How to Build an Authentic Brand With a Remarkable Voice

The difference between success and failure could well depend on how well you tailor your message to the right people.

Businesses today have more ways than ever to connect with their customers. Traditional methods like radio and television are still effective, but now, they can reach out to potential customers in their own homes through channels including social media, email, video and SMS messaging.

And if you can do all these things, so can your competition. That makes standing out amid a sea of competition a little tough and stellar customer service a must.

Building a strong, distinct brand image–and a voice to go with it–is more important today than ever. At the same time, your brand is more vulnerable.

Finding the right tone

The difference between success and failure could well depend on how well you tailor your message to the right people. Almost every product has an identifiable primary target market, and those are the people you really need to focus on.

Whether we realize it or not, we tend to place more trust in people who are similar to us in some way. This extends to how we engage with marketing and on social media–we’re more likely to feel positively about a company talking our own language, run by people like us.

Consider the characteristics of those most likely to buy your product–the way they speak, the things they like–and try to fit that into the way you communicate. Millennials, for example, might prefer a youthful, conversational style, while older generations may appreciate a more formal, informative tone.

And don’t hesitate to check out how other companies in your industry are doing things. Competitor research is a perfectly valid business practice.

Keeping the circle small

Once you’ve defined your voice, you need to consider who’ll be doing the speaking. Will it be you, one of your employees, a dedicated social media and marketing manager, a hired freelancer, or whoever happens to be logged in?

The smaller the scale, the tighter the circle should be.

Big businesses have no choice but to employ a whole team to deal with social media; they receive so many tweets, comments, complaints or other interactions that it’s too much for one person to cope with. Too often, the resulting experience for the customer is impersonal, with real relationships difficult to establish.

Smaller companies have an opportunity to seize an advantage here by letting one person–or if necessary, a very small team–deal with everything.

An individual can more easily develop a consistent, easily relatable style in all of their communications. Furthermore, because they’re doing it all the time, they’ll get to know those interacting with them as people and have a better shot at enticing influencers and brand evangelists.

Choose the right person for the job

Making the right choice can define whether your social media and marketing presence is a success. It’s incredibly difficult to pretend to be youthful, serious, funny, cool or whatever else you’re trying to be. Marketers talk about authenticity and rarely define it. Authenticity is being exactly who you want your customers to think you are.

In the fast-paced world of social media, a business wanting to develop a very specific type of voice is better off giving the responsibility only to individuals who naturally interact in that way.

For example, if you’re aiming for an irreverent, playful, youthful style–like Innocent drinks–don’t ask your oldest, most serious employee to do it.

Similarly, if you’re aiming to have a more serious, information-centric social media presence, avoid giving the job to the workplace clown who can’t resist turning everything into a joke.