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Branding

Brand Voice is Critical to Business Growth

Why Developing a Brand Voice is Critical to Business Growth

Have you ever seen a company whose copy was just all over the place? Better question… Have you ever seen a big brand publish something that seemed entirely off-brand with the voice they used?

Probably not.

Because those companies have developed what we call a brand voice. But you don’t need to be a Fortune 1000 company to have a brand voice! You can start it now. Today.

In this blog, we’re revealing 4 reasons why developing a brand voice is critical to business growth.

What is a Brand Voice?

A brand voice a set of emotions, tones, and descriptions that describe how you want to communicate to everyone who comes into contact with your company. It’s like an external culture.

We help craft brand voices for companies in what we call a Brand Voice Guide. This guide allows for anyone to read and use to write for the brand itself.

It’s not what you say… It’s how you say it.

Why Companies Needs a Brand Voice

Often, the CEO or the founder is the face of the company – meaning their time becomes more limited as their company grows. They cannot spend the time they used to commit to writing blogs, articles, website copy, or social media posts.

There are two options here: 

  1. Wait until the CEO or founder of the company has time to write
  2. Hire someone else to write in place of the CEO or founder

The problem with option #1 is that the copy or content that needs to be written almost never gets done in a timely manner, or at all. It also sometimes creates friction within the organization because the marketing department is trying to adhere to a content schedule. The marketing department then finds themself in a catch-22 – following a schedule vs. annoying their employer (which is something that we do not suggest doing). 

Option #2 can go one of two ways. 

First, it can look sporadic, unprofessional, and messy because the ghostwriter doesn’t fully understand the voice they are mimicking. Additionally, the customer or subscriber will immediately be able to tell that it’s a different writer – losing trust and credibility. No one wants that. 

The other way option #2 can go is… 

The CEO or founder appears to be active, personal, and trustworthy to their customers without ever touching a keyboard. How can you accomplish this? By documenting your brand voice guidelines.

4 Reasons Why Developing a Brand Voice is Critical to Business Growth

Not convinced enough that you need to develop a brand voice? Here are 4 reasons why developing a brand voice is critical to business growth and your success.

#1 It Streamlines Your Editing Process

Who doesn’t need more time? Oftentimes, the most time is spent in the editing and proofreading stages of copywriting and content production. 

If we take an average blog length (1000-1500 words or 2-4 pages) with a light edit, it will take approximately 30 minutes. This of course assumes that the writer is an excellent writer and nailed down the brand voice. 

Using the same number of pages or words for a heavy edit, it will take over an hour to edit the same exact blog. 

And that’s just an average technicality.

If your blog is significantly technical, you’re going to find the editing process is a lot longer. The most common reason for this increased time is not because the writer is trying to perfect the copy. It’s mostly because they have to completely rewrite the piece because they didn’t get the brand voice across originally. 

When you create a brand voice, it streamlines your editing process by removing one less thing you want to worry about when editing. A brand voice guide decreases the number of edits or complete rewrites. 

#2 Your Customers Need to Recognize and Remember Your Voice

A consistent voice builds a recognizable voice that your customers will remember. The goal is for your customers to think of you as many times as possible. How do you accomplish that? You make it easy for your customers to remember you – even if they are just scrolling through Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. 

Examples of Memorable Brand Voices

Let’s take a couple of examples… Can you guess who they are before checking out the link? 

Brand Voice is Critical to Business Growth

“We know men have thicker skin and luxurious facial hairs to grow classy mustaches and thick beards if they so choose. We built our products uniquely for your face, the face of man.” (Hint: men’s grooming.) 

Did you guess it right? 

“A top-shelf grooming routine. Personalized for you. No two people are the same. Tell us what you like so we can pick the right products.” (Hint: they changed this industry.) 

“For a pop of color to brighten any palate, go floral. Our in-house artists hand-painted a variety of beautiful floral prints for this collection, and we think you’ll agree—they’re the perfect nod to spring. (These amazing vases start at just $14.) And for an even more lush look, layer in faux greenery or delicate dried stems.” (Hint: a girl’s favorite hangout.) 

