Finding your brand’s voice is as important as setting your site’s design. Customers respond to authenticity and consistency; without these, your brand will struggle to succeed in the crowded ecommerce landscape. While it is easiest to craft brand tone when first launching an ecommerce site, it is worthwhile to periodically review and clarify tone guidelines as your company evolves. If you haven’t generated a brand tone guide, now is the time to create one. Creating a brand persona is an invaluable tool for developing your brand voice and also determining how to best reach target customers.
Once formulated, a brand persona will:
- set a tone for social media posts
- assist in goal setting
- help engender familiarity and trust
- provide customer service with a framework for consistent, quality support
Building a Brand Persona
Identify a brand speaking voice
Identifying a speaking voice is an essential first step in creating a brand persona. Is your brand speaking voice funny, serious, cheeky, informative? Select phrases your brand voice would say – and phrases it would never say – and come up with sample scenarios and responses to help illustrate what your brand voice sounds like. Compare the voice you are cultivating with your competitors. How does your brand speaking voice stand apart?
Consider the choices your brand makes
This exercise is an important extension of developing a speaking voice. Pose a series of questions and answer them as your brand would. Choices we make shape our voice and personality; they can help shape your brand persona as well. Would your brand choose coffee or tea? Lease or own? Take a beach vacation or go on hiking trip? Live in the heart of the city or opt for space in the country? These choices will help you determine what ‘authenticity’ means for your brand and help you build campaigns that appeal to your target customers.
Tell your brand story from the perspective of your brand persona
Every brand has an origin story. Sharing that story helps build a relationship with your customers and position yourself in relation to competition and like-minded brands. Telling that story in the brand speaking voice you have identified will help solidify that voice. It also provides a useful opportunity to foster brand engagement across your company; have various members of your marketing and content teams work on drafts, then blend and polish them to illustrate the vocal strengths each draft identified.
Putting Brand Persona Into Action
Once your brand voice and persona are fully developed, you can put them to use for content creation and customer relations. They can guide social media content creation – both language and visuals to go along with them. With a robust persona, you can quickly and easily identify the kinds of content your brand should share across social media channels.
Additionally, thorough guidelines make it easy for diverse teams across your company to produce content with a coherent vision. There is no need to review copy unnecessarily to ensure email campaigns use the same brand tone as Facebook posts, which in turn match the tone of product descriptions. A comprehensive brand persona guide, akin well-developed style guide, ensures consistency effectively and efficiently.
Brand persona can also help you set and meet goals. Primarily – how do you want your company to be perceived? How do you want customers to interact with your company? How do you want to engage them? What kind of reaction – emotional, intellectual, otherwise – do you want to elicit? A developed brand persona will make it easier to tackle and answer these questions in ways unique to your company. It will also make it easier to generate visual content to engage customers effectively.
Engaging Customers with Brand Persona
Beyond content marketing, a brand tone can make customer service more effective. If your service representatives understand your brand persona and tone, it can guide them in customer interactions. If your company tone embraces levity, this can be useful when providing chat support or customer service via social media. Studies show that people are often more inclined to remember how something is said than what precisely is said, how an encounter made them feel rather than what the eventual outcome may have been.
When executed appropriately, having your brand persona extend into customer service will set you apart from competition. For this to work effectively, however, your customer service team must fully understand your brand persona and nuance found in the brand voice. Levity in brand voice should not be an excuse to blow off customer concerns.
Whether just starting out in ecommerce, or burnishing the voice of an established brand, taking the time to identify a brand voice and develop a comprehensive brand persona will be worthwhile. It will make content creation more consistent and more effective with target customers. It will allow you to provide a consistent experience for customers across many channels – from social media to product descriptions to customer service. A well-articulated brand persona is invaluable and buy-in across company departments will ensure it makes you stand out from the competition.