Marketing Your Voice
Having a particular voice for your business or product can be a powerful tool for generating leads and prospects. Understanding how to find and market your voice so that it becomes recognizable in your industry space can seem like a monumental task, however it’s far more likely that you are already using a voice for your business without even recognizing it. Let’s take a look at how to capitalize on it from a digital and marketing perspective.
What Is Your Voice
A voice for your brand encompasses so much more than just taking it literally or at surface level. Yes, it’s how we conduct ourselves in a conversation or on customer service calls, but it should also be non-verbal cues that help a customer’s mind associate with your image. As a whole, the voice of your company or product starts with a logo and should flow into every crevice and action taken from there forward. At a minimum, we find the best results in a companies voice are achieved when it’s present in:
- Logos and Color Schemes
- Photography and Stock Images
- Company Websites
- Physical Storefronts
- Social Media Posts
- Newsletters or E-blasts
- Videos and Presentations
- E-mail Signatures
- Tradeshows and Events
- Package Design and Shipping
What we strive to achieve when working with our clients is that whatever outlet their target audience turns to when exploring their brand, they should recognize the cohesiveness almost immediately. Take Aflac as an example. At face value, we may think the voice of the insurance agency is quite literal how the Aflac duck squawks the word in every appearance. While this is a strong part of the message, it’s actual the duck itself that is even more powerful. If you were to print out a picture of the Aflac duck and hand it out on the street, you would be hard-pressed to find someone in the United States that does not immediately recognize it or some of the crazy adventures it has had throughout its on-screen time. It’s very likely that you’ll even get impressions of that signature voice. What’s interesting to observe though, is that without a single verbal cue, nearly everyone can recognize just a simple white duck on a street corner. That is a voice and it is used to achieve incredible results.
Achieving something as recognizable as the Aflac duck takes time, especially if a brand is already engrained within their industry and has been for years. It’s not impossible, however, and it likely won’t even require dreaming up a custom character for your brand. However, by taking a systematic approach on par with the scale of your organization, a gradual reshaping of design and marketing messages can be extremely rewarding.
Consistency Is Key
Where brands succeed in shaping their voice is by having consistency throughout their entire organization, most importantly their marketing materials. Looking at industry leaders like Apple or Chevrolet, as vast as their market shares are, they remain steadfast in ensuring each message represents their brand through and through. So much so that we, as consumers, have been subconsciously taught to pick up on phrases, taglines, mottos, and even signature tones that relate to their brands. Granted these are multi-billion and trillion-dollar companies that have entire departments dedicated to these tasks, however, the primary lessons we gain can and should filter down even to local small businesses.
That lesson being: Consistency in every aspect of your business.
It should not matter whether you are an executive or a new summer intern, having a consistent message that flows through your marketing and your team members is a critical way in which your audience is trained to recognize, engage with, and recommend your brand. Striking a memorable tone with your audience can seem difficult, but often times it is hiding right in front of us and is easy enough to mold into a powerful tool.
Digital and Traditional
In decades past, company voices largely came through by means of a salesperson. It was their job to knock on doors and share a well-crafted pitch with prospective buyers or enthusiasts. While this method is still effective even today, technology and design have helped bolster the available outlets in which sales departments can thrive. Nowadays, we look to UX-driven websites, social media, and digital advertising campaigns as primary routes to engage with new audiences while still relying on good ole’ fashion face-to-face engagement in storefronts and events.
In our view, this combination of outlets has made crafting the voice of a company that much more important. When your staff believes in what you are creating, there is a certain buzz that is felt throughout the office. Giving someone a message, something they can stand behind and be proud of often results in more widespread exposure simply because they are excited to share about their involvement in the brand. They will talk about it at outings with friends and family, recommend it to others on social media or forums, or even go as far as to gift the product to others. In any event, when your team is actively engaged in your product, you essentially achieve free word-of-mouth marketing across digital and traditional outlets without even trying.
A bit of common knowledge amongst marketing teams is that most often a consumer needs to engage with your brand at least 7 times before considering it worth their time to explore further or possibly purchase. Having different outlets that all share a consistent message makes achieving this target a lot more feasible. Once a prospect has elected to purchase your product or service, that’s where the next critical phase comes in. It’s likely that they have now spent a few hours, perhaps days or months, reviewing everything they can find about your brand, and they have a certain level of satisfaction they wish to gain from making a purchase.
So how does your team achieve this satisfaction?
From point A to point B, every aspect should further cement the foothold of your brand in a customer’s mind. Consider it a roadmap if you will that starts with the very first moment your prospect finds your product in a post and ends with a successful purchase. This means ensuring quick delivery in a well-designed package. Following up with a simple thank you card or reaching out to see how they like the product so far. Asking them to rate and share their experience on your social platforms, and much more. Every point of contact between those two endpoints should involve consistent action and representation of your voice. This may very well be the only opportunity you get to go above and beyond expectations and really wow them. The end goal is, to offer your target audience members a complete experience that in itself becomes a repetitive referral cycle.
Wrapping up this article forces us as a company to also analyze the information shared here and ensure it’s representative of our brand and voice. It’s easy to get distracted by all of the latest twists and trends that come and go, but maintaining a consistent message has always proven itself to withstand even the toughest of environments. If you’ve made it this far into the post, I believe you’ll find it in your best interest to re-evaluate your current voice and if you feel it needs a bit of tweaking, I encourage you to reach out. There’s always room to explore beyond the traditional boundaries.
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