In this case, how you say it is just as important as what you’re saying. How can that be possible you ask? If you’re planning to entwine your audience in your brand, you’ve got to speak their language and understand their expectations. I’ll demonstrate by comparing two different brands selling similar products and discuss how the way they address their consumer is appropriate for their audience.
Athletic Wear – Compared
Lululemon is an athletic brand that defines their target customer as “A sophisticated and educated woman who understands the importance of an active, healthy lifestyle. She is increasingly tasked with the dual responsibilities of career and family and is constantly challenged to balance her work, life and health…she pursues exercise to achieve physical fitness and inner peace.” Read their brand manifesto here and you’ll see there’s femininity to the brand, a peaceful acceptance that comes from the practice of yoga, and a nurturing side that encourages their audience to take new risks. Their brand voice and tone is spot on for their target audience, and it’s catered to and reflective of their target consumer. They carry this through their blog and their social media postings.
Compare the Lululemon brand to Under Armour. Both brands sell athletic wear. Under Armour targets a very different customer, and accordingly uses a very different brand voice. Just like Lululemon, there’s a stirring, motivational message in the Under Armour brand. However, if you watch any of the ‘I Will’ global campaign and you’ll get a sense of the difference. There’s a competitive thread in their message, a ragged edge that’s less about acceptance and more about performance. Their brand voice says “work harder, push further, win more.” The first Under Armour slogan was “We Must Protect This House,” and one of their mottos is ‘Stay Hungry. Be Humble.’
Why Brand Voice Matters
When you set out to speak in the voice of your brand, look to your target customer and understand first how they speak, think, and what they expect from you. Pick up on the voice they want to hear, and let that color the way you write, speak, and the content you create. Using the wrong brand voice or speaking from a place that’s not authentic is the fastest way to lose your audience. Authenticity is one of the fastest ways to draw them in.
I’m not the only one who think this way, an article by Lisa Arthur on Authentic Content advises readers that “today’s savvy buyers crave authenticity.” So, you’d better figure out the language of your customer, and start speaking it today so you can engage with them.
Understanding your brand voice and using it consistently is the fastest way to growing a loyal fan base.