Category: Communications

4 Elements To Define your Brand Voice

Everyone has a brand! The impressions, we leave behind, are combinations of how we have reflected our traits and presented ourselves. Done properly, it serves as a compass for personal development, establishes credibility and is instrumental to our success. Personal branding starts with the ability to outline your skills, intellect, strengths and style. It gives you a clear focus using your best elements and what sets you apart. Once defined, you will be able to shape your brand voice.

The very first step is to pen down:

  • Who you are! You can use simple terms to define your attributes, such as:

    cheerful, confident, culturally curious, witty,….  

  • What is your mission another word your brand promise? An example would be:

    “I have a positive outlook, I bring passion and creativity to my work and I am in my element when I help others,…

  • Define guidelines by thinking of what is your brand and what is not:

    Bohemian not conventional; lighthearted not poker-faced; compassionate not indifferent,..

  • Write 5 words that best describes your core values & guiding principles. The important qualities that you live by and they create value and connection. Such as:

    Aspirational, spirited, caring, loyal, honest,…

The exercise gives you a solid foundation to create a coherent brand voice that holds together all your efforts and communication through any medium, to establish your brand.

Now, bringing the brand voice to life has a clear path. Your social media engagements, your style, your interactions are all guided by a set of references that articulates your personality.

 

 

Featured image: artwork by Metis Atash – Crystal Buddas Sculptures

How to foster advocates and loyalists?

Generally, people are more inclined to engage with brands that are truly invested to improve social issues. They establish a meaningful connection when the brand’s voice provokes a conversation, signals ethical standards or involves their audience into cause activism. According to the 2017 Edelman Earned Brand Study: ” fifty-seven percent of consumers around the world will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue”. This means that a brand can prompt haters or possibly  harness advocates by manifesting a point of view, taking a political stand or starting a dialogue.

For that reason, tapping into the subconscious of belief-driven audience, fosters loyalists.  On that account, how to connect in a meaningful way?  By creating:

  • Personal and relatable contents
  • Provoking a conversation
  • Activating sustainable solutions
  • Engaging your audience to shape the social movement

Remarkably, each and every referenced approach that offers “empathy”, will be rewarded by consumers.

“People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Be mindful and remember that Homo Sapiens appreciate being understood. For that matter, recognize the hurt, the desire, the need or the joy. Get to know your audience, send the message that “you get them” and initiate a memorable bonding. Your platform as an individual, profit or non-profit entity is not solely about growing your brand but how to make a difference.

Consider the shaping elements of a good storytelling as a starting point:

  • What: is the topic, what has happened or will happen: be clear, focused and unveil the matter. Be attentive, the spotlight should be on the issue not on your brand but your shared values.
  • Who: has been affected
  • Why: are you taking a stand: acknowledge the importance of the topic and the impact. Avoid mixed messages. Ask open ended questions.
  • How: can you as a brand and belief-driven audience feed the beast, get involved and have an impact. How to convey your message: contextually or visually based?
  • When: the development speed of a news, an issue or a talking point is critical in your communication
  • Where: does your audience absorb information?

The underlying emotion of empathy rooted in your brand’s voice and taking a position in life, strengthens your authority.  Individuals with great personal branding such as Tony Robbins interact with their audience with stirring personal stories and the ability to understand their feelings. Brands such as Procter & Gamble, UNICEF tackling social issues or J. Crew blog post “How to get (and dress for) the job you want” are all about making life better for others.

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Procter & Gamble’s thought provoking ad called “The Talk”, acknowledges biases and the challenges that black community experience as parents.

Or “thank you Mom, Winter Olympics 2018” video:

Unicef’s campaign, “It’s on all of us to stand up and speak out to #ENDviolence against children. Recognize it. Report it”, deeply disturbs and propels you to act upon.

How To Create Your Personal Brand Statement

Your commitment to your natural talents, your learnt skills and your intentions creates your personal branding statement. Specifically, you are responsible to align your intentions and your strengths to communicate your brand. Your approach to craft a statement should not be to classify, state a job description or a goal, but what makes you memorable, solid and competent.

“In my opinion, a good personal brand shouldn’t be the goal; it should be a side-effect of having good goals and acting consistently.” Tim Ferriss

Your personal brand statement shouldn’t be more than two sentences. Start with your personal & professional attributes, make a list and then choose the ones that people recognize you for and more importantly you are able to consistently deliver to the standard of expectations.

