When you think of your brand, you might think of your logo, colours or the typefaces you use. These are all part of your visual brand, but have you ever thought about how your brand actually speaks to your customers?
Fifteen years ago, the average consumer interacted with a brand at two touch-points when buying an item and only 7 percent regularly interacted with more than four. Today, consumers interact with almost six touch-points, with 50 percent regularly interacting with brands at more than four.
A well-defined writing style separates great brands from the rest. It defines your brand voice and the voice in which you articulate your value. What should you consider when defining your brand’s writing style?
Your Written Brand’s Goals and Principles
Every brand interaction supports the longevity and success of your business, so make sure your interactions are aligned with your business and brand objectives. A great way to define your goals is by selecting actionable verbs. What do you want your content to do? Empower? Inspire? Educate? Equally, you can define your principles with adjectives. What do you want your content to be? Clear? Entertaining? Useful?
Decide on your words. Write them down. Choose no more than five for your goals and principles and explain what they mean to your brand. These words will become the foundation of your writing style.
Your Written Brand’s Voice
When considering and defining your brand’s written voice, think about someone you’ve met at a dinner party. When they spoke, did they sound conversational? Technical? Modest? Over-the-top? Your brand voice speaks to your audience, so it needs to sound like someone they’d like to get to know. Walk around in your customer’s shoes, explore their demographic and psychographic qualities. Determine the best voice to deliver your messages. This exercise will identify the pace and language style for those who write your content.
Your Written Brand’s Tone
While voice stays the same, tone adapts to circumstance. Tone pays attention to the situation and the emotional state of your audience. If you’re sharing pictures to your Facebook page from the office Christmas party, do you announce them formally? If a customer comes to you dissatisfied with a recent purchase, do you respond with sarcasm? It all depends on how you want your brand to be perceived. Voice stays the same. Tone changes all the time.
If you’re like us, you have a brand guideline to help your audiences experience your brand consistently. Nice work! You’ve established a set of rules that define the way your brand looks and feels. 75% of consumers expect a consistent experience wherever they engage.
That said, brands evolve. While visuals change over time, writing styles and brand voices change less, which is why it’s so important to establish them early. Using these three tips in your brand guideline, will make sure your brand’s writing style builds your brand equity and ultimately your business.