Would you like a completely FREE way to get inside your brand voice, and to use the messaging and metaphors that are really going to resonate with your target audience? As a brand consultant, we do big agency strategies for small business and entrepreneurs. When we had big agency dollars, we used to have chief behavior officers, and we would do a lot of consumer behavior research on what customers and clients in your target audience resonate with.
Developing Your Brand Voice
When branding for small business, what I say to our small business entrepreneurs, our startups that have very limited funds in the way of research, it’s been my finding that research doesn’t benefit a small business entrepreneur, because we don’t have enough resources to do the kind of research we need to do. But what you can do is leverage the larger iconic brands that speak to your target audience that have already done that research for you. They have really big budgets for this, and there’s a lot of testing and a lot of science behind the communication and the messages that they’re sending.
Repurposing Brand Research
What I tell our clients to do is to get the advertising and magazines that your target audience is reading. Look at the ads in those magazines and look online. Magazines, in particular, are a really great way to build your brand voice vocabulary. We create word collages for our brands, and what I’d like you to do- you can do this for yourself- is to go through the magazines and cut out the words, or make note of the words, and the adjectives, specifically, and the tonality of the voice that they’re using to talk to your audience. Take a look at their call to action. Take a look at the tonality and the personality in the brand voice.
Don’t Borrow Recklessly
We have a client who recently wanted to launch a program. She went and followed what somebody else, another colleague of hers, was doing. She used the language that the other brand used. The other brand used language that worked for their target audience, and they got the results they were looking for. But what our client found in her brand marketing, and with her audience, the words she was pulling and drawing from were not resonating with her audience. Her audience is very, very different, and they’re motivated in a very different way.
One audience was a stay at home, small business, sort of a side business, a “DIY” kind of voice. The other client that we worked with, they were talking to professionals and executives, and very, very busy, accredited, and very educated customers and clients. So the words that were used here absolutely did not land in a resonant way, and she didn’t get any results. That can happen if you go out and just do what somebody else is doing. That’s not going to serve you.
How To Resonate
What I’d like you to do is look at your audience, look at your tonality. What does your audience need to hear from you in order to focus in on your messages, to tune in, to lean into what you’re saying, and actually take the action that you’re encouraging, whether it’s picking up the phone, signing up for a program, or calling an advisor to enroll in something, or discuss a private project?
Get clear on your target audience, and find clarity around your brand identity. It’s not about what resonates with you. Remember, it’s about where your target audience is, and what they need to hear at that point in the relationship. Find those words. Go get those magazines, cut them out, make a word collage that resonates with your brand, your brand voice, and your target audience, so that you can find each other, and they can feel you, and they can take the action and get the help they need from your company.
Kerri Konik is a seasoned senior branding executive who has committed her focus and expertise to bringing big agency strategies to business owners and entrepreneurs to achieve next level growth. Kerri is the CEO of her 5th venture, Brandscape Atelier, a women-owned boutique agency specializing in strategic branding for small business. They develop brand strategy, identity, messaging and marketing that ignites emotional connection, increases sales, drives growth and profits, resulting in sustainability and achieving a greater impact in the world.