Find Your Brand Voice: Personality for Business Success | Andrea Goulet | Skillshare

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Find Your Brand Voice: Personality for Business Success

teacher avatar Andrea Goulet, Co-Founder & CEO, Corgibytes

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

19 Lessons (1h 37m)
    • 1. Welcome to Class!

      Find Your Brand Voice - Resource Guide.pdf
    • 2. What is a brand voice?

    • 3. Borg vs. Borzoi Brands

    • 4. Find Your Brand Voice Sweet Spot

    • 5. Foundational Content: Organization

    • 6. Foundational Content: Audience

    • 7. Foundational Content: Products/Services

    • 8. Facilitating a Group Discussion

    • 9. Complete Your Brand Character Profile

    • 10. Character Traits

    • 11. Writing Techniques

    • 12. Understanding Tone Changes

    • 13. Tone Wheel

      tonewheel blank.png
      tonewheel nonprofit.png
      tonewheel product.png
      tonewheel service.png
    • 14. Write Example Tone Copy

    • 15. Understand the Purpose of a Style Guide

    • 16. Completing Your Style Guide

    • 17. Creating Copies of Your Style Guide

    • 18. Training Your Team

    • 19. Conduct Brand Audits

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About This Class

Looking to create a brand that stands out in today's noisy market? You've come to the right place. In this hands-on course, Andrea Goulet Ford will walk you through the same process she's used to engineer the personalities of some of the world's largest brands. Through the videos and a detailed 53-page ebook, you'll create a comprehensive Brand Voice Style Guide for your organization. Here's a peek at what you'll learn:

Brand Voice Benefits

In this section, you'll learn what a brand is and why it's important. You'll see brain research that shows how falling in love with a brand is a lot like falling in love with a human, and how personality matters when it comes to the bottom line. You'll also learn how to find your brand voice sweet spot with the same model Andrea uses for her Fortune 100 clients.

Create Foundational Content

If you want to build a house that stands up to the elements, you need a good foundation. The same is true for your brand. A good foundation will help you weather the storms of a changing marketplace. In this section, you'll build your foundation with a step-by-step process. First, you'll focus on your organizational content: your mission statement, vision statement and core values. Next, you'll learn how to step into the shoes of your audience and create compelling content that makes them fall in love. Finally, you'll learn how to position your product or service in the best light to spark a conversation and spur word of mouth.

Discover Your Personality

Once your foundation is laid, you'll start developing a distinct and engaging personality. Andrea will share her favorite tips, tools, and techniques for facilitating a group discussion. You'll also get access to her popular Brand Character Profile™ to help you find your top six distinguishing brand traits.

Use Your Brand Voice Across an Organization

The best brands give a consistent experience in any department. In this section, we'll look at how your brand voice will change in different situations. Using Andrea's Tone Wheel™, you'll walk through your entire business to ensure everyone is able to use your new brand voice consistently and confidently.

Training Your Team

You'll wrap up the course by learning the best way to roll out your new team. You'll get access to a Brand Voice Style Guide template that you can easily modify and share with your team.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Andrea Goulet

Co-Founder & CEO, Corgibytes


Hi. I'm, Andrea Goulet Ford -- the human voice behind some of the world's largest brands.

I'm the person brands turn to when they want to cut the corporate babble. For the past decade, I've helped engineer the personalities of the businesses, non-profits, and government agencies you interact with every day -- the products you buy, the airlines you fly, and the services you use to communicate with your loved ones... just to name a few.

In May of 2013, I launched BrandVox to help brands scale their communications without sacrificing personality or authenticity. Style Guides are just one of the systems in my toolkit, and I hope you find them as useful as I have.

You can also find me writing my upcoming book, Culture of Content: How to Win in Business Through Prose... See full profile

