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Is Your Brand Voice Loud Enough?

Don’t assume potential customers can clearly hear your message.

Erica LaCentra headshot
Insider
Erica LaCentra
A young woman yells into a megaphone.

Beyond the standard facets of a company’s brand like color schemes, design elements, and general aesthetics, a brand voice is a critical component that businesses should be utilizing to allow them to stand out from competitors. All too often though, a brand voice tends to be overlooked or not pushed to the fullest extent because it is a portion of marketing that is not as well understood. In the mortgage industry, many companies are so concerned with usage of industry terminology and how they phrase their marketing, that there is no distinguishing voice that sets their marketing apart. Especially with the increasing importance of social media as a part of a successful marketing mix, a strong brand voice is something that every company should be working on as part of their ongoing branding efforts. So what can a company do to develop and strengthen their brand voice, and more importantly, why does it even matter?

Finding Your Voice

Just like any person has a distinct way of speaking, brands typically do too. Think of when you are networking with folks at any event. What often makes certain people stand out in a setting where you are conversing with dozens, if not hundreds of people at a time, is the way they speak. It is the distinct way they converse with you, the flow of their words, their choice of language, their personality and most importantly the way they tell their story or how they express the thought or idea they are trying to get across to you. That is what makes a distinct and memorable impression on you. That is how you should think of your brand voice.

A brand voice is the distinct personality that a company conveys in all of their communication. That could be in marketing materials, in advertisements, in email communications, the skies the limit. The easiest way to think of developing a brand voice for your company is, if your brand was a person, how would that person speak? What personality traits would they have? What type of language would they use in typical conversation and what phrases would they use? 

Once you have determined those aspects of your brand voice, it’s important to apply them everywhere your brand is communicating. And believe it or not, yes, this not only applies to external communication with customers but also to internal communications with employees as well. While it may seem “cult-ish” it helps to reinforce branding and the personality of the company as a whole, and it builds brand loyalty not only with your customers but also with the people that make your company what it is, your employees, by making the company seem more humanized. 

Who’s Even Listening?

So now that we’ve established what a brand voice is and a basic understanding of how to develop one, why does it even matter? Why not just develop marketing based on what you think people will care about day to day? Because plain and simple, consistency is key and people like to go back to a brand they feel they know and they can trust. Especially in the mortgage space, more and more lenders, mortgage brokers, and service providers seem to be popping up on a daily basis. There is an influx of marketing from companies that seem to be offering the same rates, the same terms, the same services, with no real distinctions. This is where branding and brand voice comes in. 

Having a consistent presence both in your branding and brand voice can create a sense of authority, transparency, and stability that newer players in the space just don't have. Also if what you are putting out there is random or inconsistent, it may often not appeal to your audience on a regular basis and customers may tune out, or not realize its even your company in the first place. It’s important to set your brand and your brand voice to remain recognizable and trusted by your customers. Otherwise, you’re more likely to get lost in the noise. 

Set The Tone

It is abundantly clear that having a strong brand voice is important so whether you are just getting started or an established company, here are the top two things you should do now to make sure your brand voice is as strong as it possibly can be. First, identify your audience and develop the right persona to mesh with them. Make sure the customers you are trying to reach are going to connect with and listen to your brand when it is “speaking” to them. If you have younger customers, older phrasing or verbiage will likely alienate your audience, just as younger slang would turn off an older audience. Make sure the brand voice is authentic and addresses your core demographic in an appropriate way.

Secondly, develop a document outlining the brand voice “persona” with writing samples so that your marketing team understands what the brand voice of the company is and can be authentic to that initial vision. If you have numerous people across your organization handling different marketing channels, this is where inconsistencies can occur. Make sure the team is on the same page when it comes to branding and brand voice. If you already have current marketing, this is a great time to evaluate what you already are sending out to customers across multiple channels to see if, one, the language and phrasing you are using would resonate with your customers, and two, if your voice is consistent across all platforms.

Get Loud

Finding your brand voice is not an easy effort, much like developing your company’s brand but it is important to your business’s overall success. Just like a brand, remember to regularly review your brand voice and look for ways to refine and improve it. Over time it may need updates or even a major overhaul depending on where your company goes. Make sure to allow it to evolve and grow with your company, but most of all, make sure to use it. 

Close more loans, be more efficient, stay out of trouble.

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This article was originally published in the NMP Magazine January 2022 issue.
Erica LaCentra headshot
Erica LaCentra

Erica LaCentra is Chief Marketing Officer for RCN Capital.

Published on
Jan 03, 2022
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