WTF Is Brand Voice?
Playing it safe is limiting your brand. The good news? It's doing the same to your competitors. Here's how to exploit the situation for fun and profit.
Voice is a mysterious thing.
Every writer has it, it’s crazy valuable, yet most will never access it.
I once took a writing class that taught a specific process for finding one’s deep voice. It was so good I took it five times.
I went into this class with years of experience as a working writer, but many of the writers in the class were just starting out. The process worked on everyone, without fail. Even for the non-writers. Even students who submitted god awful, terrible writing in week one were, by the end of eight weeks, writing amazing short stories in a specific, one-of-a-kind voice that compelled readers to pay attention.
When writers write from that authentic, sometimes dangerous place—it’s incredibly attractive.
The same is true for brands. Except a brand’s voice isn’t just how it speaks in words, but also how it speaks in visuals, sound and video.
So is voice everything we see, read and hear from a brand? No, voice refers to the aspects brand expression that make it specific, own-able, and unique.
Every brand has a one-of-a-kind voice waiting to be discovered. It’s crazy valuable. Yet most will never access it.
Fear is the enemy here. The belief that we must be someone other than who we are—more like everyone else—for our brand to succeed.
So what if we just killed all the bullshit, fear and corporate speak from our brands?
What might happen then?
And isn’t it time you found out?
Of course, no matter how your brand expresses itself, you need a product that offers uncommon value. You can’t authentically speak your way to a successful business with a dud product. But before customers ever try your product they must want to spend time with you. They must be interested.
So how about tapping into the power of your brand’s unique voice and stop boring your customers into submission?
To get there, there are two kinds of people you need to talk to more: Writers and designers. If they are good, experienced, talented, they will be masters of voice.
Ask the writers and designers in your orbit how your brand could be better. Let them do the talking. You listen. From this vantage point, new ideas and ways of being will start to emerge.
Give it time. Fear is a stubborn opponent.