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1. Welcome to Class!: - Hi, - I'm Andre. - You lay forward and today I'm going to be your guide to help you create a distinct and - consistent brand voice for your business. - I've worked with a number of different organizations Fortune 100 companies, - large government organizations, - well known nonprofits, - agencies and emerging brands To all of these businesses, - no matter what their size or their industry, - are all struggling with some of same questions. - Things like, - How do I differentiate myself in a crowded marketplace? - How do I get my customers or my potential customers toe, - actually buy and use my products? - And then once I have loyal customers, - how do I get them to share my great news in my great company with their friends? - Having a distinct in a consistent brand voice helps with all of these things. - It helps you stand out from the crowd. - Businesses that have a distinct personality are also valued more. - They sell for more money. - They also able to engage their audiences, - and they have employees and customers that are more boil. - This isn't fluff. - It comes down to the bottom line. - So today in this class, - we're going to be creating a comprehensive brand voice guide to help you define and then - share your unique brand voice throughout your business. - Here's some of the things that we're going to cover. - First wanted to talk about what a brand voice is and why it matters to your business. - Then we're going to talk about foundational content, - things like mission statements, - value propositions, - an elevator pitches and how all of these pieces of foundational content are really - important to helping you define your brand voice. - We're going to talk about specific facilitation techniques and give you some very specific - exercises to go through to help you define your brand personality. - We're also going to talk about how your brand voice changes throughout your organization, - from some of the more conservative language in your legal department to um, - or engaging voice on social media. - Obviously, - you can't have the same exact brand voice, - but the tone will change slightly. - Finally, - we're going to talk about some best practices for how you can train your team so that your - brand style guide doesn't become something that just sits on the shelf. - It's something that's actually used and implemented every day in your organization, - so join me and let's find your brand voice 2. What is a brand voice?: - welcome to class. - So the first thing we need to think about when we're talking about a brand voice guide is - what is a brand. - It's really easy to think of a brand as something that only exists in the marketing - department, - things like logo's or company names or taglines, - because those are the most prominent things that a brand is. - But it really goes a lot deeper than that. - A brand is the collective experience in perception that customers have went interacting - with your organization. - Let's listen to that one more time. - A brand is the collective experience and perception that customers have when they're - interacting with your organization. - So let's look at an example. - Let's say that your organization has done a really good job with your sales and marketing. - I've hooked them in. - I'm a customer and I'm happy. - And things are going well. - Well, - every once in a while, - you know, - this always happens. - There's some kind of pick up, - and I need to interact with the customer service department. - If I have a customer service agent that is rude and doesn't understand my point of view, - then my perception of your brand has gone down I no longer trust you quite the way I have. - And even though that experience happened well outside of the marketing department, - it still has an impact on your brand. - So a brand can exist in any piece of communication any time a customer interacts with your - organization, - and this happens very frequently with marketing and sales because there's a lot of touch - points there, - it also happens in customer service. - Also, - one place it's frequently overlooked is the legal department, - your turns in conditions. - But then there's also kind of smaller nooks and cranny. - Copy to that can really have an impact on your brand as well. - Things like How are your finances organized for your investor report, - or how your process is named things all throughout the internal communications as well. - How do you, - uh, - have cup company memos? - Are they written in a way that's clear and easy to understand? - So all of these kind of combined create a brand. - It's not just the logo, - it's not just the company name. - It's not just the tagline. - It's every single experience. - It's the collective experience and perception that customers have from interacting with - your organization. - So why does brand voice matter. - Well, - think about a few of the brands that you love, - the ones where it's a real joy to interact with. - You have a long term relationship with them. - You connect with them frequently. - You refer them to your friends and family. - What do these brands have in common? - Chances are they feel human, - and this isn't a coincidence. - Research suggests that we as humans relate to brands in the same way that we relate to - other humans. - Brands act sort of like the beacon of a tribe. - They let me know that somebody else who is interacting with this brand is likely to have - similar views as me, - their lives. - They're going to have very similar values to me, - and that's a way for me to connect with human beings on a very real level. - For this reason, - when we're creating a brand, - we need to be very intentional about the personality that's behind it and the personality - that we're creating. - We also need to be mindful of how that personality is executed by every single person in - every single department on every single day, - and that's where a brand voice guide comes in really, - really handy. - Another thing I want to go over is just why having a good brand voice matters and it all - comes down to the bottom line. - A great example is the company intra brand, - and Interbrand has been conducting brand valuation since the since the 19 eighties, - and every year they produce a top 100 Global Brands guide. - So they actually evaluate and put a dollar figure on how much of brand is worth. - Part of the way that they calculate this, - in addition to things like being implicit in out in the marketplace and being top of mind - for customers and their financials is what they call brand strength and brand strength is a - compilation of several different factors. - First, - we have clarity, - which is how clear or your mission vision values, - How clear is your organization, - And that's something we're gonna go over in class today as well. - Commitment. - So are you giving support? - Are you actually training your organization on how to speak in your brand and how to use - your brand protection? - Are you final ing trademarks? - Are you taking legal precautions to really protect your brand responsiveness? - So brains need to be adaptive and changed to the market. - And are you able to kind of have a sense of leadership internally and be able to react to - those changes? - So authenticity is another factor. - So are you delivering against the promises that you're making? - How genuine and truthful do you feel to your customers? - Also relevance. - Does your brand actually exist? - And is it relevant to your customers? - Does it fit a need that they have differentiation? - How much does your brand stand out from its competitors? - Consistency again? - We've talked about that and how important it is. - How regular If I talked to the legal department, - am I going to have a similar experience to interacting with you on social media presence? - So the degree to which a brand feels omnipresent, - and it's talked about positively amongst consumers employees it's talked about almost as it - is a thing that's greater than itself. - It really is kind of treated as that leader of the tribe and then understanding. - So do I. - You know, - Do your consumers really get you, - um, - you know, - Are they relevant? - Are they able to understand the company that really owns the brand? - So all of these kind of go back to how AH brands voice really, - really matters in the marketplace. - So the bottom line is that thes brands are worth more. - They consistently get more money in terms of investment and also when they sell. - So investing in a good, - consistent brand voice is just playing good business. - Now it's time for your first exercise. - I want you to take five minutes, - and I want you to just brainstorm some of the brands that you really enjoy interacting with - . - Then I want you to kind of look at those brands and see what they have in common. - What are some of the things that you really like? - What are some of the things that you don't like? - And finally, - I want you to look and research a little bit about the CEO Zor the founders of those brands - , - and make no of any similarities between the founder personality and then also the brand - itself. - Are they completely similar, - or of a very, - very different Thanks so much? - And I'll see you in the next video 3. Borg vs. Borzoi Brands: - great job on your last exercise. - Putting in the work and doing the little exercises along the way means that you're gonna - have less work