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How your company can (really) adopt your brand voice

Olivia Shelton

October 2017

If you’re reading this, you probably understand the ins and outs of your organization’s brand perfectly. The hard part (and often the reason establishing a brand voice is important in the first place) is communicating that brand to the outside world, consistently.

When developing a brand voice, establishing the guidelines is only step one. Step two – getting your organization to adopt it – is the bigger obstacle.

So, how do you begin to bring to life the brand voice that you worked so hard to define? We’ve got a couple of tips.

Phase 1: Getting the buy-in

First, know that rolling out a brand voice across an organization takes time. Set a timeline of milestones you want to reach over the coming months. That way you can check off goals as you go, rather than worry about getting everything implemented at once.

brand voice checklist

Like most new ventures, establishing your voice starts at the top. Introduce it to your leadership team, board members and department leaders from across your organization and discuss how the brand voice will show itself differently across the organization.

Ask your team these questions:
– How do we reflect the brand in our services?
– How do we interact with customers/clients in the hallway? Over the phone?
– Outside of our doors, what does it mean to represent our organization?
– What would our audience say about us if we were living the brand?
– How can each department embrace this in the day to day?
– How do we know that we’re successfully using the voice?

Phase 2: Making it stick

Once leadership is on board, it’s time to roll out to the rest of your organization. Just send out a company-wide email and you’re all set. (Wait, that’s not how it works? Fine.)

If you do send out an email, we’d recommend creating a printable cheat sheet or a one-page voice guide for your team to keep at their desks and reference when needed. A brand voice guide doesn’t only have to live in the marketing department; current and new employees can also benefit from guidelines that show them how they can represent your brand in the everyday.

Practice
The best way to make anything stick is practice. Schedule time for your team to get to know the voice, and practice applying it in different formats and situations. How will your voice affect how you write a press release? Your website homepage? Brand voice workshops help your team prepare for the shift and watch for opportunities to implement it.

brand voice

Challenge your team to test out writing in the brand voice, and make sure everyone knows that it’s a work in progress – you’re all in it together. Co-editing is a great way that the whole team can work together to refine and really own the brand voice.

Keep refining

Your brand is always evolving. You might consider holding input sessions to check in with the brand voice three months, six months, or a year in with the people who use your voice every day. Get their input and develop adjustments to the voice if needed. Your ultimate goal should be that your team can self-train on the brand voice, and if a new person walks in the door on their first day, they can understand and adopt it quickly.

Starting from square one with your brand voice? See how we can help.