else. It is also something you can share with your audience to fully explain your place in the business world. This would be something you could add to the “About” section of your website. This great story is like taking the raw materials of your business and shining them all to a polished diamond. Your story will help bring your brand into full focus and make it memorable … heck! Unforgettable!

So, start by creating some rough notes on how you came to be where you are now – keeping in mind that you don’t have to publicly share every detail. Make this activity for your eyes only as you sort through “the weeds” to figure out what your story IS and what you WANT IT TO BE.

Then push those notes into full thoughts. Tell that story loud and proud because the details of this story is what brought you to this place today, and it should be told with confidence and pride. No matter how painful your past may have been … No matter how difficult a road you may have travelled … No matter how many embarrassing moments took you to take this journey … Bringing to light your real true authentic self, shows vulnerability and courage and determination. And it helps those who want to buy what you have to offer get to know the REAL PERSON who built the empire they want to journey with.

 

Next on the list is TONE. 

Tone is HUGE! And by huge, we mean extremely important. Whether in our personal relationships or our working ones, tone helps us get our message across. From our lips to their ears. It plays a massive part in one’s perception of how information is being relayed to us. So, take your time with this and ask yourself …

  • What is the tone you want for your brand?
  • How do you want your brand to make people feel? 
  • What do you want them to take away? 
  • How do you want people to remember you? 

Consider your brand’s “feel good” words. Then from there … Take things one step further and narrow those words down to 2 -- maybe 3 at most to keep things clear. 

Following this … it’s time to get down and dirty with your VISUAL representation! Yup! It’s time to create a mood board!

Now everyone’s vision on a mood board can be different … arrangements of images, materials, words, fonts, colour combinations and so on. This is a great activity to put it all out on the table … Then soak in all the possibilities which in the end are intended to evoke or project a particular style. Or possibly even a concept around colours that resemble the words you’ve just chosen. 

So, once you feel you have your brand voice down, keep it consistent through your vision on your board. And also, do so with keeping WHAT you want people to do with your brand … Whether it be follow you on YouTube or Pinterest, join your Facebook group, visit your website on a regular basis, purchase your free guides or hardcopy books or interact with you personally … It’s important to set up your brand in such a way with user experience in mind. You want them to have the same memorable experience every single time. All the while keeping them coming back for more!


The next one on the list is also immensely important … 
Who is your TARGET MARKET? 

Start by creating a list of characteristics of the audience you want to engage with, sell to or possibly even work with. Once the identifiers are there you can begin to determine how to begin channeling to them through the right communication methods. Email campaigns, digital marketing, social media, podcasts or blogs, etc. 

By doing this you will have more success in engaging interest in your business’ products and services. It’s a great tool to help you form ideas for how you are going to deliver your brand message to the world … also known as the brand strategy.

Now it’s time to dig deep with some more internal brand strategy questions …

  • Do your assets work?
    Think about your business’ name and logo, your website, your colour scheme and font choices as well as your chosen social media platforms, email signature, and so on.
  • Do all these pieces represent your brand as a whole and with consistency? 
    • Or do they feel confusingly messy? 
  • Do they represent your end goal? 
    • How are they helping you reach your audience? 
  • Do they speak to you?
    • Do they make you happy and excited about your business? 

Take a few moments to create a list of the ways all these pieces will help you obtain the feelings you want your audience to experience. And how you want them to see you brand and get what we like to call “the feels” every time they hear about it, look at it, share it, or talk about it.

Now take all of these gloriously wonderful assets and INTEGRATE your brand into every aspect of your business! And no, not just your website, business cards and letterhead … but think of it in the way you answer the phone, the way you reply in your emails, what you wear (yes, even when working virtually!) and how you present yourself when in-person opportunities arise as well as in the written word.

And now we’ve circled back to a point I made earlier … RESEARCH.

Have you researched the competition? And if so, what strategies have they used to speak about their product or service? How do they look? How does their brand make you feel? What are people saying about them? (The good. The bad. The ugly.)

If you do not know who the competitors are in your space, make Google your friend and do a few keyword searches based upon word you would expect your audience to use to find you … now to find your competitors. 