“It’s finally happening. Buy one [burger] and get another for just $1 when you place a mobile order. This is one of those rare cases where the sequel is better than the first—because this sequel has six more strips of bacon for one dollar more. So good you’re gonna wanna see it again and again.” (Hint: we’re big fans of their social media team!)

Now, this may be a little harder to get…

“Love, for all the right reasons.” (Hint: it’s a car company.)

How’d you do? A brand voice helps your customers remember you and think of you the next time they’re looking to buy. 

#3 It Improves Customer Engagement and Conversion.

People don’t change overnight – they evolve over time. So when a prospect feels like they know your brand like the person in the cubicle next to them, their best friend, or even their family, they are more likely to engage. 

The higher engagement rate, the higher conversion rate. 

Think about the coffee giant Starbucks. When you look at its 18.4 million followers on Instagram, you see at least 110,000 likes and comments – translating to an average 0.78% engagement rate (last 3 posts as of January 5, 2020). While that rate seems low in our brains, it’s consistent with their social presence and they are engaging hundreds of thousands of people every single day – even if they don’t like or comment. 

Top of mind. 

How does social media engagement translate to conversion? 

Go run by a Starbucks sometime today. Every table is taken, the drive thru line is long, and the baristas are pushing our drinks as fast as possible. 

While Houston’s coffee scene is on fire right now, many people often go for the easy route when scheduling a coffee meeting – Starbucks. They will always know what to expect from a Starbucks. That starts with the very foundation – the brand.  

#4 More Writing Projects Can Get Done

Because your company writing process has already been streamlined because of the brand voice, your writers can work on more writing projects. Thus creating more opportunities to increase revenue. 

Additionally, the company’s founder or face doesn’t have to write everything. No one would ever know unless you revealed that yourself. 

What type of writing projects can you get done with a brand voice guide?

The possibilities are endless when you have a brand voice guide because anyone will be able to use it. 

Develop Your Brand Voice Today

If you need help developing a brand voice, learn more how you can access a Done-For-You Brand Voice Guide here. 

Building a Unique Selling Proposition

During the holiday season, we are bombarded with advertisements, sales, and deals. It can be overwhelming and just plain annoying. This year (2019), I received a staggering 238 emails about Black Friday and Cyber Monday alone. 

As a copywriter, I usually read every email to see what other companies are doing; however, this influx of emails beat me.  

All that being said, there’s a lot of noise. And you have to do something different if you want to stand out from the crowd. Cue today’s topic… You need to start building a unique selling proposition. 

First, what is a unique selling proposition?

What is a Unique Selling Proposition? 

A unique selling proposition or USP is a statement of what makes your business unique and ultimately valuable to your prospective customer or target audience. Essentially, it answers the questions… How are you better than your competition? Or Why should the customer choose you over your competition? 

This is the secret weapon that a lot of marketing strategies forget about or don’t spend enough time on. 

Think of building a unique selling proposition as laying the foundation for your entire business.

Unique Selling Proposition vs Value Proposition

Before we go any further, let’s clear up a few things when it comes to the difference between a unique selling proposition vs value proposition. 

A value proposition describes what your company is offering, to whom you are offering it to, and how it solves your customer’s problem. For example, you can use the following framework to build your value proposition.

We sell [your product or service] to [your customer] to solve [their problem]. We solve this problem by [your solution with the big differentiators].

In comparison, a unique selling proposition is a statement that explains how your product or service uniquely solves your customer’s needs. It is a specific statement that can vary slightly between landing pages, offers, and promotions. It is meant to “move the masses” because it is uniquely better than the competition. 

Although the USP isn’t necessarily “copy”, we do use it as a framework to base our copy around. 

Components of a Unique Selling Proposition

Take your target audience, figure out their big problem, explain how you solve their problem, highlight the big benefits of your solution, and finally define your promise. You’ll want to combine all of that, rework it, and turn it into an easy-to-digest proposition.

You can use the following framework to build your USP. 

Our [company / product / service] is the only one that helps [your customer] solve [their specific problem] by [unique promise or benefit].

