3 Steps to Craft Your Authentic Brand Voice & Personality
Determining your brand voice and personality that feels truthful and real for your business is vital in building a brand that resonates. Let’s start with why.
The purpose of defining your brand voice is to communicate clearly so the audience of your choice “gets” what you’re saying.
The purpose of articulating your brand’s personality is to draw in, attract and connect with your ideal client; to be relatable.
It all boils down to speaking your customers’ language so they feel welcome. You want your audience to know and feel they’re in the exact right place for them and you continuously bring them great value and unforgettable experiences they most desire.
3 STEPS TO CRAFT YOUR AUTHENTIC BRAND VOICE & PERSONALITY
STEP 01 -CREATE A BRAND COMMUNICATION GAMEPLAN
Your brand voice is the HOW behind the way you'll communicate. This is the strategy you design that becomes your communication style and approach to reach your customers. It’s how you want to come across to your clients.
For example, let’s say your business is a local boutique spa. Based on the mission of your company and the desires of your audience, you could decide your brand voice will be:
What do those words mean when translated into how you communicate? Let’s imagine how this lovely spa sends a weekly email to their customers. Here’s how each of these brand voice descriptors could be translated directly into their customer experience:
Being OPEN looks like sharing the newest techniques and products that will help them feel the way they want (a new swedish massage technique or aromatherapy to wash their worries away). You could also define Open as giving your customers a sneak peek behind the scenes of your business and how you do what you do.
Being WELCOMING looks like always inviting them to take part in something whether it be the monthly facial special or giving them the invitation to share feedback on their experience or what they’d like to see more of at the spa.
Being KNOWLEDGABLE looks like communicating the benefits of consistent massages and how that helps overall health and wellness. Or, educating your customers on the benefits of your products and services consistently.
Being RESPONSIVE looks like an easy and seamless appointment booking process or response time that’s less than 10 minutes.
STEP -02 - DECIDE ON THE EXPERIENCE YOU WANT TO PROVIDE
Understanding the WHY behind your communication style of choice is important for your brand. Humanizing your brand means giving it some life and personality so your audience can easily relate to it.
Your brand personality adds that human level, an essence, and can create emotional connection points with your audience. Decide how you want to make your customers FEEL and you’ll be on the right track to coming up with your brand’s personality.
Let’s take our spa example again…
The spa owner decides she wants her customers to feel relaxed, supported, pampered, well taken care of with no worries and to always leave happy.
Your brand personality is then how you want to show up in every single interaction and communication to fulfill those goals. Thus, this brand’s personality could be:
• Good Energy Vibes
That means in everything you do as a business some or all of this brand personality should shine through.
3 - TRANSLATE INTO RELEVANT & RELATABLE CONTENT
Once you’ve determined your communication approach and how you want to make your audience feel, you need to translate that strategy into the kinds of the things - the WHAT - you want to communicate.
This is the guts of your communication. Your brand voice tells you how to communicate, but WHAT are the right things to communicate for your business? This actually is diving into a whole other topic which is your relevant content strategy.
This dovetails perfectly from your communication strategy, so if you’re ready, start mapping out the type of content that makes the most sense to share consistently with your audience. Your content should be relevant and sticky.
A training and blog post all about creating your content strategy will be coming, so if you can nail your brand voice & personality now, you’ll be ready for the upcoming content conversation.
WHAT IF IT DOESN’T FEEL AUTHENTIC?
To sum up, defining your brand voice and personality is about designing the communication gameplan for your business so your brand attracts the right people, and not just anybody.
A question I get a lot is - what if I don’t feel I’m being authentically me by showing up this way? This isn’t necessarily my voice and how I always come across to others.
Most of the time, if you’re feeling inauthentic about communicating in your brand voice or personality or you feel it’s “not really you” or that you’re “putting on a persona,” then you need to reframe your thinking about this topic.
If you feel off, it’s because you’re making your business about you instead of how you can serve your audience best.
Remember that your communication action plan - the strategy for how to talk to your customers - is about speaking your customers’ language and relating to them based on their struggles, desires, ambitions or challenges; not yours.
Now, there are some businesses (could be solopreneurs, coaches, consultants, authors, or expert thought leaders for instance) that may have discovered they themselves literally are their brand. In that case your brand voice and personality should be aligned directly with your own because that’s what’s attracting your customers.
Notice I still said the reason is because it attracts your customers?
At the end of the day, there is no hard and fast rule for how you define this for every brand. That’s because every brand is - and should be - different! If something feels off about your brand voice and personality or you’re getting confused about how you should show up for your business, take a step back and reevaluate.
Always go back to these branding basics:
BIG PICTURE OBJECTIVE
What is the big picture objective for your business? What are you trying to accomplish?
AUDIENCE DESIRES + AMBITIONS
Who is your business for? What goals, desires and ambitions do they have relative to what you offer?
STRATEGY, STRATEGY, STRATEGY
With the above 2 answers in mind, what strategy can you create for your brand to best communicate with your audience?
That communication gameplan is your brand voice & personality.
So, what’s your communication approach? How would your audience relate to you and your business best? What would they need to know, how would they need to feel, what would they need to believe? Get brainstorming!