Establishing a Brand Voice in an Overwhelming Social Media Landscape
The concept of a brand voice is widely used today in marketing circles, but it is still largely misunderstood and under-utilized. Oftentimes, brand voice is vaguely defined on a page with generic words — “innovative,” “human,” “collaborative” — that is intended to create the tone of all communications. It’s not surprising that most brand voices seem predictable and uninspired.
As the balance shifts from what brands communicate to how brands communicate, a generic brand voice will easily get lost in the crowd. In order to build a particular identity, a brand must develop an instantly recognizable voice that creates strong positive associations. A strong voice also establishes a distinctive character of communications whether classic or trendy, glamorous or pragmatic, elegant or straightforward.
The most effective brand voices appear when compelling visions are projected onto employees and nurtured to establish company’s values, positioning, and culture. This way, visions can spring from many sources: unique products, the unique perspective of the founder or a specific corporate culture. It all starts from having a good understanding of the organization as a whole. The company must clearly define what it does, what it stands for, and how to create supporting behaviour from its audiences.
Navigating the Social Landscape
For corporations, political parties, doctors, or individuals, navigating the increasingly complex media landscape is extremely challenging. Brands must work with a fragmented media space across the different channels — mobile, social media platforms, TV services, and other different emerging platforms.
Social media is greatly overshadowing traditional media. A digital and social media strategy can cover a long list of platforms, reaching audiences from the predictable (Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) to lesser known or only emerging platforms like TikTok.
Evolving Brand Voice Concept
Brand voice concepts are usually structured around three or four words that provide direction for the tone of communication campaigns. However, a more robust approach to building a voice is needed — combining purpose, messaging, customer interaction, and visual language. An effective brand voice emphasizes not only how you speak but what you say and how you interact.
At the foundation of a well-implemented brand voice concept is clarity. If you want to cut through the abundance of information in this social-infused world, the best way is by simplifying communications and business practices. Now, more than ever, brands need to recalibrate voice with the right tone, and volume in an environment where speed, trends, distraction, and noise represent the norm.