at the end when you go to compile your brand guide. - So one of the reasons that I had you look at the Founders is because they're kind of two - different types of brand voices out there. - And the leadership team has a really, - really big impact on the type of brand voice that gets executed. - So one type of brand is what I call a Borg brand. - And I'm a big fan of Star Trek next generation. - I don't know if you are, - but you don't have to be. - So there was a race of alien called board and these, - uh, - aliens were part human and part robot, - and they would go in and they would conquer by a stimulation. - So that means that they would go in and they would basically take different peoples - technologies and they would bring it into their own collective. - And when I think of this, - I also can't help but think that there are corporations that act there who, - similarly to this they go out there and they build their brand through acquisition, - so they go out and you know they have a central brand. - But then they go out and find a smaller brand, - and they assimilate them into the collective, - find another brand that's doing really well, - and they assimilate them to the collective. - And one of the challenges is that then it's it's more difficult to maintain a very cohesive - brand voice. - Um, - one of the things with the Borg was they would say, - you know, - they didn't have very good communication skills, - and I think that very much when I am interacting with a board tight brand in real life, - they use a lot of jargon, - a lot of their terms and conditions, - and things don't make sense. - They tend to be more driven by legalese and compliance than it does by actually creating a - human connection. - On the other hand, - we have what I call Borzoi brands, - and a bores away is a technique dog, - and it's no surprise. - Dogs look like their owners and brand sometimes look like their owners to I think a really - great example of this is virgin. - If you look at virgin pretty much across their lines, - they all are sort of strategically irreverent, - very similar to Sir Richard Branson. - You can see his mark on pretty much any brand that he's created, - even though there are a lot of organizations under his umbrella, - they all have a very similar and cohesive look and feel to them. - So which brand do you want to be? - You want to be aboard brand, - or do you want to be a Borzoi brand? - And my hope would be that if you're watching this video that you're going to be a Borzoi - brand. - But I think it's important to note, - too, - that in order to really go out and create a very vivid and connected brand voice, - it's important to note that the leadership team has such a huge impact. - So if you're a leader and you're watching this, - then know that you have a tremendous amount of power and can really affect change. - If you are someone who is executing the brand voice, - don't worry. - You can still make small changes and help your leadership team understand the value of - their brand. - Maybe they're just not articulating it properly, - and you'll be able to help them really define what they have in their minds. - So so another thing to think about is how these two brands are created. - So with the board, - there's a lot of, - um, - there's a lot of cooks in the kitchen, - if you will. - And I see this often in organizations that think they're doing the right thing by including - everyone, - including, - you know, - their wives and their mothers and everyone in the process of creating the brand. - And while it's true that you do want to get a lot of feedback, - too many decision makers can absolute hillebrand and make it, - um, - really, - really watered down, - Similar to how the board, - uh, - really didn't have a lot of road good communication because, - you know, - it's it's going across everyone, - whereas with the Borzoi brand you have a better chance for a very distinct personality - because the decision making is coming from a very small group of the top, - and everyone else is emulating that because the leaders are giving very, - very solid training Now, - that doesn't mean that people shouldn't feel like they can express things in a very - particular way and have their own individual voices heard. - That's very, - very true in the Borzoi brands But just a word of note that as we're going through in - creating these things, - that too many people making the decision on what the brand voice actually is can really - water it down. - Typically, - when I work with organizations, - I limit the key stakeholders to three, - Um, - and that's what I'd recommend for your organization as well. 4. Find Your Brand Voice Sweet Spot: - we have learned that developing a brand voice that's distinct and consistent is important - to the bottom line, - and it's also pretty complex. - So as we go through this process, - I wanted to present a model to you that I've developed. - It really helps my my clients understand very clearly how a brand voice works and kind of - where that brand voice sweet spot is. - So I'm at this out in term of a Venn diagram, - and in the center is really where we want everything toe a line. - So the first is your organization. - So these are the things like mission statements, - core values. - How clear are you in what your organization's purpose is? - Next? - Is your audience having a really good understanding off who buys from you what their - lifestyle was like? - You know, - what are their fears? - What are their beliefs? - What are their hopes and their dreams? - What makes them frustrated? - What makes them giddy? - The more that you can understand your audience that easier it is to align your brain voice - and finally you have your product or your service so you know how different is your - products from your competitors? - What type of problem does it solve? - What value does it add to the marketplace? - So having these three things your organization, - your audience and then also your product and service having all of those aligned is going - to give us the model for where we should be focusing on our brand voice. - So your next to do is I want you to look at a brand I think does this really well. - Quirky is a new organization that helps inventors bring their ideas to market. - Um, - and so they have a lot of different products that they've developed, - but they also have their overall brand. - So take a look at quirky and then answer the following questions. - How does quirky as the organization stand out from the individual products that it creates - ? - And then also, - I want you to look at who is Quirk, - ease audience, - and I'll give you a hint. - This is kind of a trick question. - There are a couple. - How did they use language to actively engage their audiences? - Take some time? - Look that over and I'll see you in the next video 5. Foundational Content: Organization: - Now that you understand the model of what it takes to create a brand voice, - let's die, - then a little bit deeper onto each one of those elements and focus on some specific pieces - of content that you can create to really help your brand boys shine. - So we're gonna start with your organization and specifically we're going to talk about - mission statements, - vision statements and core values. - There are a lot of other statements that you can create, - but these are the ones that we're gonna focus on for this class. - So first of all, - let's talk about mission statements. - So what is a mission statement I like to think of. - A mission statement is kind of a rallying cry for your brand. - It's the reason that people get up and go to work every day. - It's It's why you are in business in the first place. - So it should be short. - It should be memorable, - and it should be easy to repeat. - I think a really great example comes from the American Lung Association. - Their mission is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. - It's very clear what they dio, - and it's easy to remember. - So if an employee of the American Lung Association is what say at a wedding or something? - And somebody there who doesn't know about the American Lung Association asks, - What do you dio? - They can very clearly say I work for the American Lung Association, - and our mission is to save lives by improving long health and preventing Lyme disease. - It's very consistent. - One of the things that I see most often with mission statements is that they tend to drone - on and on. - Mission statements really should be just one sentence. - You should be one thought. - So here are some tips to creating your mission statement. - Mission statements should be short. - We should be really easy to repeat. - One of the things that I see frequently is that mission statements are long. - They're sometimes a paragraph or more, - and this isn't very easy to repeat. - Think about our friend at the wedding, - right? - So if we want to empower our employees and our customers to have language that is easy to - repeat, - you need to create it in a way that is easy to repeat. - And that doesn't mean having something that is very long is going to be very short. - The other thing about mission statements is that they need to be very specific. - Sometimes in order to accommodate a large group of people, - we will water down our mission statements and make them very vague. - Here is one example I found when I was doing my research. - We exist to do all the good we can in all the ways we can in all the places we can at all - the times we can to all the people we can for as long as we ever can. - That's really not specific. - It's fantastically aspirational. - But when it comes down to what we do, - um, - it it doesn't I don't understand what the purpose of that organization is or why they're in - business. - You should also use concrete, - plain language. - Don't try to sound smart. - The goal with a mission statement is clarity, - not creativity. - So if you have the choice between two words such as utilize, - a better choice would be used use everyday language that everyone understands. - A mission statement should also put a stake in the ground. - One of the mistakes that I see organizations do is that the water down their mission - statement by including language like Hope. - Try assist. - The American longer does. - Association doesn't try to save lives. - They save lives. - So if you see any of these words, - help, - try, - seek, - encourage influence. - Aim. - Try to cut those out, - edit them out of your mission statement. - Really put a stake in the ground and know that you are achieving this mission. - Mission statements should also be goal oriented and aspirational. - A mission is something that eventually you do want to achieve, - and there are plenty of organizations who have done this. - I think a great example is the March of Dimes. - While you may know that the March of Dimes now focuses on preventing birth defects and - helping women have successful pregnancies, - that wasn't always the case. - Their original mission was to cure polio. - They did it. - So then once they did it, - they created a new mission. - Mission statements should also start with an action verb. - This gets the person who is learning about the organization right in the middle of the - action. - So again, - looking back at our American Lung Association example to save lives now the to save, - that's an infinitive form of a verb. - So having that word to in front of it that's optional. - You can also tweak it so that you can say the American Lung Association saves lives or we - save lives. - But either way, - in either of those situations, - one of the first words is a nice, - strong action verb. - Now let's talk about your vision statement. - Your vision statement is a little bit different than your mission statement. - Your vision statement talks about what the world looks like Once your vision is achieved. - It's a lot more aspirational and tends to be a lot more broad. - So here's a great template that you can use for developing your mission statement to and - then insert the main thing you dio. - By then, - you're going shock about your programs, - your core services or products. - So that and that would be your vision statement. - Look at the American Lung Association again. - I think they've done a really great job putting this together. - Now let's talk about your core values. - These are where you give your mission statement a little bit more context. - These are the things that you stand for. - They help every employee understand what the culture is like at your organization and their - critical decision making tools. - These are the litmus test, - So if I have a choice between ah, - one thing or the other, - I can look at my core values, - and that should give me a really clear indication which way I should proceed. - Core values also let your customers know what they can expect from you. - It helps them self identify as a member of your try. - It helps them understand that if they have the same core values is you that they're likely - to find like minded people who interact with your brand. - Core values are also really crucial tool for recruiting. - They help you attract and retain quality staff who work on fulfilling your mission every - single day. - Core values are also critical for building culture gives you an indication of what your - employees and customers really care about. - So then, - that way you can have engaging conversations on a regular basis. 6. Foundational Content: Audience: - all right. - So we understand now how to develop really good content to express our organization. - Now we're going to look at ways that we can really, - really understand our audience. - So the critical question we're developing our brand voice is who's going to be interacting - with our brand. - So to do this, - it's going to require three different steps. - So you can think of this kind of as an inverted triangle. - So first were getting really general information that's pretty easy to access. - Next, - we're gonna be dabbling a little bit deeper, - and then finally, - we're getting to the core motivations. - So the first information is demographics. - Um, - so demographics are things that you can measure things like gender, - age, - job title, - years of experience, - location, - devices that people use these air, - all quantitative traits. - We can put them into a spreadsheet, - and we can say yes or no. - Next. - We're going to look at psychographic and psychographic Stell a little bit deeper. - Psycho graphics or qualitative traits, - things like personality, - values, - attitudes, - interests and lifestyle. - These are things that aren't as easy to measure. - How is one person's value of family better or more important than another person's value of - saving the world. - Both of them are equally of importance, - and so we're not able to measure these. - But it's still important to think about once we have defined these traits than what we can - do is, - we can put them together and tell a story, - and this is basically called and this is called a persona. - The next step that goes a little bit deeper is to develop what's called a persona, - and a persona is basically a kind of outline of a character you can think of. - It is a mini story or a mini biography or a background. - So once you have your demographics in your psycho graphics laid out actually take the time - and put them into story form and create a persona. - I also find it helpful to browse stock photo sites and then that way I can actually see - that person's face as I'm developing this story. - So most organizations kind of stopped there. - But if we're going to develop a brand voice that's really, - really resonant with our audience, - we need to go a little bit deeper. - So the last step is to understand what is going to move our audience into action. - So we've defined the persona is kind of who they are as they're standing still. - But we want to understand what is the thing that we can tell them or we can give them that - is going to move them from where they are to interacting with our brand. - Making a purchase, - making a donation, - becoming a volunteer. - Um, - you know, - attending a civic meeting. - There's a There's a lot of different kind of actions that we want people to do and interact - with our brand. - So we need to understand What's that thing that's gonna change? - Um, - so first, - let's think about why people are moved into action. - So people are moved into action for one of two reasons. - They either want to pursue pleasure or they want to avoid pain that so that's pretty much - it, - um, - So if we want to have them interact with our brand, - we need to understand what gives them pleasure or what gives them pain. - What are there really, - really deep hopes, - fears, - aspirations, - desires, - dreams and to access thes deeper emotions? - We could go one of two ways. - One way is to do a pretty significant amount of market research. - So actually doing in depth primary research interviews with different people who interact - with our brand, - and that works really well. - And but the challenge with that is it's pretty time consuming, - and it's also expensive. - So if you don't have quite the budget to do that, - another way that you can get around that and still get very similar results is to use - archetypes. - So what are archetypes? - They're basically storytelling patterns and archetypes have been around since the classical - Greek era, - but they remain really popular by psychologist Carl Young, - and they've been expanded upon by many, - many scholars, - most notably Joseph Campbell. - So Joseph Campbell was a comparative mythology gist, - and what he did was look at all of the stories that we have told as a human race across - time and across distance. - So he looked at stories from India. - He looked at stories from Native Americans. - He looked at stories from Africa. - He looked at stories that were really old and also really new, - and he was able to identify different storytelling patterns that corresponded to different - archetypes. - So here's an example of a pattern that he found so see if this sounds familiar So ah, - hero is called out on an adventure. - But he has to refuse the call. - And then, - with the help of some supernatural aid, - he leaves his home and he sets out on his mission. - During his adventure, - he encounters many trials, - including a temptress, - his father and understanding his own true identity. - After grappling with a really intense inner dilemma, - he draws on a power from deep within and is ableto overcome his obstacles and returned to - his original land, - take his rightful place and fulfill his destiny. - Sound familiar? - Of course it does. - So, - um, - this was the storytelling pattern that Joseph Campbell outlined in his books called The - Hero With 1000 Faces. - And this book was really influential for filmmaker George Lucas when he was developing the - script for Star Wars. - So it's