The way you talk to your customer or client as a business can make or break your next sale opportunity. Through communication you have a great opportunity to explain (or signal) what you stand for and how your products solve your customers problems. But how do you know whether your voice is the right one? Here we share tips on communicating your brand story.
Define your brand’s language
Brand’s language are words, phrases and terms which your customers relate to (and use daily in their own communication). It’s a way of explaining the purpose of your product or service to them in a format which they connect with. The most effective way I found to define your brand’s language is to let your customers help you with it. Through conversations with them you should be picking up words / keywords which they use to describe their problem and what solution they are looking for. So for example, when a client is getting stressed out about not having a nicely organised home, the keywords you could use in your communication are: stress-free, storage and organised. If your customer is finding that she struggles with finding comfortable shoes because her feet are wide or prone to blisters, the keywords to include in your communication could be: comfort all day everyday, wide-fit and perfect fit for blister sufferers.
Clarity is key when it comes to your brand’s voice. Avoid using jargon or terms which you understand, or are typical for your industry, but your customers don’t. To connect with them you need to bring yourself to their level.
The tone of your brand’s voice is also very important and something to consider. This goes back to your values, ethos and purpose that shape your brand’s personality. If you haven’t done so yet, you should create your brand’s personality. Again, keywords through mind-mapping might be a helpful exercise.
Case study example: When it comes to language and voice, I think Loaf is a great example. Notice how they created the word “loafers” in their written / brand’s identity and what kind of tone they use to support that kind of language e.g. words such as comfy, laid-back, shacks, “slowroom” and blog nonsense.
Use visuals in addition to your written content
Part of your brand’s language and communication should be visual identity. Big brands can spend millions a year on visual identity but for small businesses there are many ways, which you can explore, to communicate your message visually.
1/ Use strong images and photography without your product – these visuals are purely as supporting content and for reinforcing your message and voice.
2/ Use yourself as the face of the brand. I think now it’s an interesting time on social media to benefit from communicating your brand’s story directly to your audience, which is coming from you as the founder and creative director or designer. There is, however, a fine line between being recognised as a professional business and being personal. I see many small businesses acting like social media influencers and at the moment I’m not sure whether that’s a good strategy in long-term.
Case study example: I like Tory Burch as a great example of being the face of the brand. You can see behind the scenes, design processes, her traveling and projects she’s involved in. She does it with taste and style and never shares the more personal stuff like many influencers do.
3/ Have a common thread that runs through your visuals. One of the best tools for you to get guided by are your tagline and corporate identity. If you think about Virgin as an example, you immediately see red and humour as their threads. Visuals can be flexible and moulded to each customer base if they are supported by the thread to strengthen the brand’s voice.
Focus on one message
There is so much to say and so much to share but be careful with your messaging. If you just finished a project or launched a product or collection, this should be your primary message in your communication. Usually marketing campaigns have timelines and schedules. Mark them in your calendar and stick to the schedule. It’s very tempting to go off the plan and communicate your other projects, which is fine if it’s relevant to your campaign, but if it’s not, try to be more consistent.
words by Karolina – Chief Storyteller