Think of your brand voice like this: you go to a cocktail party chock-full of your ideal prospective clients. How do you want them to remember you?
As warm and engaging? Singularly brilliant and a tad aloof? Interestingly quirky? Steady and reliable?
Your brand voice is the authentic experience you present (and promise) your audience.
It’s the words you use (speaking, writing, on-line, video) and how you string them together. It’s the visual cues you share, from colors to images to wardrobe choices—right down to your eyeglasses. It’s the sum total of what your audience hears when you “speak”.
And it’s a lightening fast way for consultants and soloists to distinguish themselves from the hordes of people in their niche.
For example, does this sound like a brand voice that would pull you in?:
“Why XYZ? XYZ’s team members approach the business as a whole. The team is business focused with extensive knowledge of technology. In this way they are able to identify the root cause of business problems, define & implement solutions. Secondarily, the XYZ team are experts in building internal teams to define and implement the solutions thus reducing internal resistance to change.” (Note: yes, this is from a real, live website, typos intact, and disguised to protect the guilty.)
Deadly dull, dontcha think? The kindest word I could use to describe this voice is pedantic (and puh-leeze say they don’t actually speak like this).
But let’s imagine instead that this same firm had done some deep thinking and made some conscious decisions about their work and their brand. They realized their core competency revolved around making tech easy for their clients. And that while they take their work seriously, they are actually pleasant, friendly folks who genuinely like each other and their clients. Put that all together and you might get something like this:
We believe technology in business should be easy. Maybe even fun. (Your core belief system is powerful when it’s built into your DNA.)
We’re a group of people built to solve problems; made to figure stuff out; wired to work with teams. (Put your core talents front and center.)
From fluid processes to beautiful code, we constantly improve the things around us, applying our passions to our clients’ projects and goals. (You’ve got talents and passions—show them what makes you/your team tick.)
Hire us. (The direct approach—if you prefer a more subtle sell, you might say “Call us” or “Talk to us”.)
These guys have some personality. They stand out. And not because of a little clever copywriting (although that doesn’t hurt their cause), but because the copy is in their uniquely authentic voice. It speaks to who they are and how they work.
If that very same DNA is also translated into powerful images (virtual and physical), all their marketing copy and social media interactions, they’d have themselves an unmistakable brand voice.
They’d own it. And once you interacted with them a time or two, you’d know their work, even from a distance. If it spoke to you, you’d most likely become a member of their tribe, maybe even an apostle at some point.
But back to your firm. How well is your brand voice working for you right now?
If your experience is less than stellar, maybe it’s time to dig deeper to discover—and own—your true voice.
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