This topic is one that has always fascinated me and is, in fact, one of the things that drew me to marketing in the first place. One of the key factors in the branding process is determining a brand’s voice or personality. Essentially, this is the tone that your brand takes when it communicates with your target audience. While a brand’s overall persona has always been an important part in the marketing process a brand’s voice is becoming more integral than ever before. The main reason behind this is social media.
One of the best things about social media is that it allows consumers to carry on two-way conversations with brands. With the adoption of social media by many companies marketers faced with a whole new set of branding questions, like “how does this brand respond to criticism?” or “is this brand serious or funny?”. Suddenly, social media marketers have to create complex personalities for companies and this is no easy task. You can often look to a brand’s advertising or website for clues to its personality. By looking at the tone this brand has taken when communicating with customers in the past you can sometimes infer how it would participate in a conversation.
Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to just treat the brand as a person and work from there. If you’re lucky a brand’s personality will be similar to your own or to the person who is crafting the social media messaging. In a recent Mashable article it was revealed how some top fashion companies communicate with consumers. One of the most interesting examples that was shown was DKNY. In this case, the brand persona “DKNY PR Girl” was created to speak for the company. Over time, however, this person who was crafted solely for the purpose of engaging with consumers took on a different personality; that of Donna Karan International’s SVP of global communications. Since she was already conducting the brand’s social media activities she began inserting her own opinions and voice into the company’s communications until she became the voice of DKNY.
Most brands don’t have it this easy and have to have many conversations regarding their brand’s voice. Often these conversations can be fun since you are considering your brand in a way that you have never had to before. By building a stronger brand voice you will, inevitably, be creating a stronger relationship with your social media audience.