The Power of Finding Your Voice as a Brand
Take a moment and think about a time when something you said made a real difference for someone. Maybe it was a choice piece of advice delivered at the right time. Maybe it was a needed pep talk. Or maybe it was some tough love that broke down a wall and created a breakthrough.
Why were those words effective? We’d be willing to bet it was because you were speaking from the heart, empathising strongly with the other person’s feelings. You spoke confidently, relating your experiences in a meaningful way for the listener.
In that moment, you found your voice, and they heard you because you were communicating authentically and powerfully. You weren’t just speaking; you were making an emotional connection.
Companies and their brands can find their voices, too, and when they do, they can have equally powerful conversations with their customers.
This potent form of communication isn’t limited to people. Companies and their brands can find their voices, too, and when they do, they can have equally powerful conversations with their customers. The first step toward finding this voice is describing in detail what your brand is all about. Because you can’t tell a story that hasn’t been written.
How Your Brand Story Establishes Your Voice
The old adage “know thyself” is fundamental to finding your brand’s voice. You can’t speak confidently about your brand if, from moment to moment, you don’t know what to say.
Writing a brand story is an exercise that every organisation should engage in. It’s a document that describes all of the details that are relevant to your brand. Its major components include:
- The history of your brand
- Challenges it has overcome
- The reasons it exists
- The brand’s values and core beliefs
- What makes it unique
- The promises it makes to its customers and the whys behind these
- The people pivotal in the brand’s existence
Your brand story isn’t a dry recitation of facts. Like any good storytelling, it should be dramatic and exciting. There should be an arc that readers can follow with a strong emotional component that lets people identify deeply with the narrative.
It can’t tell people what to think about you, but it can paint a picture that’s so compelling that people will naturally adopt the view of your brand that your brand story relates.
This story becomes the core of your voice because your story, told authentically, is you. It’s the story of how your brand came to be, why it does what it does and why it continues to be relevant. If you speak from your story, your voice will ring true, and your audience will respond.
Clarity is Key
When you’re writing your brand story, clarity of purpose and of communication is critical to success. If details are left vague, you’re opening the door to miscommunication. You need to be clear why you’re writing your story, and clear about each included element.
If you make widgets, you have to distinguish your widgets from every other brand of widget. To do this effectively, you first need to define, in very specific language, what makes your brand different.
When you’re writing your brand story, clarity of purpose and of communication is critical to success.
Speaking broadly isn’t enough. Anyone can say, “Our widgets are better,” or, “Our widgets cost less”. Everyone is already doing this, in fact, and customers don’t hear it anymore. To perk their ears, you need to give customers more specific reasons why they should buy your widgets.
You need to clearly explain what your widgets will do for them. How your widgets will make their lives better. How your widgets conform to their beliefs about what widgets should be. Your story and your voice need to be clear because you want your story to be their story.
You don’t want to be the better widget or the cheaper widget. You want to be your customers’ widget. When your story instils emotional ownership of your brand, and your brand becomes their brand, your customers will follow you anywhere and will listen with rapt attention when you speak.
Your Story Creates Your Voice, and Your Voice Creates Connection
People no longer buy whatever’s convenient. And they don’t buy a brand because they like the packaging. People buy from brands they identify with. If you don’t know who you are, how can you expect your customers to? And if your voice doesn’t clearly explain what makes you special, what incentive do consumers have to choose your brand over your competition?
Finding your voice is absolutely crucial because a brand without a voice isn’t really a brand. It’s just a logo on a product. It’s just a service that blends into the crowd. You need to be heard, and for that, you need your voice.