The Faculty. The Talented Mr. Ripley. Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Three GREAT movies, one common theme…assuming another’s personality. That’s kind of what it’s like when you’re tasked with creating a brand voice.
Creating a brand voice is a huge endeavor and a great challenge in the world of advertising (and writing) in general. I mean, think about it. We all have our own voice, style, and tone. We all talk and carry ourselves in a certain way. Some of us are very chillaxed and loosey-goosey. We’re conversational and talk to others like we’re BFFs that go way back. While some of us prefer to elevate our status using a more sophisticated, refined vernacular, and speak as though we’re addressing a worldly panel of scholars, verbalizing in such a way as to resonate with those who share a passion for proficiency and high-level industry prowess.
But no matter who you are or how you speak, when it comes to creating a brand voice, you need to let it all go and be willing to become someone/something you’re not. It’s by no means an easy task (believe you me) but one that needs to be done to be successful in your endeavor.
So, what’s the best way to accomplish this feat? Well, the answer is pretty subjective and varies from person to person. But my advice to you…Be the Tom Ripley/Dickie Greenleaf by:
1. Understanding the industry – Research the competition, listen to the chatter, play a PI and dig deep to get a grasp on the ins and outs of the industry.
2. Immersing yourself in the brand – Eat it, dream it, sleep it, LIVE it!
3. Familiarizing yourself with its culture and followers – Observe how its people interact, find out their likes and dislikes, get involved in their conversations, etc.
4. Paying attention - Study, take notes, and try to take in everything you possibly can.
5. Analyzing your findings – What are common sentiments/feelings toward the brand?
6. Not losing sight of the brand mission – You can’t be everything to everyone, and you can’t please everyone. Stay focused on what the brand is trying to accomplish.
7. Becoming the brand doppelgänger - Take a deep breath, step out of your skin, and shed your proverbial vocal chords.
In a not-so-creepy, but more-so-creative way, think of yourself as an entity like Captain Howdy (or Pazuzu, to all you movie buffs out there) that possesses and speaks through the brand to ultimately enchant, captivate, and engage with its target audience(s).