Forcing branding on all your marketing materials may sound intimidating. But, it should not be difficult. Follow this process to get the job done.
Step 1: Review Your Company’s Objective Statement
Your personality should reflect your values. And your prices should be readily available on your equipment statement. If your company has one (or something similar), it should provide a good start to find out how your marketing efforts can link your prices to your product.
Check your current content and messages
If you already have the content or copy you have produced, it is time to do a little research. Review your marketing assets, which may include the following (and more):
- Blog posts
- Posts on social media
- Print collateral
- Store signs
- TV locations
- Radio ads
Then, be aware of any common themes or contexts in messages and tone. Does your current voice align with your values and the purpose of the product? If not, how can it be improved?
Pay close attention to your best-performing pieces (whether these are blog posts, videos, web pages, social media posts, or other content). This may tell you a lot about what affects your audience.
Conduct an Audience Survey
If you already have an audience, create a simple survey and ask how they see your product. Enter the following questions:
- How would you describe our product?
- If our company were human, how would it feel?
- Do you find our tone appropriate?
You can easily create a survey using Survey Monkey or Polldaddy. Then, use the social media platform to share the survey with your fans, or send it to your email list.
Research Your Audience, too
An easy task to better understand your intended audience is to capture a small sample of your current best customers and research them:
Choose your five best customers available.
Search every word on Google.
Review their social network activity to understand:
Interests (e.g. are they watching jokes?
How do they write (e.g. are they legitimate?
Publications they read (e.g. are they reading sci-fi? If yes, include nerdy sci-fi punches as part of your product voice), etc.
Make a list of words that come to mind as you review each of these clients. Once you have done this process for everyone in this sample, review each list to get the same.
Exercise ‘We Are This, Not That’
Sometimes, to find out what you are, it helps to find out if you are not, and. Try to fill in the blanks in this sentence:
“We are _______, but we are not _______.”
Then, repeat the process a few times until you come up with three or four sentences that best describe your type. Here’s what it might look like when you’re done:
“We have authority, but not too much.”
“It’s funny, but we don’t ruin it.”
“We are friendly, but we are not shy.”
Create a Product Voice Chart
Next, take three to four words that best describe your product, and complete a chart like the one below, explaining how each item should and should not represent your advertising:
This is easy to do using the template included in this chapter.
List the features of your product on the left.
Enter a brief description of each feature in the next column.
Explain how to use (and do not use) this feature in the next two columns.
When done, the finished template should look like this:
Ensure Compliance With Specific Guidelines
If your team members and colleagues produce content, it is helpful to provide clear guidelines to which they can refer.
This helps to ensure that your product standards are adhered to and that every customer-facing your company makes it sound like one product (even if you have a few different people creating content and copy).