The Importance of Identifying Your CPG Brand Voice
What is a Brand Voice and Why Does It Matter?
A brand voice is the go-to resource for determining how your company interacts with others across all channels. Think of your brand’s voice as the ultimate influencer, one that is consistent in tone and personality, which in turn shapes what consumers say and think of your company. If something you convey (aka “your voice”) makes people feel good, appreciated and connected, they’ll tell others about it through word of mouth or social media platforms.
It’s important to note that a strong brand voice is only one component of your brand identity, a set of tools and rules for designers, copy writers, and others when using your branding elements. Establishing the unique voice and personality of your consumer-packaged goods company is the logical starting point to defining what makes your product authentic, inspiring, and worth the customer’s time and money.
How to Find Your Voice
Establishing the unique personality and voice of a consumer brand sets it apart from the competition, builds consumer trust, and creates brand value over the long term. Your voice gives people a feel for the core values and mission of your brand, and it’s communicated at every touchpoint—from internal communications to packaging and social posting. If you are not familiar with the term, there’s no doubt you have subconsciously experienced it. The company who sells athletic wear adopts the vocabulary and attitude of a competitive athlete; a bridal brand connects with its target audience by speaking in a softer, more aspirational voice.
If your brand was defined by a person, what personality or character traits would they have and what traits would you want them to avoid? A good starting point for personality descriptors might include:
- Honest and respectful
- Confident and outgoing
- Young and on trend
- Positive and cheerful
Driven by a customer-centric culture, Publix is highly successful at connecting with consumers on a personal level. The Lakeland-based grocery store chain posted $11.1 billion in sales revenue for the third quarter in 2020, an 18.3 percent increase from the previous year. The grocery retailer taps into a wide range of character traits to create content that is emotionally appealing and memorable. Publix descriptors include words like Smart, Honest, and Aspirational.
Helpful Tip: When crafting your company voice, compile a list of brands you admire and think about what traits each company uses from the above list.
Play to Your Audience
Knowing who you’re trying to reach is important as defining your brand voice. One way to identify your audience is to compile a list of your best existing customers. Search their names in Google and look at their social networks. Write a list of words associated with them (do they like humor, are they trendy?). After you’ve done these exercises for each customer, compile a list of commonalities to create one or several personas. For example, a sampling of target audience(s) may include:
- Mostly professional females who are obsessed with yoga, online shopping, and anything outdoorsy
- Their personalities are smart, witty, kind, and sweet
- They eat plant-based foods, drink kombucha, and are into recycling
- They are into their families, pets, self-improvement, Pinterest, Instagram, reading and listening to TED talks
Once you understand who your audience is, you can talk to them in a voice and tone that feels natural and familiar. Using the list above, your voice might sound something like: 20–50 year old female who’s caring, educated, trendy, funny, and confident.
Audiences have different desires and needs, and by uncovering the best way to appeal to those needs and desires, your brand can build a voice and use the right tone to target them effectively.
Helpful Tip: You can further define who you are as a brand by figuring out what you’re not. Filling in the blanks to this sentence will help distill your voice: “We’re _________, but we’re not ____________.” “We’re caring, but not sappy.” “We’re smart, but not preachy.” “We’re funny, but not snarky.”
Identifying who you are and what you are not provides word choices you’ll want to use and words you’ll want to avoid when marketing your brand.
Defining a brand voice along with establishing brand guidelines is an essential step to shaping your consumer’s experience across all channels. Not sure where to start? The marketing team at Alliance can help you uncover your voice and more effectively communicate with your target audience.