Start with the writing.
Combining last month’s theme on writing with this month’s on communication, we arrive at your tone of voice. Your words become your verbal identity and verbal identity is one of the three core pillars of your brand. Without it, your brand is like a bad date; they may look pretty but they have nothing to say. The best way to find your tone of voice is to write. Check out Maestro’s 5 Important Parts Of a Successful Verbal Identity for a deeper dive. My biggest takeaway —the more consistent you are with your brand’s verbal identity, the better your audience can connect with you. Which makes perfect sense of course but it is so easy to get distracted and go off message. As with any behavioural approach, consistency is queen. You can only improve and evolve if you have given a behaviour enough time to evaluate. Give yourself a chance by committing to crafting your story. A well-written brand story encompasses both the facts and feelings that you want associated with your business. You want it to inspire an emotional reaction in your customers but in a genuine way. What motivated you to start your business? What change were you seeking or what problems do you want to solve? These stories are interesting, especially to people who share a similar challenge or story. Remember, your voice matters.
Communication in business
Over the course of history, communication developments and technology developments have evolved. Businesses now have the ability to communicate with customers, employees, clients and suppliers through social media, email, text messaging and more. The ability to connect through multiple communication channels can make business communications so much easier, better, and quicker. Your business has the ability to communicate to a broader audience, regardless of the time of day or the location of your audiences. And it’s on social where tone of voice is coming into its own. According to We All Need Words,
“Content” and “tone” get muddled-up, but they go hand in hand. The brands with a strong tone of voice, like Oatly or The Infatuation, have good writers rather than “content managers”. It means their content is tons better too. While those brands that haven’t worked out their tone of voice struggle to find things to write about (or lean on lifestyle photography and #Sundayvibes hashtags to cover the gaps).”
Most brand advice starts with defining your mission. You need to clearly define your business mission to ensure interesting and effective storytelling. Your entire communication and interaction with your customers should be based on the mission your business pursues and its values. Again, if in doubt, your brand story needs to be honest and consistent. It must align directly with your mission statement to enable you to effectively establish a connection with customers who are genuinely aligned with your business.
Behind every good tone is a good pitch
This flows rather nicely as we finished our last group this week and the last course of the programme is Brand New World. As they say (or maybe it is just me), pitch practice, makes pitch perfect. The more you practice saying what you do, the easier it will roll off your tongue. Furthermore, the more you say it, the more you embody that part of you. Yes it feels awkward at first but it gets easier and you will thank yourself for starting sooner rather than later. To recap, check out We All Need Words and their 5 tips to get-on-with-it approach to tone of voice:
1. Don’t fixate on principles or guidelines. Start with the writing.
2. Write the words customers see first – and the most.
3. Have something to say.
4. Let that pitch lead your tone everywhere else.
5. Once the tone’s working, then you can get to the guidelines.
This is because what you say matters as much as how you say it. When you tell people what you do and it is a jumble of things, said with a shaky voice, you won’t leave them with confidence in your business. To help you integrate, try creating a brand mantra. A brand mantra is a driving message that captures the essence of your brand and its more than a slogan. It is a simple, yet powerful saying, phrase, or affirmative statement used to motivate our inner being and set our intentions. According to Clutch,
“A brand mantra is a company’s primary positioning and stake-in-the-ground message. It is the foundation on how a brand scales, what a company takes pride in, and an indicator of the trajectory of a particular brand. It’s an instrument of self-transformation — an affirmation that we repeat to express and grow the beliefs we hold most dear.”
Keystone Women supports enterprising women to reimagine their working lives through a nurturing community and a holistic, integrated approach. Together, we’ll discover our own path.