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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More than just a pretty face

No matter how gorgeous the image, a brand without a smart, distinctive voice is kind of like going on a date with a really hot chap or chick and finding out they have nothing to say. You might be able to overlook this lack of personality for a while (depending on how shallow you are!), but it’s unlikely you’ll hang in there for the long haul.

By creating a compelling voice for your brand, you're essentially giving it a personality. Through language, you can create an emotional connection with your target audience and ultimately, build brand loyalty.

Some of my favorite Plum projects have been helping brands develop their unique voice. Here are a few ways we’ve achieved that:

Create a brand manifesto
A brand manifesto communicates to both staff and customers who you are. It can be serious or funny, as long as it’s succinct, authentic and aligned with your brand. I love Jonathan Adler’s ‘We believe’ manifesto. Aside from the fact that the lovely Mark Welsh wrote it, it’s as witty and whimsical as Adler’s pots….perfect brand alignment.

Create a tagline
A few words that can have a huge impact. Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t immediately know which brands ‘Just Do It’ and ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ are associated with?

Be consistent
Extend your brand voice across all your communications – from your in-store signage to advertising, website, press release etc.

Apply language to your internal communications
Don’t just keep the good stuff for your consumer communications. Speaking consistently to your customer starts with your employees. Incorporate your brand voice, mission and values into internal communications such as training materials.

Incorporate your voice into your social media strategy

More than ever, brands need to develop original and entertaining content. Make sure your content is engaging and written in your voice.

One more tip for the road - if you're unsure of how to go about it, hire a copywriter. Someone who understands your brand, your audience and has a way with words will be worth their weight in gold.

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