no surprise that the story pattern that I just outlined probably sounds familiar. - If you're a Star Wars fan, - um, - it also sounds familiar if you're familiar with Greek and Roman mythology. - Jason and the Argonauts is another very similar story, - and while it is very different and the obstacles themselves are different, - the basic pattern of storytelling, - um, - it really gets to the heart of what it means to be a hero. - So great book to check out, - by the way. - So OK, - so stories Tellers have been using archetypes for years. - But what is this name for brands? - Well, - since a brand is essentially a collection of experiences, - we outlines that in the very first video, - um, - Weah's brand builders can use this to create opportunities for potential customers or for - existing customers to engage in our brand in a way that works for them. - So, - for example, - if our audience is a hero, - they're going to respond really well to this idea of kind of a deep inner calling and - overcoming obstacles in the brain that I think of When I think of a brand that does this - really well is Nike. - Nike does a great job everything from their tagline. - Just do it to you know, - um, - pretty much every ad we see, - it's about this struggle. - It's about, - you know, - overcoming that obstacle in achieving and taking your place and the rightful, - um, - place as an athlete and as a really fit human being. - So that's an example of how a brand has really tapped into an archetype really understood - the core motivations of their audience so that they can create experiences that are deeply - resonant and then create interactions and encourage participation with the brand. - So in the e book that accompanies this course, - you'll notice that I've laid out the 12 most common archetypes, - and this is to give you kind of a taste of what it would be like. - But there's a book that I would highly recommend that you get if you're interested in using - archetypes to understand your brand better. - And that is by market Hartwell and Jason Joshua Chen. - And it's called archetypes in branding, - Um, - and this is going to give you a lot more context. - It goes really in detail about 60 different archetypes and lays out very specifically how - you can use archetypes to understand your audience. - One of the other things is really nice is that it comes with several sets of cards, - so it's not just a book. - It's also a tool kit, - and you can use it kind of in an interactive way as well. - So that's basically the process. - So the first is to understand the very basic things that we can measure so things like - demographics and psycho graphics. - Then we create a character, - so a persona, - and finally we go really deep by understanding archetypes and understanding the deeper - motivations that's going to move into action. 7. Foundational Content: Products/Services: - we understand organization, - and we have a really good handle on our audience. - Now it's time to describe why our products is something that our audience should work with - to do that, - we're going to describe our product using what's called a value proposition. - Now there are tons of ways to describe value propositions, - and there's a lot of different templates that you can refer Teoh. - I've linked to many different types in the e book that you can download, - but today we're going to go over three very specific ones that are all just a little bit - different. - But I think we'll give you a nice taste for how to create your value proposition. - Before we do that, - though, - I want to talk a little bit about what thou you is. - So one definition that you'll find in most dictionaries is that value is the relative worth - utility or importance of something. - That word relative is really important because it notes that every single person has a - different internal scale for what value means to them. - Some people are really, - really price sensitive. - They won't buy something if it's too expensive, - no matter how useful it is. - Other people will spend extra money if they see it as convenient or efficient, - or that it's going toe last longer. - This ratio between price and quality is the way that I think about value, - and it's a good way to determine where you are on kind of the scale. - So now let's look at what it takes to develop a value proposition or a statement that - describes the value of your product. - So, - like I said, - there are many ways that we can build our value proposition, - and today we're gonna go over three. - So the most popular one and the one that I've seen pretty much in every Fortune 500 - organization that I've worked with is Jeff Moore's valuing, - propositioning statement. - And it goes something like this four, - and you describe who your target customer is who So then you describe the statement or the - opportunity. - Then you describe your product is a and you describe the product category that and then you - describe a benefit statement. - So let's look at kind of how this plays out in real life. - So I've come up with a big company that I'm calling yummy yummy num dems. - So here's an example of how it would be in use for busy moms that the target customer busy - moms who don't want to cook. - So that's the statement of need. - Can you describe your name so yummy? - Yummy num numbs is a and then describe the product category. - So this is an on demand in home chef service, - and then you describe the benefit so they provide healthy meals without the hassle. - So all together is the value statement. - So for busy moms who don't want to cook yummy, - yummy num numbs is an on demand in home chef service that provides healthy meals without - the hassle. - So again, - that's something that is very clear. - If I'm a busy mom and I don't want to cook, - then that might be something that I would consider notice. - There they were. - You know, - they're probably aiming more towards the less price sensitive crowd. - They haven't talked about affordability there, - talking about things that are more high quality things like, - you know, - um, - on demand in home. - It's a service that provides healthy meals. - Those are things that I that trigger quality to me. - So next up is a template that was developed by Patrick Flat skits and brand Cooper in their - book, - The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development, - and they suggest describing things in a very specific quarter. - So first describing your customer, - then describing the problem and finally describing the solution. - So let's use the same example but fit it into their model. - So for them, - it would be busy moms who don't want to spend time in the kitchen that the customer, - um, - have to choose between feeding their family, - healthy meals and spending quality time. - That's the problem. - Yummy. - Yum yum Numbs is an on demand chef service that comes to your house so you never have to - choose between family and food again. - That's the solution. - So describing the customer stating the problem and then talking about your solution. - The last example we're gonna go over is one that was developed by software craftsman named - Eric Sink, - and he describes using your value proposition, - um, - using this method. - So first he suggests using a superlative, - which is why choose this product so superlative, - or things like easiest best, - um, - the most affordable. - So, - um, - if you'll remember back from your English class superlative are things that cannot be - trumped. - They usually end in E S T. - Uh, - next is label. - So what is the product? - And then, - finally, - is the qualifier so really describing? - You know who that audience is and who should use your product. - So an example would be this the easiest on demand in home Chef service for busy moms. - So that's something. - If you want something really, - really succinct, - that's a way to go. - So whichever template you choose and again, - just Google value proposition template, - and you'll find that there are many, - many, - many more. - Um, - it's important to articulate what your product is, - who your product is aiming for and then the benefit that it brings to them. 8. Facilitating a Group Discussion: - Okay, - Awesome. - So now we understand what a brand voices why it matters to our business. - We've also outlined a model for how we're going to develop our brand voice sweet spot. - Now I'm going to talk to you about some of the very specific exercises and facilitation - tools that I use when working with a company to help them develop their brand voice. - So the first thing to know is that typically when we're working with a brand, - we're not working with one person. - We're usually working with a group of people, - and these were some facilitation tools that I use to help really get people in the right - mindset for creating a brand. - So the 1st 1 is a game that I found. - You can find it at Barnes and Noble. - I've also included a link to it in your e book, - but it's called the logo game, - and one of the things that I like is that it has these cards on here. - Eso This is Campbell's soup, - and what I do is I just take each one of these cards and have the participants go through - and talk about the brand and just talk about kind of the attributes of the brand, - and this is a really important exercise, - because what it does is it starts to train people to talk about a brand in the third person - , - because that's eventually what we're going to get to when