Looking for ways to help your company stand out in 2019? Start by exploring how your language and communications are essential to the brand experiences you create.
While many companies focus their branding around image and design — and overlook their messaging — your voice is the other half of your brand identity. Just like any conversation, your language and messaging play a crucial role in reaching your audience. If overlooked, you run the risk of alienating audiences and losing business — and diluting what could be a powerful brand experience.
To avoid such mishaps, you need to start owning your language as a brand asset. If you do one thing in 2019 to enhance your content, follow these 3 tips:
1. Solidify your tone.
The tone you adopt in your communications will shape your audience’s experience with your brand — and further reflect your personality. Syncing your tone across channels is crucial for backing up a consistent brand, so you don’t mislead or confuse your audiences.
For example, if your company promises “white glove service” but uses a tone that conveys sarcasm, you’ll likely create a disconnect in your brand identity. And, those disconnects will drive your audience away, since people crave consistency with brands.
To establish a compelling brand voice, you need to know how your audiences perceive you. Take time to gather outside perspectives and reflect back on the results.
How to identify tone:
- Ask your best customers to identify your company’s top three personality traits.
- Interview your employees to understand why they think your company stands out.
- Identify what brand personality emerges from your conversations.
- Connect those personality traits with tone features that can support that brand experience.
2. Analyze your competitor’s language.
Effective brand language stands out from the crowd. Owning your authentic personality through your voice helps audiences connect with your unique message and sets you apart from your competitors.
But, in order to differentiate your company from the others, you’ll need an in-depth understanding of the language they use to convey their brand. Competitor analyses can help you identify your company’s strengths and provide you with language and messaging to avoid.
How to analyze competitor messaging:
- Gather examples of your competitor’s language and evaluate their brand personality
- Build a list of overused words, jargon, and cliché phrases.
- Compare these results with your own brand personality.
- Look for language unique to your company that you can use in place of your competitor’s terms.
3. Create storytelling themes.
Any powerful story has supporting themes that bring the narrative to life. To Kill A Mockingbird isn’t just about a small-town trial—Harper Lee expertly weaves racism, social inequality, bravery, and love throughout the novel.
The same is true for your brand of storytelling. The themes that support your overarching brand identity guide how you express your company’s differentiators and values. They also offer emotional touchstones for your audience to return to across your content. Maintaining themes throughout your messaging will keep your value and purpose front and center in your audience’s mind.
How to identify story themes:
- Ask employees what they enjoy about your company’s culture.
- Interview clients for perspectives on how your company differs from others they’ve worked with.
- Determine the story of your company’s culture and what themes weave throughout.
- Identify places within your content strategy to introduce and return to your company’s themes.
Staying true to your company is the most important step in creating authentic brand language and experiences that audiences will crave and remember. By owning your language as a brand asset in 2019, you’ll set your content apart from the dense landscape — and make your company stand out!