Whether you’re rebranding your business or just starting off, establishing your brand’s language can be tough to develop and implement. Believe it or not, the pieces to the puzzle you are looking for lie within the heart of who you are and why you do what you do.
Evaluate Your Business
With that being said, it’s vital to start with an evaluation of your core mission and vision. Doing this will bring you back to why you started your business in the first place and then the passion behind the language you should use will evolve from there. Along with evaluating your business internally, an external evaluation is just as important. If your business is already established, you have a good grip on who your target audience is. Streamlining your brand language with that of your target audience will help you communicate efficiently and productively to those you want to reach most. Look at all of your previous content and if it’s in line with the language you want to create more of, then great. If not, make sure you go back and change it according to your newfound voice.
Define Your Voice
This is the fun part! After you’ve evaluated your business’ goals and values, you get to create a voice unique to those aspects. When thinking about a brand, or describing one rather, normally we come up with two or three words. Apple, for example, evokes the words clean and creative. While this exercise may seem minuscule, it can really help you hit the ground running. Try speaking with some internal employees and coworkers to decide on three to five adjectives that you would want your business to be known for. Are you simple yet distinctive? Friendly yet professional? Technical and direct? Funny and persuasive?
If you happen to be rebranding, consider doing this exercise for the voice your business currently speaks from and the voice you are wanting to create. Additionally, focus groups can be a great way to find out how your business’ language is perceived by your audience. Remember, in creating or revising all of your new content, be sure to clearly show and communicate to your audience what separates your business from the rest.
Decide the Feeling You Wish to Emote
American author, Maya Angelou, once said:
“People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel.”
The words and tone of your business’ language will play a large role in shaping how your customers feel about your brand. As Ms. Angelou elegantly put it, it’s the feeling they’ll remember. Consider the feeling you hope to emote as a business, the feeling that your customers have upon walking through your doors or speaking with an employee on the phone. How do your employees feel coming to work every day? This is such an important aspect of a well-developed brand language as it flows into all areas of your business. You may want your customers to feel secure, safe in your trustworthy hands, or maybe you hope they feel challenged, empowered to step outside of their comfort zone.
Whatever feelings you choose for your brand should seamlessly evolve and flow from the tone and voice of your business.
Engage, Implement, Evolve
Now it’s time to put the plan into action. Changing or creating your brand language must be a business-wide effort. All employees and internal stakeholders should understand and be familiar with the personality of your brand in order to communicate it effectively. Providing your employers with the adjectives or strategy that you used to create your tone can be a helpful way to get everyone familiar with the voice. Note that your brand language isn’t always going to stay fixed. It’s imperative that your voice is ever-evolving according to the industry of your business so that you can constantly communicate in fresh, innovative ways to stay connected to your audience.