Where To Use Your Unique Selling Proposition

Before you start building a unique selling proposition (USP), it’s important to know where and when you can use the USP. Copywriters use USPs on each advertisement, promotion, or sales letter. In short, your USP is the reason why the customer needs to buy the product or service for a very specific benefit. It helps the copywriter keep focused on that benefit as they are writing the copy. 

Although the USP isn’t necessarily “copy”, we do use it as a framework to base our copy around. As a result, you will see a lot of USPs in the headlines or at least the first few lines of copy.

Examples of Well-Executed USPs

Here are a couple examples of well-executed USPs. 

TOMS Roasting Co. 

You thought they only sold shoes! TOMS has been a long standing, philanthropic company that believes in One for One®. Their roasting company is no exception. Their USP is that in return for your coffee purchase, they provide safe water. Can you name another company that is doing that? It’s unique and admirable. 

Building a Unique Selling Proposition

Away Travel 

Away luggage creates suitcases and other travel products. This USP doesn’t directly talk about what they do in addition to creating these products – “building peace in areas of conflict around the world”. But they are unique in that they see travel as something greater.

Building a Unique Selling Proposition

ClickUp

“One app to replace them all.” It’s unique. It’s a huge selling point because if you’re anything like me, you are trying to simplify how you work – and consequently, the number of apps you use. 

Building a Unique Selling Proposition

Steps to Building a Unique Selling Proposition

Building a unique selling proposition (USP) may not be easy. It needs to be strong enough to influence a large number of people, but specific enough to be consumed in one bite. It’s the framework for an entire piece of copy. In this blog, we’ve broken down the steps to help you get started. 

1. Who Is Your Target Audience?

This is always always always our number 1 question… Who is the customer or your target audience? If you don’t know that, then you need to figure it out. 

Remember, there is no business without a customer. It’s imperative that you do not skip this step. 

For a wellness coach, it could be a college student that is experiencing new pain and wants to find a solution. 

For a corporate event planner, it could be a real estate broker that sells luxury condos and wants to woo his clients. 

Whoever it is, know who that person is. It will not be everyone, and that’s totally okay. You can scale later. 

2. What Is Their Problem? 

Now that you know who they are, it’s time to assess what their big problem is. What is the one thing that they are missing or gripe about?

For example, a real estate brokerage firm targets first time homeowners. New home buyer’s big pain points are that they have no home buying experience and fear they may invest in a bad property. That fear is crippling, so they don’t buy at the right time or at all.

3. How Does Your Product / Service Solve Their Problem? 

Next, assess how your product or service solves that problem. In the same example above, a real estate brokerage firm could have a program specifically tailored to educating first time home buyers. 

What features and benefits help you solve that problem? 

4. How Are You Unique?

The key of a USP is the unique aspect. Your competition must not offer the same benefits as you because you’re… Unique! Why are you different? How are you special? These questions are helpful when defining your uniqueness.

5. Combine Those Answers In An Easy-To-Digest Sentence

You may be thinking… How am I going to combine all of this into one sentence? You’re killing me, Lauren. Okay, I get it. I said that too when I developed my first USP. But the big reason why you need an easy-to-digest sentence is because you want anyone in your company to immediately recite it without tripping over words. 

Employees Need to Memorize the USP

You also want your customers and prospective customers to buy-in quickly and even memorize it themselves. 

Customers Need to Memorize the USP

Think about it this way… Your customer isn’t that valuable to you unless they’ve bought from you two, three, four, or more times. Right? The more they buy from you, the more valuable they are to you because your customer acquisition costs are decreasing. 

The relationship goal all companies want to reach is when your customers are advocating for you and eventually promoting your product or service. This is GOLD. Your customer, when they reach this stage, are your free promoters. PLUS their network are more likely to buy from your company because they trust that person. 

That’s why it has to be digestible and memorable.

Conclusion Building a Unique Selling Proposition

Every company has a unique selling proposition – whether they have defined it yet or not. If you need help building your unique selling proposition, we just released a 1-hour Brainstorm Session that includes an entire action plan based on our conversation. And it’s completely customizable. Take advantage of this offer here.

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