Read their reviews. Scope out their branding. Pay attention to their social media platforms. Basically, familiarize yourself with them very keenly … trust me, the footwork they have already done in the market will only benefit you in the choices you make for yourself and your brand. But most of all … make yourself stand out from them.

In way too many instances have I seen too many competitor brands look alike. Yes, you are going to offer a lot of the same things as others. But you shouldn’t look like them, speak like them, and most of all … act like them. 

You’re not solving any real problems as a brand if you’re just like everyone else!

 

Now the next thing I want to touch upon is HUMANIZING your brand.
Yup! It’s time to make sure anyone and everyone who’s interested can connect with your brand in more than one place -- and see themselves as part of it. 

As we already know, humans connect, relate to and trust other humans. So, if you’re not any of those things, why would someone even consider doing business with you?

Maybe it’s best to pause here …

To take a few moments to think about your all-time favourite brands … 
Which ones stand out to you? And why? 

My secret fav’s list makes me feel as though I’m truly a part of what they offer. And just like your favourite Netflix show … I live their brand as much as they do. 

And that’s the feeling you want your audience to have too! 

That is what will keep people coming back for more, giving you their loyalty, handing over the virtual keys to their empire ... It’s all about HOW you make them FEEL. And when you make them feel good, they know they can count on you.

 

Now, even in a digitally sophisticated world, being human is essential in brand equity building. So, let’s do a quickly dive into the 4 key areas of getting your brand to assume that human touch that consumers crave. The touch that will win over your target audience and make you the standout you know you deserve – and want to be!

#1. And can’t stress this enough … Make sure your brand story is your real and honest truth. People know when this is genuine, they can feel it. So, speak from the heart and your audience will know they are being informed of the real deal.

#2. Remember being kind is the new cool. Act generously. It’s time to help improve your community and the world as a whole, especially if you work virtually like we do. Plus, giving back is the most satisfying way to market your business. And thankfully, there are ways that you give back without breaking the bank. It could even introduce some very important networking opportunities. When the word on the street is that you are kind, generous, and loyal … guess what that is going to attract!?

#3. How you make them feel is everything. Experience is everything. Seeing is feeling and feeling is believing. And not just in retail. Make them feel magical every step of the way, through every aspect of your business, not just the front page of your website. This will not only build an emotional relationship with them but establish trust. The long-lasting kind. The good stuff.

And lastly but certainly not least …

#4. Give your audience complete control. Yes, digital self-service. (And chatting with Larry, the company bot doesn’t count!) This not only gives you the opportunity to automate portions of your business but let’s them take the reins and feel in control of what they want from you. But don’t forget, you can’t automate everything – even if some days you really want to! You need to be there for them when they need you. But allow them to feel in control of the choices they make. 

People need, and want, to be needed. And **BANG!** that’s your opportunity to build -- and re-build -- trust, and in such a way that it fosters relationships with each and every personalized experience you provide.


So, put your audience, clients and customers at ease … And always make them believe that you’ve got their backs. Every. Single. Time. 

But not only make them believe it … have it to be true and DO IT

Be that brand they can count on!

Developing a new brand -- or even refreshing your current one – is always exciting, but it’s also a lot of work and requires an endless amount of commitment if you want to do it the right way. 

Think of your brand like you do life … You get out of it what you put into it.

 

So, everything I shared with you today, each of the core elements are equally as important as the next. They pull one another together to create a passionate, recognizable, and memorable experience for your audience. 

One that is timeless and keeps them always top of mind.

To recap this episode in just a few short words …

  • DEFINE
  • OFFER
  • STORY
  • TONE
  • VISUAL
  • TARGET
  • ASSETS
  • INTEGRATE
  • RESEARCH
  • HUMANIZE

 

Remember, a successful brand will remain so if you and your team (if you are so lucky to have one) are able to maintain its values in the eyes of your customers. It is also critical that any changes you make are sensitive to their existing relationship with your brand, and the most profitable companies all have one single thing in common …. They have established themselves as a leader in their industry by building a strong brand and always, ALWAYS keeping them -- the user -- top of mind. 

You are not only building this for yourself to achieve your dreams … But you're building your dream to make theirs!