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How to Build a Brand Voice Toolkit

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Having a strong, unique and consistent Brand Voice is key to creating a successful brand across all marketing channels. This Brand Voice Toolkit will help you build a voice for your brand by first introducing the concept of Brand Voice and why it is imperative for a brand to be recognizable, identifiable, and relatable.

Your Brand Voice Toolkit should contain:
1. Brand Character + Personification
2. Brand Personality
3. Defined Vocabulary
4. Words Your Brand Says + Doesn’t Say
5. Writing Samples

Learn what each of these tools are and how they can be used to craft your Brand Voice in this deck and even explore an example toolkit.

Published in: Marketing

How to Build a Brand Voice Toolkit

  1. 1. BUILDING YOUR BRAND VOICE TOOLKIT Everything you need to craft a fine-tuned brand voice.
  2. 2. BLUEPRINT 1. What is a Brand Voice? 2. Why Build a Brand Voice? 3. Crafting Your Brand Voice 4. Your Brand Voice Toolkit
  3. 3. WHAT IS A BRAND VOICE?
  4. 4. WHAT BRAND WOULD CHOOSE YOUR GEEKY LITTLE BROTHER AS ITS SPOKESPERSON?
  5. 5. BRAND VOICE IS HOW A BRAND SPEAKS TO ITS AUDIENCES. It’s the overarching standard for tone, vocabulary, and personality tied to a brand’s messaging and attitude.
  6. 6. THE BRAND PLATFORM Before you start building, make sure you have a solid foundation. MISSION PERSONALITY VISION VALUE VOICE A strong brand is created by having firm alignment on all five components of the brand platform and implementing them across all communications. Brand Voice is best created when a mission, personality, vision, and values are preexisting.
  7. 7. WHY BUILD A BRAND VOICE?
  8. 8. WHOSE VIDEO GAME REVIEW WOULD YOU TRUST, YOUR GEEKY LITTLE BROTHER'S OR YOUR GRANDMOTHER'S?
  9. 9. IT’S ALL ABOUT BEING RELATABLE AND BUILDING TRUST. Of course you trust your grandmother, but not necessarily her opinion on first person shooter games.
  10. 10. YOUR AUDIENCE WANTS TO KNOW THAT YOU CARE. Along with identifying with your audience, your brand should make people feel like they belong and are understood. Your brand voice will help build the belief that your audience truly does belong with your brand.
  11. 11. THINK ABOUT THE MOST SUCCESSFUL BRANDS. How do they generate brand loyalty in such extreme degrees?
  12. 12. THE APPLE PHENOMENA Apple customers have long been referred to as “cult followers.” From wearing Steve Jobs costumes to camping out at the local Apple store, few consumers are as brand loyal as Apple consumers. Over the years, Apple has done an excellent job of attaching incredible emotional appeal to quality products. There is a feeling surrounding their brand. Part of this comes out of excellent customer service, while the rest stems from truly listening to their consumers and their desires. Apple knows what their consumers want, and gives it to them.
  13. 13. TO PUT IT SIMPLY: Consumers want to feel important, listened to, informed, and respected.
  14. 14. CAUTION: Your brand shouldn’t talk to a TV audience the same way it talks to its social audience.
  15. 15. YOU WOULDN’T TALK TO YOUR GRANDMOTHER THE SAME WAY YOU TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS, RIGHT?
  16. 16. BE THE BRAND YOUR CONSUMERS WANT YOU TO BE. Know what they want. Use their language and vocabulary. Speak the way they speak. Listen.
  17. 17. CRAFTING YOUR BRAND VOICE
  18. 18. IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND WHAT PEOPLE WANT, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES.
  19. 19. THESE BRANDS DON’T TALK TO THEIR CONSUMERS THE SAME WAY. Their consumers have different needs, wants, and concerns, even though they are both owned by the same parent company.
  20. 20. WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE? Ask the right questions. AGE? GENDER? MARITAL STATUS? LIVING SITUATION? INTERESTS? NEEDS? WANTS? CONCERNS?
  21. 21. IF YOU WANT TO CONNECT WITH ROBOTS, BE A ROBOT. Otherwise, you’ll want to appear human. Stick to words that will give your brand voice personality, making it easier for your audience to relate.
