How to create a brand voice to beat your competition
Creating a unique brand voice can help you stand out from your competitor’s brand, understand your customers better, and grow a business that’s known for more than just its products or services.
What is the tone of voice?
Are you suffering from stagnating or falling revenue? Are employees not clear on what makes you unique? Are you confused about your customer?
The tone of voice or brand voice may seem like marketing jargon, but the tone of voice is about how you express yourself to your customers. It’s simply knowing your customers, putting them first, and understanding what buying from your business says about them.
Benefits of having a unique voice
- Improves communication
A tone of voice guide is a document that sets out what your goals are, what your mission is, what topics your content focuses on, how you write, and lots of other foundational aspects of your business.
Being clear about this means everyone in your organization knows exactly what their goal is and how to go about achieving it.
- Acts as a training guide
When you have all the information about your company in a document, it saves time training new staff. You simply hand them this guide.
- Helps with decision making
When making decisions, staff can look at the tone of voice guide and say, ‘Does this help our goal of….’.
This makes it easier and quicker to reach decisions and be reactive, especially in competitive industries.
- Saves money
If you’re going to outsource work, particularly writers, it saves you money because they have a lot less research to do.
- Stand out from your competition
Creating a tone of voice guide means a unique and consistent brand voice that stands out from competitors. Especially when there are so many competitors offering similar products or services.
What’s in a tone of voice guide and how do I create my own brand voice?
The tone of voice guidelines doesn’t have to be the next War and Peace novel. It can be a few pages with clear and to-the-point information.
- Audit current voice
If you’re already up and running, have a look at the way you come across now.
What topics do you talk about? How do customers respond to you? Look at areas you could improve, or do you need a revamp?
The most important aspect of business is knowing your audience and getting your voice of customers right. You should create a customer persona by interviewing customers, interviewing your competitors’ customers, and researching what they say on review sites, forums, social media, and anywhere else they hang out.
Demographics such as location, age, and job title, aren’t as important as what drives them. They all share common values; what are they?
Are they all people who like to put others first? Are they concerned about their status?
You should have a profile of your ideal customer and for everything you write, speak to this person.
To differentiate from your competition, you have to know what they’re doing.
How are they marketing? What gaps are they missing that you could fill? What words are they all using? Don’t use them.
What do you want to do? This is an overarching message about your company.
Brand voice example:
The Bodyshop sell skincare. But their mission is about environmental justice.
Using ethical, sustainable products that aren’t tested on animals and are good for you.
You can buy body lotion from millions of other places, but you buy from The Bodyshop because you care about what goes into your skincare and its impact on the planet.
- Brand vision and promise
How will your brand make a difference?
What is the promise you’re making to your customer?
For example, Patagonia sell outdoor clothes but so do a lot of others. So how are they different?
Their vision is to create the best product in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
Their promise is to make long-lasting clothes that are repairable and recyclable which saves you money in the long run and helps you reduce your environmental impact.
Your unique spelling proposition can’t be that you’re cheaper than anyone else, or that you have a better-quality product. All these things can be copied.
What do people get from you that they can’t get anywhere else?
- Brand personality
If your brand was a person, who would it be? This can help you write from this person’s perspective. Is it something they would say?
For example, Wendy’s is a fast-food chain. And they have a lot of competition.
But they stand out because of how they talk to their customers. They’re sarcastic, sassy, and funny.
When their rival McDonald’s tweeted ‘Black Friday ***Need copy and link****’ in error, Wendy’s took the opportunity to make fun of them, replying, ‘When the tweets are as broken as the ice cream machine.’
When people go to Wendy’s, it’s not just about the food, it’s because they resonate with their personality.
- Brand values
What do you really believe in? What do you want your company to be known for?
Make a list of your brand values and choose around four of them.
For example: everbold marketing values are ‘bold, prolific, and opportunists’. This is different form the usual ‘honest, inclusive’, and other bland values that a lot of brands use.
You should describe what your values mean or give examples of them as what is ‘bold’ to one person might not mean the same to another.
- Style guide
Take examples of your writing and put it in ChatGPT and see what tone you’re using.
Is it optimistic, sarcastic, formal, funny?
Choose a few words to describe it. It may be easier to look at the person you want to represent you, what tone do they use?
What words do you use? What words do you never use?
Make a list of words you use and how you use grammar and now any member of your team can write in a consistent tone of voice.
Use this tone of voice framework to create your own unique brand personality that will set you apart. If you’re not sure how to do this yourself, it’s a good idea to invest in a brand voice writer to help you create a unique voice that gets you noticed.
Tone of voice is about how you communicate to your audience. It’s about making them buy your product, not just because they like your product but because they like you.
If you’d like to beat your competition, contact rebeccaboylecopywriting.com to create your own tone of voice guide.