Consumers will most often decide if they like or dislike a brand based on the brand’s personality characteristics and the way the brand communicates. They are more likely to like and engage with a brand if they feel it is relatable to them in some way or another.
Assess the personality of your business as if it were a person. Just as you may define a certain friend as ‘witty’ or a colleague as ‘enthusiastic’.
What words would you use to describe your brand’s image?
What attributes and/or emotions do you want associated with your brand and what do you not want associated with your brand?
It often helps to combine what a brand is with what it is not. (Professional but not dry and corporate. Casual, but not lazy and messy.)
One way of assessing this is by asking these questions: If the brand were to come alive as a person:
If you need some help to get going you might find Aaker’s “Big Five” personality traits useful. It’s a combination of varying traits that makes your brand unique.
The written ‘personality’ of your brand
The words you use define how people perceive your business. Communicating with a consistent tone of voice builds trust, authority and likability. It adds an extra dimension of personality to your communications and helps to embody your brand’s values.
Finding your tone of voice starts with choosing the right language to reach your audience.
It might be professional, casual, or even funny, but in order to establish an emotional connection that will lead to your audience trusting you and buying from you, you have to communicate in a way that they will believe. This is not to say that you should just go ahead and copy what has been done before in your sector. Not at all. Brands that break the rules are the ones that people remember. It may seem a risky strategy to find your own unique voice, but surely it’s not any riskier than being ignored?
Vocabulary is simply a choice of words, so you must ascertain what type of words can and can not be used within your tone of voice so that your content embodies the ‘personality’ of the business. What kinds of words are definitely required and which words are forbidden? Keep it honest, consistent and accurate.
When you feel you have nailed it, read your words out loud:
When you have found the right words you need to define a writing style. Keep in mind who you will be writing for. If it’s for other businesses, you may want to use a professional-yet-approachable tone, whereas if you’re writing directly to a customer you may desire a fun-and-exciting voice.
One way to go about it is to emulate an existing publication. What does your audience read? The Financial Times? The Sun? Novels? Use a spectrum to get an idea of where you want to sit. From humorous to serious, formal to casual, or inspirational to straightforward.