We all want to be that Super Brand one day.
You know, like Coca Cola and Pepsi, or McDonald’s and Burger King.
These are super brands that have now become such a part of our society that we “know them”.
We know the “voice” of our favorite brands. We understand that they have a personality and identity and we follow them because they reflect our “likes and beliefs” closest.
These brands took decades to build and while we all might hope to one day become one of these powerhouses, most of us know that this will never become a reality.
We expect to become somewhat “strong” in our niche but to actually become a household name is a completely different league.
But what exactly is “branding” and what exactly is “voice”?
More importantly, how do you “do” both?
Branding is quite simply just your “name”.
It’s your external image you project to the world.
Your brand is the unique characteristics that identify you as you; logos, slogans, tag lines, products, guarantees, customer service etc.
Branding can only be obtained the moment you have identified exactly “who” your business, service, or product is.
It takes time to establish a solid integral brand identity but with enough time and dedication it will happen.
Simply try to reflect your “brand values” in everything that you are doing and in every aspect of your company and your brand will eventually begin to define itself.
Voice on the other hand is more about “how you talk” to your following or customers. You can have a conversational voice or a voice of AUTHORITY.
You can be humorous or you can be serious.
It all comes down to what voice reflects your brand the best.
Your voice needs to speak to your target demographic. You’re not going to talk “street” with a bunch of Republicans; the same way you won’t talk Spanish to the French.
You need to define your language and your personality
Your personality is defined by your brand, and so we come back to the first point.
Find out who you are before you establish the rest. Your voice will naturally develop based on your brand identity and target demographic.
To test out your voice you can utilize social media for real time responses.
You’ll know by the actions of your followers whether you are reflecting your brand according to their perception. You don’t want to abide 100% to their opinion but it is a good resource to pull from.
Branding isn’t an exact science and a voice develops over time, but if you follow the principles mentioned here you should at least be on your way to uncovering both of these elements.
Tips to Establish Brand and Voice
Okay now that I have explained branding and voice let’s jump into some practical tips.
Below I’ll outline my top 3 tips to help establish your brand and voice;
From now on every single post you’ll do will have a branded element in it. If you’re posting on Twitter you’ll drop your hash tag in every post #CompanyName or #CompanyKeyWord .
This will make it not only easier for people to specifically search your posts, but they will know that your posts belong to you.
Study the Demographic
Probably the best indication on figuring out how to talk to your customers, is by understanding “who” your customers really are.
For instance I run a hydroponic social media portal (can’t mention the name) but the majority of the users are between 18-34 years old and are males.
I target my messages to reflect their needs and desires.
So ask yourself, who are you talking to?
Once you know, what are the basic needs, desires and expectations from thus said demographic?
Find out “how” this demographic generally speaks and then implement their language in your posts.
Be More Visual
Finally people will often remember your brand because of a picture.
Use your word description of a post to help your demographic focus on elements in the pictures you want them to focus on.
They will first see the picture and if it resonates with them they’ll read the description.
If in the description you point out something in the picture, they’ll revert back to the picture… and then to the comments.
Understand how people search and then optimize your posts to make them focus on what YOU want them to focus on.
A voice and brand is established over time. As you grow with your community you’ll begin to naturally adopt the voice of your brand, and will wind up speaking your audience’s language without having to even think about it.
Just remember the 3 points I mentioned above and start exercising those branding skills. Good Luck!
Over to You
Have you managed to nail your brand and voice? Or is it something you’re still struggling with? What ideas have you found to work best for you so far? Do spill in the comments below, and share this post if you found it useful.