Once you narrowed down your list, choose the ones that make you different, bring value to others and solve problems.  Ask yourself questions like:

  • In what way I am different from others?
  • How my perspective in life brings about improvement?
  • How do I perform differently compared to others?
  • Why am I interesting to others?
  • What experience people feel when they meet me or work with me?
  • How can I help others?
  • What kind of activity engages me for a long time?
  • Why people come to me for help?
  • What makes me stay focused on a task?
  • How do people introduce me?

Recognizing your unique value proposition, allows you to echo your promise. This commitment is your “unique selling proposition”. By leveraging your experiences, your values, your trainings and skills, you give a different colour to your brand. For the most part, your point of difference is your unique selling proposition. Therefore, developing a a concise and clear narrative about your distinct reputation helps your stand out.

To help you get started, here are few examples of personal brand statements of influencers , retrieved from  twitter bios or other sources:

Richard Branson : “Tie-loathing adventurer, philanthropist & troublemaker, who believes in turning ideas into reality. Otherwise known as Dr Yes at !”

Michelle Obama: “Girl from the South Side and former First Lady. Wife, mother, dog lover. Always hugger-in-chief.”

Oprah Winfrey: “To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.”

Chiara Ferragni: “Love fiercely (and don’t forget to stop along the way to take photos).”

 

 

 

 

 

3 Key Elements Of Brand Storytelling

Why do you need a brand story:

Personal or corporate brand storytelling is about being remembered, motivating favourable action, engaging investors or changing perceptions. Simply, communicating your vision through a story allows your audience to be inspired, gain clarity and act with focus. For instance, in an investor relations meeting, by adapting your strategy to a story, you get rid of the complexity of the data which investors can surely find from other sources or lose focus during a presentation. The same applies in personal branding. Your audience will be motivated to engage and support your goal merely because you have made an impression and they will remember you.  In whatever capacity, your brand story should remove inconsistency and unreliability.

How to improve your brand storytelling:

To get you started, pay attention to the 3 critical elements to create an effective story.

Message/story: Be wary of the decisive factors in particular the order of your narrative, predisposed outlook of your audience, the appeal and whether the account is clear vs suggested. Recognize the emotions of your audience so that you can organize the flow of your story. For instance in an hostile environment, an impartial approach by giving both sides of the issue encourages active listening. Or, if your goal is to change opinion, painting a rosy & speculative picture is boring and slanted. Yet, introducing antagonists specially dark emotions such as fear to more promising sentiments such as hope and compassion gets people behind you.

You: Your audience will start processing your message in view of the fact that you are knowledgeable, trustworthy,  likable such as being a good listener or having a good sense of humour, your poise & neat appearance. Observance of these elements kindles change of perception. Be an expert, know your facts and avoid sluggish tempo when you talk.

Audience: Learn about their primary stance, explore whether they are motivated to accept, their intellectual capacity, their disposition and how much they feel confident about their capabilities. Providing that you are aiming to start an acceptance process and  bring about action. People are more inclined to persuasion when the message is clear and intelligibly simple.

In order to stand out from the crowd, form an identity that helps your audience see your differentiation & your accurate point of view. For the most part, zoom in on the future, be clear as what lies ahead and describe your vision. Just like in stock market, people invest in future rather than in the past.

Five tips: For an Effective Awareness Campaign

How to run an effective awareness campaign? Regardless of the industry, your message whether rewarding or penalizing is to motivate your audience. The overarching goal of your communication strategy from achieving a social mission to other end of the spectrum increasing investor’s wealth, depends on your narrative.

From Prehistoric caveman to present day, we all have the need to connect, entertain or educate through storytelling. True, the means to disseminate stories have evolved and we have many options to connect with our audience, thanks to technology advances. However, the important element of your story is to bind your vision to the expectations, emotions or aspirations of your listeners.

Here are 5 tactics to incorporate in your storytelling initiatives:

  • Clearly define the problem, the resolution and recognize the style suitable to unify the audience’s mind.  Whether you are gushing hope or change, meaningful and authoritative communication will mobilize support.
  • Convey your story in a non-linear way to prevent passive consumption. By creating  a coordinated multi-media narratives, you nudge your audience to enthusiastically share. Tying up your content across multiple platforms, reinforces your message and the story takes a life of it’s own.
  • Repetition is effective due to the fact that it sways attitudes and fuels engagement. Delivering key messages in different context and multiple times, granted, will be received, will become familiar and gain traction.
  • Show people the roadmap or specify a timeline whether to prompt a one time action or spur a change in sentiment/preference.
  • Create a conceivable image and allow the audience to experience and exceed their expectations instead of introducing an Utopia leading to disappointment.
  • The manner you communicate your story is of the utmost importance. Creating a powerful narrative by producing a video, use of imagery combined with music amplifies key messages, persuades and makes it memorable to your consumers.