Finding Your Brand Voice: The Right Way to Speak to Customers


Establishing your brand voice (or the way that your business speaks to its customers) is so important. Not only does it set the tone for your business and give a sense of the people behind the brand, but it can also help to set you apart from your competitors, influence and persuade people to purchase from you, and help to build trust.


Customers will often examine a company’s tone of voice before making a purchase, so it’s vital that brands get it right from the start. If you want to establish a powerful voice for your brand in order to effectively communicate your values and personality, here are the four steps that you need to consider. 


Step 1: Customer research

Conducting customer research will help you to form the foundation of an authentic voice. Unless you know who you’re speaking to, how will you be able to effectively communicate with them?

To get started, you need to find out who your ideal customers are and get into their heads. This means considering questions such as:


● Where do they live?

● Where do they work?

● What do they do for fun?

● What do they want from your brand?


By putting yourself in their shoes, you can build an effective profile of your key demographic. In turn, you’ll be able to speak to them in a way that will allow them to connect with your brand, and encourage them to make a purchase from you as a result.


Step 2: Storytelling

Customers love to see behind the scenes of businesses and get a deeper insight into the brand they are purchasing from. Storytelling should be just that – sharing engaging and informative stories about your products, staff, and events with your customers to help them get to know the personality behind the brand.


To get you started with storytelling, here are some examples that customers find especially engaging:


● Creating profiles of new members of staff, or staff members who have worked for your company for a particularly long time. These help to showcase the people who make your brand what it is

● Producing videos that give a behind-the-scenes look at your offices, factories or shops to show how your products and services come to life

● Sharing photos on social media from company-run charity events, in order to position yourself as a company who is committed to giving something back


Step 3: Be authentic

By having an authentic and trustworthy tone of voice, your business will also be able to deflect bad PR when needed. Unfortunately, crises can happen, and if you find yourself in a situation where your brand risks being damaged as a result of a complaint or an issue with your product or service, then it’s important to be consistent and true to yourself.


Don’t try to be something you’re not and respond in a way that feels false – people can usually see straight through it. Instead, be genuine, be honest, and hold your hands up to admit you made a mistake.


In addition, don’t forget that having a genuine, authentic brand voice is also important when it comes to upping your ecommerce sales (as copywriting pros like Ann Handley are quick to point out). By having a strong vision for your brand, and the products and services that you offer your customers, you can create an effective website that will reinforce your credibility.


To do this, you need to build a connection with your audience by including elements such as customer testimonials and reviews. Not only will these give a balanced picture of previous customers’ experiences, but will help to position you as a transparent and trustworthy company to purchase from.


Step 4: The power of social proof

It’s no secret that people love to talk. And if they have a negative experience with a brand, you can be pretty sure that they will make a point of telling their friends and family about it. As a business, you need to make sure that your customers only say nice things about you when it comes to word of mouth – the power really is in your hands!


To make the most of social proof (a marketing tactic whereby you use your social  influence to ease the concerns of your customers), here are some tips to keep in mind:


Make sure that you respond to comments on social media in a timely fashion – and we mean all comments, not just the good ones. Don’t ignore negative comments, but instead use them as an opportunity to position your brand as one that listens to its customers and takes their feedback on board.


If something has gone wrong, be open and honest. This means holding your hands up and admitting you made a mistake. Don’t make excuses, but instead reinforce to your customer that you are committed to putting things right.


As well as using social media to promote your products and services, you should also use it to connect with your audience and build two-way engagement. This means asking your customers for their thoughts and opinions about a particular product or service, or sharing a relevant news article or third party story that you think they will find interesting. The more you can give your customers on social media in terms of engaging content, the better!


Examples of brands with a distinctive voice

You should now have a better idea of the steps you need to take to create a strong voice for your brand. For some further inspiration, let’s take a look at how a couple of well-known brands are engaging with their audiences through their packaging and websites:


Innocent

Innocent are as famous for their quirky, conversational tone of voice as they are for their great-tasting fruit smoothies. The friendly, informal and sometimes cheeky way that they communicate with their audience has helped Innocent to build a large following.


For example, the down to earth way that they describe their products on their packaging is not only likely to coax a smile from the reader, but also create some positive sentiment for brand too. We love the way they tell the reader to “eat their greens” in the nutritional information section – a great way to add a splash of personality and engage with their audience in a lighthearted way.


The Body Shop

The Body Shop are known for their ethical values – and as soon as you visit their website, you get a clear sense of their stance against animal testing. Actively encouraging their customers to sign a petition to help ban animal testing in cosmetics – a very powerful social proofing tactic.


Has your brand recently established its tone of voice? Did you follow any of the steps above, and what did you learn about your audience as a result? We’d love to find out your experience, so start the conversation by leaving a comment below. 


They want to be open and honest with their customers and alleviate any concerns they have about their products being tested on animals. They know that this is a topic that is important to them, and not only do they highlight their stance, but they are also actively encouraging their customers to sign a petition to help ban animal testing in cosmetics – a very powerful social proofing tactic.


Has your brand recently established its tone of voice? Did you follow any of the steps above, and what did you learn about your audience as a result? We’d love to find out your experience, so start the conversation by leaving a comment below. 


They want to be open and honest with their customers and alleviate any concerns they have about their products being tested on animals. They know that this is a topic that is important to them, and not only do they highlight their stance, but they are also actively encouraging their customers to sign a petition to help ban animal testing in cosmetics – a very powerful social proofing tactic.


Has your brand recently established its tone of voice? Did you follow any of the steps above, and what did you learn about your audience as a result? We’d love to find out your experience, so start the conversation by leaving a comment below.

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