The concept of ‘brand voice’ is extremely important in the marketing world. It’s the sense of consistency that your customers come to expect when they interact with your brand, and is a crucial way of building familiarity between your company and your clients. Brand voice should be identifiable in all aspects of contact a customer may have with your business, ranging from advertising to your website and the direct communication they have with members of your team. So, how do you establish a consistent, seamless brand voice for your company in your communications?
The first thing to do is to figure out who exactly will be dealing with the communications. If you’re a relatively small company, it may be cost-effective to choose one person to do all your PR and public interaction. If you’re a larger business, you may need a team of people dealing with customer enquiries, questions and feedback. Whoever it is needs to be able to communicate in a way that is consistent with your company’s message, so if there is more than one person, give them some guidelines to let them know whether to keep the communication chatty and informal or serious.
Secondly, you should find a way to extend this across all your points of communication. It is no good keeping your emails and e-newsletters fun and light-hearted if you’re going to have a very formal, corporate answerphone message and phone manner. Your brand voice needs to be heard on all levels, so anyone with any contact with the public needs to be aware of what you are trying to portray. This may involve some training to make sure everyone knows what is expected of them. Some companies can record answerphone and holding messages in an appropriate format using voice actors to set the right tone for oral communication.
If you want to keep all of your communication methods together as much as possible, consider enrolling your office in a digital mailroom scheme. Here, a third party will collate all of your physical letters and scan them into a central digital system. Then these digital documents will be sent to your digital mailbox where you can also pick up your emails and other messages to remind you that all methods of communication need to carry the same brand voice. It can be easy to slip into a more formal tone for letters, for example, so seeing them in amongst all your chatty, casual emails will make it easier to keep it consistent.
Another major carrier of brand voice is your website and social media. You will need to be able to adapt your communication style accordingly for LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc., but that doesn’t mean you should lose sense of your brand identity. Will you post lots of funny images, or solely informative thought pieces, or just try to drum up interest in the brand by trying to come up with quirky viral campaigns? Whatever you do, make sure it is in keeping with your brand. Your employees are your brand ambassadors, and they need to know what tone they are setting when they communicate with your customers.
Laurence Cashmere is a business brand marketing consultant who works with companies of all sizes to unify their public voice