Often times, brands and businesses focus on every other aspect of their brands like the visual identity and brand strategy but ignore the very important aspect that makes people actually understand what they are in for which is the ‘brand verbal identity’.
So let’s discuss
What is brand verbal identity?
It is simply the articulation of your brand through the use of distinct and focused language, expressed through words.
This aspect of your brand is very important because it is imperative that you are able to articulate in words the qualities and benefits of your brand, in a manner that compels people to take the desired action, e.g. buy!
Your verbal identity is an internal-facing document that fits into your brand guide which also includes your visual identity and brand strategy. It is important to keep them both in the same final document. This way, everyone can see your brand identity as a holistic whole.
Why do you need it?
A great verbal identity makes it easier to understand your brand. A poor verbal identity can create confusion and will make people lose interest in your services or products.
A clear verbal identity ensures every brand touchpoint feels consistent. It creates a consistent personality and voice of the brand across all communication channels.
Here are five tips for creating a successful brand verbal identity:
1. Be very clear with the vague definitions in your introduction
It is important to include your definitions at the start of your verbal identity document. Make sure it is very clear and concise and easy to remember across all touchpoints. Helpful tip! Learn from the companies and brands around you. Take a look at how they define and break down their verbal identities.
2. List out the main features of your brand personality (brand voice)
Your brand personality is also called brand voice; it is who you are 100 percent of the time. This part of your verbal identity digs deeper into how your brand expresses this personality every day.
List out each trait as a short header, and then write a short paragraph about why that trait represents your brand.
3. Set up the standards for the tone of voice
Make sure to define the boundaries of tone and challenge yourself to always empathize with your audience.
How do you want to relate to your audience?
How do you express your brand emotion?
What tone should you use with each platform of communication?
How do you talk about your services?
How do you talk about your industry?
How do you talk about your competition?
Do you have a proprietary language about your process?
4. Create your own rules of grammatical style
This is very imperative as it sets a standard for how you communicate. Create rules and guidelines for how your content and copy is created, so that whoever is writing for you, there is a maintained consistency.
Decide on how you use abbreviations and acronyms, active voice and passive voice, contractions, emojis, numbers (letters or digits), dates (how will write your date?)
5. Write the personality and tone of voice checklist for your copywriters and marketers
Because consistency is somehow difficult to maintain, it is imperative to give your copywriters and marketers a short checklist that will checkmate their adherence to the brand’s personality/tone of voice before the copy is sent in for approval.
Is it easy to understand?
Are the sentences short and active?
Is it jargon-free?
In conclusion, never forget that building a brand is a big job that requires interaction with people on daily basis. The more consistent you are with your brand’s verbal identity, the better your audience can connect.