we're talking about their own - brand. - One of the reasons that it's can be a little bit difficult to develop a distinct brand - voice on your own is because you lack objectivity. - So this is a game and a facilitation exercise that I used to help bring that sense of - objectivity to your own brand. - So I'll just go through and kind of list out all of these different brands. - So here's Campbell's bounty. - So here, - you know they'll say something like, - Oh, - that's the quicker picker Upper and I think of quality. - They're not cheap. - And again, - it's just getting them to talk about the brand in the third person. - So the next exercise that I use is I go over some collaboration tools, - and I've really, - really like Tina Fey's book, - um, - bossy pants. - And in there she describes the four rules of in Proud that she developed when she was - working as a comic in the comedy group Second City. - And so the Four Rules of Improv that she has developed our two first agree. - So if I'm working with you in a group instead of immediately dismissing your idea, - I should agree with the and say Okay, - I see where you're going next is and what this does is it eliminates people from being - overly critical because criticism is a way to just completely kill collaboration. - People who maybe are quiet and sensitive won't speak up, - and we need everybody's ideas to be heard. - So the next rule of improv, - according to Tina Fey, - is to not just say yes, - but also say yes. - And and this gets people thinking about contributing ideas rather than just critiquing ones - that were put out there. - So this is all Another example of where this is used is in a book college positive - intelligence by shrews. - AJ Amin. - Um so in there s so the idea here is to not just critique something, - but also to contribute your own opinion. - So agree So first? - Yes, - I agree with that. - Then you say yes. - And that's the second rule of improv is to not just say yes to say yes, - and so I agree with where you're coming from, - and I think that this is another idea that we could use. - So you're building ideas rather than just criticizing ideas and tearing them down. - Next is make statements. - So here, - instead of asking questions, - which again can feel, - um, - to somebody who is being a little bit vulnerable in putting their ideas out there, - it can feel like criticism, - especially if it's coming from a boss or someone with authority. - Finally, - we want to say that there are no mistakes, - Onley opportunities. - So you know, - the idea here is, - rather than criticizing ideas, - we should look at the merits of them and think about how they conserve us. - So I use this technique, - particularly when I am facilitating a group that has a variety of different levels. - So, - for example, - sometimes I have facilitated group, - and there is the executive director, - um, - who's kind of everyone's boss and is, - you know, - maybe people are used to not disagreeing with them, - and it's really important to kind of go through and, - um, - explain these rules of improv so that everyone understands, - including the executive director. - You know, - not to just criticize ideas when they come out of the gate. - So next I use what are called breweries story cubes, - and I love these. - I I found them, - um, - for my son. - But then I was using them, - and I was like, - Huh, - these would actually work really well in a group setting and they dio So there are several - different types. - There's ones that have action. - There's ones that have, - you know, - kind of these ones are voyages. - But inside each one of these has, - um, - images on them. - And I used these to help create a game where people can practice the rules of improv by - developing a series of stories. - So first, - I'll have them kind of looked through and define what each one of these are. - So here we haven't Elefant here we have medicine. - Um, - I'm also using This is a way to help with their associative thinking skills. - So depending on the type of organization that I'm working with, - if I'm working with an organization that's incredibly analytical and very precise, - sometimes I'll go through and have them name, - uh, - three or four different things for each image and what that does, - though this could be a pill. - It could be medicine. - It could be a vitamin. - But getting them to really kind of think outside of what they're they're very specific. - First hunches, - um and then what I'll do is I'll have everyone go around and will tell a story. - So each person kind of adds to the sentence. - Eso These are fantastic. - And they're also great for kids to, - um so those are some facilitation tools that I use when I'm working in a group. - Um, - I hope you find them useful. - I know I personally have. 9. Complete Your Brand Character Profile: our brains are nice and nimble were all warmed up. And now it's time to start getting to the heart of our brand. We're going to develop what's called a brand character profile. The reason that we're doing this is because, like we said in an earlier video, research shows that we have the same emotional response to interacting with a brand as we do with a human. Research shows that our brains light up in the exact same way. A recent article from 2012 from the Journal of Consumer Psychology noted that, you know, when we enter into a positive relationship with a brand, it's we follow the exact same emotion as if we were falling in love with human beings. So all of the same neurons lights up and it all happens on an emotional subconscious level . So the process of falling in love, whether it's a with a brand or with a human, it's not analytical or rational. So when I was thinking of ways to help organizations really get to the heart of their brand , one of the places where I turned to was literature and authors, fiction authors, particularly the really skilled ones are able to create really, really wonderful in depth characters that we really care about. Two authors that really come to mind that do this well that have talked about using this process or George R. R. Martin and also JK Rolling So J. K. Rolling when she was developing her Harry Potter character, she went really deep into the world, and she spent years just sketching out kind of who this person waas, who they interacted with, what all the backstory waas and she did all of this before she wrote down any of the plot. If we're going to create really human like brands that have a lot of character, we need to take the time and go through the same process by going through what I call a brand character profile. So just like an author doesn't pick up his pen and say, Once upon a time, you know, and then write out the entire plot and then write the end. The process of building a brand is, um, not as linear as you might think. So what we're going to do is there. In the downloads section, there is a pdf called brand character profile and What it does here is it lists out about 60 different questions for you to go through to think about your brand. So first, what it does is it list through several different section, several different places for you to think about when you're thinking about your brand. The idea here is to be bold toe have fun to not really worry on such an analytical, you know, thought level. We're going a little bit deeper here. So didn't you know if you're developing this brand on your own, it's, you know, may be helpful to find a really quiet space. Um, and, you know, have a place where you can really focus if you are facilitating a group. I highly recommend getting everybody in a place where they're ready to contribute and collaborate using the facilitation exercises that I outlined in the previous video. So some general information would be Is your brand a man or a woman? Maybe they're an animal. I worked with one brands and they ended up being a wolf, and they really kind of latched on to this idea. And there was a lot that we could do with it, so don't feel so much limited. It doesn't even have to necessarily the human. You can think about how old they are next, we're gonna go through our life experience. So things like education, birth order, what? Their hometown. And the idea here again is that you are building this kind of back story of your brand we're gonna talk about look through different living situations. Have they moved a lot with an army brat? Where are they? A home body. And they've stayed in the home town their whole life. Um, you know, what is the decor in their home And the more detail that you can provide And really, um, make things so that they're nice and vivid. That's gonna be really, really helpful. Next, we're gonna talk about lifestyle. So what kind of mode of transportation do they have? How do they get around? Are they a bicyclist or do they take the city bus or do they have a big SUV? Are they punctual? Busy, laid back? These are all different types of character traits that we're going to use to define our brand. Another tip is to make sure that you record your video your audio I use ever know. There's also ah, you know, different audio recording features on different computers, but I highly recommend recording it. So then that way you can go back and listen to the conversation later. And you're not so worried about taking notes during this process. Other things that you'll go over our occupation. So what do they do for a living? What what other friends like or they introverted, extroverted? What about their family? Are