by Melissa Woodson
A consistently branded voice is important for any small business. It can increase your credibility, build trust, attract customers and give you an edge over the competition.
The voice of your brand is the message you convey by all the identifiers that make your business unique: your company name, the design of your logo, the look of your website and, of course, your customer service.
When you use these identifiers to increase public awareness about your business, you're taking full advantage of the voice of your brand.
Here are 7 tips for creating a voice for your brand that will send compelling messages about your business:
1. Know your target market.
Go back to basics to create an effective brand. Identify your target market and make sure you understand the types of messages that will resonate with your target customers.
2. Know who you are.
When you understand the image and values that you want your business to represent, you can create a much more effective brand. Spend some time thinking about what sets your business apart from the competition. Were you the first to offer a certain service in your area? Have you come up with a new way of doing things? Create a concise description of what makes your business unique and integrate it into your branding.
3. Come up with a good logo.
Your business logo can speak volumes about your degree of professionalism. Unless you have artistic talents, paying a graphic artist to design a logo is well worth the investment. You may want to commission a few draft designs, then put together a small focus group to help decide which is most effective.
4. Create compelling tag lines.
Distill your mission statement into catchy easy-to-remember tag lines that customers can associate with your brand. Use famous tag lines like Nike's "Just Do It" or American Express's "Don't Leave Home Without It" as inspiration.
5. Don’t cut corners on customer service.
Make sure that every person you employ understands your brand and is committed to building it. Thanks to a multitude of online review sites, unhappy customers can share their complaints with the whole world, so every customer should be treated as your most important customer. Replace employees who aren't on board with people who know how to deliver outstanding service every time.
6. Have an online presence.
Businesses of all sizes use the Internet to increase customer awareness. Even if your business is strictly local, a website can attract new customers and build loyal repeat customers. The trick to it is to do more than advertise on your website. Publish content that provides value to the customer, such as informative articles or helpful tips related to your field. If you're confident online, branch out and use social media to promote your brand.
7. Make your voice consistent.
Use the same colors, fonts, logos and messages in all your advertising. Make sure that it conveys the personality of your business brand. This doesn't mean you have to be boring. If you don't think something is quite right about your brand, don't be afraid to change it up and try something new.
Melissa Woodson is the community manager for @WashULaw, a Master of Laws offered through Washington University in St. Louis that is considered a premier LLM in US Law. In her spare time, she enjoys running, cooking, and blogging at her personal blog.
Twitter: @HungryHealthyMJ | Website: HungryHealthyMJ.com