Craft a Brand Voice that Separates You from Competitors

 

On September 19th, 2018, WEoC hosted a live event at AR Workshop with WEofC member by Jocelyn Ring. During this event, she showed us 15+ examples of how to differentiate your brand voice, gain ideas about how to reach your ideal clients, and use what you learn to take immediate action.

Special thanks to:


Speaker Summary written by Jocelyn Ring:

99% of my clients ask me, “How do I find my brand voice?” I used to say, “the only way to find your voice is to use it.” While I still stand behind that, I found it helpful to provide a definition and framework for developing a brand voice.

Let’s start with by defining what a brand voice is? Simply put, it’s the expression of your brand essence and your brand essence is the heart of your brand. The essence is a few key words or phrases that someone would use to describe your brand and it’s usually a mix of logical and emotional.

All things being equal, people do business with people they know, like and trust–that’s where that “emotional” piece comes in.

Most businesses or people who you’d consider competition have very similar skills, products and services–let’s say that makes up 99% of what you offer.

The remaining 1% is where you differentiate yourself and build connection with people. That 1% is your brand essence. That 1% is YOU.

I’ve created my own branding framework called The Legacy EffectÒ that develops the essence or that 1%. Think about your favorite brands, you may like the functionality or benefits of their products and services, but there are other reasons for your brand loyalty–you like the values the brand stands for, or you have an emotional connection or affinity for the brand (there’s that emotional piece again).

The 6Ps are the components of your brand essence, they’re logical and emotional. Let’s go through them starting with the most logical, then working towards emotional.

  1. Purpose–the most logical of the 6Ps. It’s what you do, it’s the problem your business solves and for whom. What are you selling? What business are you in?

  2. Personality­–your brand has qualities you’d use to describe a person. What words would you use to describe your brand? If you’re working on your personal brand, what words would others use to describe you?

  3. Promise–what are the emotional benefits you promise to deliver?

  4. Points of Distinction–what makes your brand unique. Think of things that would be very difficult for a competitor to claim without looking like a copycat. Look at journey and story for inspiration. Bring in outside hobbies and interests to bring a unique take to your business.

  5. (Super)Power–What do you do incredibly well? Think about things that come easy to you, or that people come to you for help with.

  6. Philosophy-this includes your values, your take on things, the lens through which you view the world. When you stand for something, you’ll attract likeminded people and allow people to show up for themselves. This will be polarizing. But, you need to take that strong position for people to say, “hell yes, that’s for me.” Or “No, I disagree.” Trust that you’ll attract people you love working with. Remember, trying to please everyone makes a strong appeal to no one.

Once you’ve brainstormed and collected all this information, it’s time to distill it down to develop your brand essence. Look for common themes and threads, words and phrases. What’s the common denominator? You want to be able to express your brand in 3-5 words, a phrase at absolute most.

Example brand essences:

5 business copywriters with similar offerings, but completely different brand voices

  • Humor- Ann Handley, founder of Marketingprofs infuses humor into her brand

  • “No bullshit”- Josh Bernoff aka Dr.Wobs (without bullshit) cuts through the clutter

  • Writing as Art- Sonia Simone of Remarkable Communications (all artwork on her site is hers, too)

  • Hacking/Experimenting- Copyhackers shares what they've done, so you can learn

  • Understanding how the brain works, to write copy that converts- Psychotactics

How to express your brand voice

You express your brand through touchpoints. What are touchpoints? It’s an element of your business that someone comes into contact with that helps enforce the impression of your brand. Touchpoints include things like websites, business cards, photos, sales copy, email signature, voicemail ……… YOU!

Take heart

Developing a brand voice takes time, but don’t wait until it’s “ready.” Don’t wait for it to be perfect, start using your voice. It’s the only way you can refine it. Create a version 1.0 of your brand essence and begin weaving that essence into your touchpoints.

And, I firmly believe that no matter where you are in your business, you can have an impact. Your brand voice, story, values, personality, products and services can teach, help or empower someone even if you’re in the beginning of the branding journey.

 

Shine on!

Grab a copy of my new guide “3 Steps to Build Your Brand North Star to Attract Your Ideal Clients” it takes what we did in the workshop and dives into detail. To get yours, click this link.

To learn more, or get personalized help from Jocelyn, visit www.theringeffect.com

Melissa Cote