that close to their parents? Do they have any siblings kind of music? Do they like? What kind of activities do they dio? What kind of media did they consume? What does their appearance look like? Do they were glasses or they Burnett. Are they bald? Do they smile a lot Fashion? Are we going toe? You know, we're talking about somebody who is very much a fast in ista or somebody who is a lot more casual. Finally, we're gonna talk about travel. So are they a globe hopper? Are they a home body? You know, what kind of accommodations do they stay out? And the idea here is that once we've really developed our back story, then we can look at patterns and we're gonna be doing that in a little in the A couple videos. Um, so next we're going to look at things on a specific scale. So in your brand character guide, you'll see that there are different scales so trendy versus traditional. So this is starting toe. Look at different patterns. So looking at your brand character profile and what you have developed in your group or by yourself, think about you know, looking at how trendy versus traditional based, you know, look at the pattern. So within your brand character profile, you'll notice that there are some different variations so traditional maybe not the right word, you know, historic, maybe something that is more, Ah, better fit, um, established, maybe a better fit. So these are words that were helping to define based on the brain character profile. We're also going to look at the variation between bright and subdued. Do you have a brand that is bright and dazzling and vibrant, or something that's a little bit more calm and mellow again? Were using this based on the patterns that we've already described absurd versus serious innocent versus jaded, authoritative versus collaborative compliant versus destructive. So after you have developed this. It will take some time, especially if you're facilitating. I would give yourself a good hour to an hour and 1/2. Just for this part, I would probably add another hour just for the brand. Um, warmups. Um, once you've really developed this, then you're going tohave a nice, massive material that's gonna help you, Then hone in on the very specific language that you would use to describe your brand. 10. Character Traits: great job on your brain character profile. It's a lot of work, but it really, really, really pays off in the end. Now we're going to look at turning the words that we just developed from our brand character profile into what's called a mood board. And the reason that we use mood boards is based on research about visual narrative art. In a 2010 study about visual narrative art, Dr Karen McGee and Arch Woodside identified several reasons why using images and storytelling techniques together work so well for developing brain characteristics. So first images really help us make sense of complex themes. They hope us give context to a lot of these experiences. And again, since a brand is a amalgamation of experiences, this makes sense. Second, using visual narrative art and thinking and images helps us get beyond rational thought, and it helps us get to that really emotional place where great characters are born and finally using images and booking for patterns is fun. It's really gratifying for the artist, and so I would encourage you that as you're creating your mood board to enjoy this process , the best tool that I found for developing these mood boards. Is Pinterest fantastic? Back in the day, we had to go and get magazines and clip them out and pin them on court boards. No more. Now we can do it all digitally. Thanks to Pinterest, it's fantastic. So we're gonna use Pinterest to develop basically, collage that will help us visualize all of the characteristics that we just developed. So the first step is to create an account and log into your Pinterest account. Next, you're going to want to add a board for your project. If you don't want anyone to see your project, you can mark it a secret then that way the only people that will see it are the ones who you invite to it. You can also check out Pinterest support. They've got some really great information about secret boards. Another alternative to Pinterest if you don't like Pinterest is Evernote and ever know is another similar tool that will help you capture your ideas. You can put notes about them and again if you feel so compelled, you can always go back to the corkboard and go kind of more analog if you don't like doing the digital But The whole idea here is that we are really thinking about our brands and who it is, and we're creating this visual representation so that then we can go back and look at patterns later. All right, so now that we have a visual representation and annoy articulated language version of our brand character profile, it's time to start finding the right words to describe it. So we're going to start looking for patterns. So look at your Pinterest board. Look at your brand character profile and see what seems come up. I've developed part of the brand character profile Teoh help you look at some really broad themes and get you started in the right direction of finding which language you may want to use. But don't feel limited by this. And please feel free to use. Resource is like a thesaurus. I use those frequently when I can't find exactly the right word. They're great tools such as the sorest dot com, and there are also visual tools as well. Once you have to find your patterns, then you want to go in and really narrow down your brand character traits. I find that it's most helpful to use two words to describe a character. Um, so this can really kind of help somebody hone in on what the nuances. And there's there's a couple of different ways that you can do this. The way that I prefer is to really kind of think about pairings. So one might one research organization, for example, that I worked with. They felt that realistic hope was something that they really wanted to aspire to. So if I had just said hope, then you know that's that's a little broad But making sure that we said that it was always realistic, we weren't trying Teoh, um, grande eyes anything or make it feel over the top. We wanted to make sure that everything was really grounded. That felt very, very genuine to them. Another example from a similar study was accessible intelligence. So I was working with a team of analysts and they were incredibly smart people, but they wanted to make sure that their intelligence was very accessible. So when they were talking about things, that clarity was a big piece of that. So you can go through and kind of develop these. I find that another great tool is a something called Aqua Notes, and I actually do my best thinking around water. So I'll bring these with me to the pool when I'm swimming or I'll have some in the shower. And that way, when I have an idea, it's a waterproof paper and pencil, and I could just jot it down. So that's a tool that if you are like me and really enjoy water, it's about finding the right tools to help you get your ideas down. Another great example of um, is to use the this, but not that method. And I've seen this at large organizations. Kate Kiefer Li, Who's the content lead over mail. Chimp also is an advocate for this method, so this would be something like, Let's take that accessible intelligence example. So it will be something like smart but not inaccessible. So, you know, smart but grounded. So that's another way that you can kind of use language to become really precise about what you're trying to discuss. So I would recommend developing about 4 to 6 different distinct personality traits that really define your brand. The next step is to go through and to write foundational Copy Now what is foundational. Copy. Need to me that means content that can be used in any channel. So, you know, you may find a sentence here that works really well online, but it would work equally well in your annual report. So in this, you're not really looking for any specific channel. Instead, you're taking a few sentences to really describe what your brand is. Foundational Copy serves a couple of different purposes. So first it provides more context and detail for the personality traits that you have just defined. So if I'm a writer and I'm coming in and you contract ID me if I just see you know one word intelligence, you know that I can misinterpret that if I see accessible intelligence. Okay, I have a better idea. But then, if I see accessible intelligence followed by a short description of what that means now I have a really accurate understanding of what it means and how you, as a leadership team, want me to express your brand. Foundational content also reduces the risk that our personality traits are misinterpreted, and finally, it provides inspiration for writing in many different places across your brand. So here's an example that I've come up with for a personality trait called Boldly creative . We are dot connectors finding continuity between even the most disparate concepts. We uncover correlations and from this creative or build a sturdy nexus of strategy, design and communication. We're not afraid to try new things. Mistakes. We applaud them, dissect them and transform them. We do marvelous things because we honor the unconventional. This is where magic and miracles happen. So no surprise. This was for a design agency, and it sounds, you know, very, very clearly. Like what? Um, you know, somebody who is boldly creative, Will dio You'll notice that it is rather aspirational, and