  22. 22. CREATE A BRAND PERSONALITY Confident Charismatic Sophisticated Fun Aspirational Knowledgeable Perceptive Worldly Loyal Reserved Serious Fearless Honest Classic Modern Credible Problem-Solver Hilarious Self-Assured Energetic Comforting Adventurous Upbeat Warm Understanding Approachable Thoughtful Generous Adaptable Curious Naive Practical Sociable Creative Easy-Going Compassionate Select human personality traits.
  23. 23. SO YOU CAN WALK THE WALK, BUT CAN YOU TALK THE TALK? Using the proper vocabulary is pivotal to a successful brand voice. Identify the vocabulary used by your audience and use that language to your advantage.
  24. 24. HOW DOES YOUR BRAND SAY “GREAT?” As a test, take the time to explore how your brand would express colloquial terms like “great.” Peachy Super Stupendous Brilliant Cat’s Pajamas Sweet Wonderful Fabulous Awesome Superb Excellent
  25. 25. YOUR GEEKY LITTLE BROTHER WOULD SAY “SWEET,” WHILE YOUR GRANDMOTHER MIGHT SAY “CAT'S PAJAMAS” DOVE MAY SAY “WONDERFUL” WHILE AXE MIGHT SAY “AWESOME.”
  26. 26. BE UNIQUE AND DEFINED. We each have a vocabulary and there are words that we would and wouldn’t say. Defining these words is imperative to having a clear and easily transferrable brand voice. You can tell when you are receiving text messages from a friend’s phone that has been taken captive, right?
  27. 27. YOUR BRAND VOICE TOOLKIT
  28. 28. IN YOUR TOOLKIT, YOU SHOULD HAVE: 1. Brand Character + Personification 2. Brand Personality 3. Defined Vocabulary 4. Words Your Brand Says + Doesn’t Say 5. Writing Samples
  29. 29. LET’S EXPLORE A PROTOTYPE
  30. 30. PRETEND YOUR BRAND IS… A gluten-free snack for families with a target audience of women aged 30-45, who have children, and have a household income of $65K.
  31. 31. YOUR BRAND CHARACTER MIGHT BE: “Busy Betty is a 36 year old mother of 3. She’s married and college educated. Her HHI is $65K+. She works from home as a blogger and most enjoys spending time playing with her kids, photography and scrapbooking, home decorating, and skiing. Her main priority is being a good mother and her biggest obstacle is lack of time. She has gluten sensitivities and is always looking for healthy, gluten-free meals and snacks the whole family can enjoy – that don’t cost a fortune.” Checklist: ✓ Well-defined ✓ Unique ✓ Demographics ✓ Interests ✓ Needs
  32. 32. SOMETIMES A CHARACTER ISN’T ENOUGH. A brand character may not be enough for everyone on your team to grasp how the voice will actually sound. Help your team or client by identifying your brand with a personality they are already familiar with.
  33. 33. USE A CELEBRITY PERSONIFICATION Reese Witherspoon epitomizes our brand voice because she… ✓ Is an all-American woman and mother of 3. ✓ Is busy and on-the-go, but wants to eat healthy and stay fit. ✓ Is fun and peppy, but a career woman with serious goals. ✓ Is seeking balance in her busy life.
  34. 34. EXPANDING YOUR PERSONALITY Our gluten-free snack brand has the following traits that will inform her personality: Fearless Honest Credible Classic Charismatic Practical Confident Loyal Knowledgeable Self-Assured Energetic Comforting Upbeat Approachable Sociable Compassionate
  35. 35. DEFINING A VOCABULARY For a gluten-free snack, it is imperative to know and understand the following terms: Barley Gluten-Free Wheat Oats Celiac Disease Rye Gluten Sensitivity Natural
  36. 36. WHAT YOU DO SAY IS AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT YOU DON’T SAY. Busy Betty Says: • Wonderful • Decadent • Simple • Guilt-free or Satisfying • Amazing Busy Betty Doesn’t Say: • Awesome • Delish • Easy • Pleasurable • Cool
  37. 37. WRITING SAMPLE Use an example of how your brand speaks and what your brand character believes: “I know my snack will be healthy, delicious, and satisfying. I trust the brand to use superior, natural ingredients and accommodate the gluten-free preferences of my whole family. The snack appeals to my busy and active lifestyle, as I can simply take it anywhere. Paired with great taste, guilt-free, it’s irresistible.”
  38. 38. FINISHING TOUCHES Share your complete toolkit with teammates and clients, and don’t forget it’s always a work in progress.
  39. 39. Sources WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GO SCULPT YOUR BRAND VOICE TOOLKIT http://www.brandchannel.com/education_glossary.asp#BrandPlatform http://www.amazon.com/Primalbranding-Create-Zealots-Company-Future/dp/1451655312 http://voiceandtone.com/ by @JackiSchroder

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