Why tone of voice is so important within your brand.
There is more to a brand than a cool logo.
Having the right brand identity can be what attracts your ideal customers and can set you apart from your competition. This is your tone of voice and it’s crucial.
Think of your favourite brands… Their strong and consistent identity runs through the heart of their business and is integral to their success.
What consistent message are they communicating over and above the product they sell? And how can you apply that to your own business?
Before you start thinking about colours, fonts and logos, start with defining the business you are creating.
There are 5 things you need to have thought about first.
1. Create a vision statement
This is not a strapline, or a slogan. It is a short, brief line about what inspires and motivates you in your business. It’s how people know whether you believe what they believe.
“The goal of business then should not be to simply sell to anyone who wants what you have, but rather to find people who believe what you believe.” – Simon Sinek
It only needs to be a line or two, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to write – so put your thinking cap on and think about what is important to you.
- What is the main goal of your business?
- Where do you want your company to be in the future?
- What makes you different to your competitors?
This needs to be something you can share with the world, that can happily sit on the wall or your website.
McDonalds, for example use “To be the best quick service restaurant experience”
Innocent – “make natural, delicious food and drink that helps people live well and die old”
Royal Mail Group – “Our vision is to be demonstrably the best and most trusted Postal Service in the world.”
Even if your ambitions are, shall we say, more modest, once you know what you are trying to achieve, it is a lot easier to work towards.
2. USP: What makes you special
Unless you’ve invented a revolutionary product that nobody yet knows they need, you probably won’t be the only game in town, but there will be things that make you special.
Find three things that sets you apart. These could be a particular service you offer, or a guarantee, or a focus on work ethic or company structure.
So, we all remember that Minstrels melt in your mouth not in your hand, and Dominos Pizza give you a free one if your order takes more than 30 minutes.
3. Quick – Describe yourself in one word
How will your customers feel when they use your product.
Fed-Ex = safe
Harley Davison = liberating
Disney = magical
Social Media has led many companies to take a friendlier tone than in the past, but it’s important to ask yourself how you want to appear
Playful or serious?
Familiar or formal?
Simple or Technical?
Young or Experienced?
If your customer were describing your company, what words would they use?
4. Your mission, should you choose to accept it.
Your vision is all well and good, but how are you going to get there? Your mission statement will build the foundations of your business and should carry through everything you do.
What do you do?
Why do you do it?
How do you do it?
This could include what kind of businesses you want to work with, what additional values or causes you want to uphold? This could be ethical partners, carbon footprint, flexible working, equal opportunities.
5. Who are you talking to?
Once you’ve worked out why you’re doing what you do, you need to decide who you are doing it for. The mistake lots of company’s make is deciding they are targeting “everyone” but all too often end up targeting no one at all.
Who is most like to benefit from your product?
Who are your current customers?
Who would be your ideal customer?
Don’t just think about age or gender, think a little wider. Think about why they would come to you. It could be values, shared hobbies or interests, similar personalities.
For example, your target audience could be 35 -45 year old professionals of above average income. They are likely to have a family, be interested in interior design, food and the arts.
Put it all together, and you can begin to create your visual brand.
Your visual brand is every form of visual marketing where your personality needs to shine through. Everything from leaflets, websites, exhibition stands to advertising and packaging; these should all work together using the same tone, style and voice.
We’ll be discussing visual branding and why consistency is key in our next blog post.
In the meantime, if you would like someone to talk these things through, get in touch to set up an initial meeting.
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