by Leaha Wirth

Your brand voice, or the messaging around your brand informs both the tangible and the emotional benefits of your products to your customer. Brand voice needs to be consistent, or brands can get lost in the noise and eventually potentially die on the vine.

Death doesn’t sound that great, right? So, how do you cultivate your brand voice? It’s easier than you might think. Your brand voice is based upon core values and attributes of the brand, and these three steps offer a quick and easy process by which you can narrow the benefits and the words that describe your brand to your customer in a concise package.

1. Attributes: What does the service or product have?

I recently worked on a hunting brand that had some attributes that were obvious to its identity. The product was strong, dependable, and trustworthy. Its’ design was original and ingenious. The product was made in America with hands that were very proud to be American and a core of employees that owned and believed that they had something special. It was very easy to summarize the brand attributes.

· Strength

· Trustworthiness

· Original Design/Ingenuity

· American Industrial Quality

2. Functional Benefits: What do those attributes give your customer?

Functional Benefits are the result of the attributes of the brand. They are the words that you would be using in your brand messaging directly related to your offering. So, in the case of my related hunting brand, we recognized that the attributes offered the following to sportsmen from a first-person perspective:

· Dependability in the field

· The ability to keep my mind off of ineffective equipment so I can focus on task

· An opportunity to support something that I believe in

3. Emotional Benefits: Finally, what emotionally does your customer experience because of the attributes of your brand?

This is important, because if you don’t understand what motivates your consumer emotionally to use your product, you could miss the mark.  In this particular market, some of it is rather elementary…i.e., strength and trustworthiness of a product will lead a sportsman to confidence and a lack of worry. The trustworthiness or original design attributes could leave them feeling that since your brand is experienced, they are more experienced. The quality and or design attributes can offer enough confidence to potentially leave the consumer feeling predatory or strong like your product.  Lastly that American Industrial Quality may leave them feeling proud of supporting their country.  Sportsmen are predominantly conservative, and typically tout American-made. Note that this attribute alone is worthless without innovation.  That would go for any brand…so don’t hang your benefits only upon one attribute.

Finally, build ALL YOUR MESSAGING around the attributes, which give both tangible and emotional benefits to your customer. DO NOT DEVIATE FROM THAT MESSAGING…and your brand will have a clear and defining voice.