My website doesn't convey what we are. We need to improve our brand communication. Are you familiar with any of these phrases? It’s the initial symptom that we notice in many of the cases that come to our team and, more than a new website or a communication plan, it requires a step back to understand what is the essence and what are the strengths that will make these businesses last. At Soluble, we approach each case individually, but the most common project is usually a rebranding.
When you read the word "rebranding", you generally think of the logo, typography, colors, photographic style... And yes, the process includes assessing and updating the visual components. What about the voice, though? In the strategic thinking of rebranding, the brand’s verbal identity has a lot to say.
In branding, as in life
In our social, romantic, and professional lives, it's obvious that it's not just what we say that matters, but also how we say it. When we work on a brand's verbal identity at Soluble, we take it a step further: tell me who you are, and I'll tell you how you talk. A brand that wants to connect in order to last must engage with its audiences. What that voice sounds like is an important strategic decision for its positioning.
The brand voice is defined by the verbal identity, which is the tool that will help us in applying it effectively, clearly, and sustainably across all touchpoints. Its impact goes well beyond the copy of a given advertising campaign. It implies establishing an effective way of communicating with one another, something that shapes the experience we create as a brand.
Better communication, deeper connection
To know verbal identity is to love it. This tool manages to bring a lot of joy to brand management. Some of its superpowers -or perks- are as follows:
- Coherence. No matter who’s speaking or writing, it’ll be in the brand's unique, authentic, and recognizable tone of voice.
- Consistency. The team and collaborators will have the same tool and codes to communicate.
- Agility. Thanks to the guidelines, resources, and actual examples, we can create content more rapidly and safely.
- Strategy. Facilitate the conversation with the community and potential consumers, ensuring that all communications are aligned with the strategy and avoiding misunderstanding.
- Recognition. It enables identification at non-visual points of contact such as podcasts and phone messages.
- Synergy. However, when it coexists with other parts of the brand’s identity, everything fits together, amplifying the brand experience.
Tuning up the voice
So, where do we start? First, we must (re)define the brand’s tone of voice. As usual, the solution may be found at the heart of your strategy. As previously stated, the brand, just like a person, expresses its identity through its voice. As a result, we’ll adopt a distinct tone of voice based on the personality, purpose, and goals of the brand and the business.
The second stage is to consider what we’re looking for when we communicate. Defining the core goal in our brand's communications is critical, and it’ll influence all verbal branding decisions. Do we communicate in order to inspire? To make the difficult simple and the tedious entertaining? To make the unseen visible? No two verbal identities will be the same if we stay true to the essence of each brand.
With tone and intention setting the direction, we’ll define some guidelines to homogenize, simply and practically, the voice of our brand. Some of these verbal identity guidelines are basic yet crucial. For example, defining who is speaking: is it the brand (third-person)? Is it the team (first person plural)? Others, however, require a deep strategic reflection linked to the service or product we provide to customers. Depending on the type of resources and language we choose for our verbal identity, we’ll create a brand experience that is unique, authentic, and true to its essence.
And, of course, we generate a set of elements and resources to help us stand out and creatively drive the personality and purpose of our brand.
We didn’t overlook Artificial Intelligence
A good set of tools will help to ensure the consistency of the brand strategy. It’ll also be beneficial to those who handle the brand's communication and interact with the public and potential consumers. People, or Artificial Intelligence. Because, if we opt to employ AI to aid us in content development or have a chatbot as a virtual assistant, verbal identity becomes more crucial than ever to nurture and capitalize on its potential without compromising the brand voice.
In any case, no matter what intelligence is behind it, once the rebranding is complete, our website will not only describe what we do, but it’ll also reveal who we are in every word. And not just the website, but also social media, presentations, emails…
In short, a verbal identity is essential for ensuring consistent and recognized communication, which enables us to interact and develop relationships with the audience, to be remembered and to last. And all of this is attainable by giving our brand's words and voice extra strategy - and care.
Nothing happens at Soluble due to the efforts of just one person. This article would not have been possible without the participation of: Carmen Fraga in writing and translation; Marta Factor in edition; Andrea Martínez in translation assistance; Anna Bohigas in visual design.