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The basics of brand voice and messaging


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Brand voice, brand messaging and general brand wordery

Published in: Marketing, Business
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The basics of brand voice and messaging

  1. 1. Strategic Wordery Talked through by Amanda C. Peterson, brand strategist & geek
  2. 2. By the time we walk out of here, you:  Will have taken one 10-minute break across multiple hours  Done at least one writing exercise with a partner  Will know the difference between brand voice and brand messaging  Will remember at least 3 major elements of building a brand with words  Will understand how verbal communications can set a brand apart from its competition and bring a brand closer together with its target market
  3. 3. What are we doing?  Credibility – Who is Amanda and why should we listen to her?  Definitions – What is brand voice? What is brand messaging? Show us some examples? How do you start to actually do them?  A model – Every PowerPoint needs random diagrams  Implication vs. statement – Demonstrate don’t state  Pop quiz – Spot the brand  Exercise – Learning by doing  Report out – Embarrassing by sharing  Wrap up – The only things you’ll actually remember
  4. 4. Amanda C. Peterson  15 years in marketing  Titles: Copywriter & planner  Naming & writing  Brand architecture & verbal strategy  brand strategy  Marketing and communications  Workplaces: Ad agencies  Target  Landor  Logitech  HP  Education: Advertising, advertising, advertising  real world  Teaching, awards & always employed
  5. 5. What is brand voice?  Brand voice is the strategy around using words to build a personality and a relationship with the audience consistently  It’s how you say it  It’s the reason marketers will have a seven-hour debate over whether it is:  Awesome  Cool  Great  Amazing  Groundbreaking  Best-in-class  Awe inspiring  Magical
  6. 6. What does brand voice do well?  Brand voice creates a personality  Brand voice reinforces a relationship  Brand voice is cheap (relatively)  Brand voice works in social media, PR, media training, text messaging, advertising  Brand voice reflects the brand positioning
  7. 7. What does brand voice do terribly?  Brand voice is not easy or cheap to measure  Brand voice does not globalize well (without lots of money)  Brand voice does not do broad/untargeted brands well  Brand voice is hard to execute well  Brand voice is not legally protectable  Brand voice cannot remain static
  8. 8. essential orange-orange (c + calcium) ah, orange juice commercials. funny stuff. mom cheerily prepares some huge breakfast while the rest of her family sleeps. sure, this could happen. but every morning? please. maybe if mom were heavily medicated, in which case, we wouldn’t condone operating a stove or any electrical appliance. for those of us who don’t live in an orange juice commercial, there’s still a way to get your morning nutrition. this product has calcium and lots of vitamin c, so you can get your day started right, minus the whole stepford mom thing. vitamins + water = all you need. for best results, stick it in the fridge. the inside is natural. the outside is plastic.
  9. 9. Men talk about women, sports and cars. Women talk about men inside sports cars.
  10. 10. How do you establish brand voice?  The words you choose  Slang, casual, formal, common, obscure, academic  Variety of vocabulary  Grammar rules  How you address your audience  Third person vs. first person  Second person vs. third person  Questions vs. statements  Presumption vs. standoffishness  Calls to action  Speed of the read  Length of sentences  Clauses and phrases  Use of punctuation
  11. 11. How do you establish brand voice?  Story structure  Inverted pyramid  Hero’s journey  Problem/solution  Conversation  Storytelling  Details  Pop culture references  Quotes  Characters  Memorability  Alliteration  Rhythm  Repetition  Rhyme
  12. 12. What is brand messaging?  Brand messaging is the foundational story your brand tells with every communication piece  It’s what you say  It’s where your brand actually has to have substance
  13. 13. What does brand messaging do well?  Brand messaging creates a territory  Brand messaging builds a realm of expertise  Brand messaging helps establish strategies for advertising, PR, partnerships and social media  Brand messaging gives people reason to believe the brand driver/promise  Brand messaging works hand in hand with the voice
  14. 14. What does brand messaging do terribly?  Brand messaging is hard to get alignment on  Brand messaging is hard to train old teams on  Brand messaging cannot just be “done by the agency”  Brand messaging needs to come from and reflect product  Brand messaging is SLOW to establish
  15. 15. Coca Cola
  16. 16. Accenture High performance
  17. 17. How do you establish brand messaging?  The combination of:  What the brand wants to stand for (brand positioning)  What the brand actually does (products or services)  What needs they fulfill
  18. 18. Ever PowerPoint needs a vague model!
  19. 19. The Means-End Chain  Finding the intersection of product attributes and customer needs to establish what you state/demonstrate and what you want to imply/strategize about
  20. 20. FedEx – absolutely, positively On-time delivery Reassurance I won’t lose my job Safety and security
  21. 21. Show, don’t tell  No one who says they’re cool is cool  Otherwise known as:  Why state when you can demonstrate?  “Whoops, your strategy is showing!”
  22. 22. We have always been about using less. And not because it’s topical. Or fashionable. Or because everyone else is doing it. We were small when everyone else was going big. We were fuel-efficient before anyone else was thinking about it.  Volkswagen  Cooper Mini  Kia  Toyota
  23. 23. Good skills and constant training are half the battle. If you want to keep the pace up with your teammates or competitors make sure you have a can of _____at your side to take your game to a higher level. Even if you slip into the role of a virtual hero your real body needs energy and you need presence of mind to react fast and furious until the game is over.  Vitamin Water  Mountain Dew  Jolt Cola  Red Bull
  24. 24. ______ is committed to building positive self-esteem, and inspiring all women and girls to reach their full potential—but we need your help. We're building a movement in which women everywhere have the tools to take action and inspire each other and the girls in their lives.  Girl Scouts  Tampax  Dove  Avon
  25. 25. Questions?
  26. 26. Digital music player  Write a summary paragraph for a webstore  X GBs  3 inches x 3 inches x 2 inches  Charges via USB through your computer or wall adapter  How much is it?  Where can you buy it? Reflecting the brand you’ve been assigned
  27. 27. Bottled water Write the back of the bottle Reflecting the brand you’ve been assigned
  28. 28. Summary  Brand voice is how you say it  Rhythm, word choice, punctuation, repetition, familiarity, POV  Brand messaging is what you say  Topics, how you connect to a larger story  The marriage of what you do and what the audience wants to believe  Demonstrate, don’t state  Words are your friend
  29. 29. Thank you for listening to me rant.