that's okay. The the idea is that you are authentic to your brand. And after we had done this big brand character profile, this was the character that emerged. It was somebody who was really aspirational and felt like creativity could save the world. So it's important that you honor that and really reflected in the language. So now that you have your brand character traits, go ahead and add some foundational content to it. So for each one come up with 3 to 4 sentences, you may actually want Teoh. Contract this to a writer and have them. If you aren't as skilled of a writer or you feel like you know you're too lost in your own thoughts, it's absolutely appropriate to hire someone to help you with that fact. That's my job. That's what I do with people. So, um, the important thing is to articulate your vision. You've done a great job really documenting and going through the process. Now it's time to articulate it so that the writers that you're going to be working with and the employees that you're going to be empowering Teoh use this brand guide really understand what's required of them. 11. Writing Techniques: So the last up of developing this brand character piece is to really figure out kind of where your brand comes to life. And this is by connecting the brand character traits that you've just finished up and you're going to link them to a very specific writing technique When we're documenting ah brand personality, it's really important that we outline our thought process completely because too many brands I found just simply assumed that writers know how to connect with an audience, and it's really important that we give writers. We give our employees that very tactical piece, moving from the kind of strategic realm where we have been to the very tactical. This is how you express the brand. So, for example, um, let's say that one of your personality traits is deliberate. Eclecticism, which you define as variety, is more than a spice to us. It's the main ingredient. We intentionally seek out a wide range of inspiration and thoughtfully arranged concepts of many origins into our work. We are precise. We carefully examine each piece of a solution to see how it impacts the whole, so this personality trait really talks about finding things that are the right fit, and that includes includes words as well. So one writing technique that you may want Teoh describe is something called word precision , and this is and then you can go on to describe it and say something like Treat words and ideas just like things since were deliberately eclectic, We spend time to look around and find the perfect fit. Instead of using general descriptions like good or grate, take the time to find a word that precisely describes your idea. So taking this extra step to really connect the dots between your strategy and a very specific writing technique is really going to help your writers know precisely the types of writing that you're looking for. So what types of writing techniques are there that you would want to include? Well, here is some that you might want to consider using the active voice, um, things that are making sure that you're focusing on benefits instead of features really focusing on being a brand journalist. Objectivity is something that's really important to you that maybe a place to look for talking about a conversational style. If your brand happens to be something that it's like, well, we would sit down and have coffee versus, you know, having something that's a little bit more 2020 than you know, really documenting that we use a conversational style. Contractions are absolutely perfect. Um, understanding a direct address. So talking about how you're going to use you language instead of we language, making sure that your structure, the way that you develop and structure your content, is using SUBHEDS. And it's easy to scan. If, for example, in your brand character profile your organization was very organized and everything was in its place, then this is something that may be a great way. A great writing technique toe accurately express that brand, also focusing on empathy statements. So again, if your brand of listening was a big piece of that, you know, using empathy statements instead of, you know, hardcore sales tactics, maybe a specific writing technique that you can use to express that other techniques air using open ended language, playing language, sensory language, short sentences and work precision in your e book. I've really outlined a little bit more in detail what all of these means, so make sure that you go through and understand them and also don't feel like you're limited to only these. Please feel welcome to go out and develop them on your own. Using this is a template. 12. Understanding Tone Changes: great job going through and really figuring out what your brand character is and documenting in a very precise way, how to articulate it now. The next thing we're going to look at is how your brand voice changes across your organization. And to do this, we're going to talk about the difference between brand voice and tone. So when I was a kid, my mom used to always say, Andrea user inside voice And that's a really good example of the difference between voice and tone. She wasn't telling me, Andrea, Change who you are. She was saying, Andrea, adapt your voice for a particular situation and that's exactly what we're going to do. We're going to look through all of the different areas of our brand, and we're going to look at how our brand joy, our brand voice, changes depending on the specific situation. So before we do this, go ahead and just preliminarily write down some ways that your brand might be different in the following situations. What would your tone be if you're focusing in social media? How would that be different if you're writing up a legal contract? What about if you're explaining how to use your product or write out a list of instructions . And finally, what about a call to action If you're trying to get someone to really download something from your website, so think about those and just preliminarily think about those different situations and how the tone of your voice may change depending on each of them. 13. Tone Wheel: So if you spent a little bit of time doing the exercise, you can probably see that the tone varies pretty greatly, depending on the situation that your organization is using the brand voice for That's perfectly normal and absolutely appropriate. So now we're going to identify each of the different stages within our business. And to do this I've developed a model that I call the tone wheel. Um, it looks kind of like more like a toned flower. But, um, I call it a turn wheel. And so there are different ones that are attached in the downward section. Um, and the you can pick the one that is most appropriate for your organization. I have one for products. I have one for services. And then I also have one for non profits and government agencies. Um, again, feel free to modify any of these if they don't work for your organization. Um, if you have a different business model or something like that. But I thought these were three really good templates to least sketches started. So the next step is to go through and write out what are some very specific, um, pieces of communication that occur within each of the departments on your tone wheel, so we'll go through one of them. So first would be operations. So this may be things like training guides. If you're listening out how to perform a specific function within your organization that falls within operations Also documentation. So let's say you're writing software, you know, how is it that you are going to conform in comments And, um, you know, documenting how to use your product one place, that I think, um, people do a great job and I always love to see Brand voice is in iPhone. I have an iPhone. And so whenever I get update on, um, the different documentation, sometimes they'll just say bug fixes and it will be kind of dry. But there are businesses out there that really take the time to assert their brand voice in there. And every time I download, you know, on app and update it, it gives me a little piece of happiness. I'm like, Oh, okay, I like working with them. I will continue to use this app. So finally, if you have any type of process maps or things like that, that would also fall under operation. So thinking about how you can insert the brand voice that you've just developed into that in a tone appropriate way. Next, we're gonna talk about legal and finance, and this is huge. This is an incredibly important piece of your brand voice that most brands just simply overlook. Um, I have actually had experiences where I have worked with organizations, um, as a customer, and I've been thrilled with them from a marketing perspective and a customer service perspective. But then the terms of service will change. And because they can't articulate in legal language, um, how they want to express themselves in a way that actually makes sense. Um, they've lost me, and I'm no longer a customer of theirs. So, you know, understanding that your brand voice needs to be clear in your legal documentation is important as well. Now am I saying that you need to go and make this like your marketing materials now? Absolutely. But most lawyers will tell you that there is a way to be very clear, but you can still definitely have your character, uh, represented there a swell. So finance is another area, so things like invoices, estimates Hey, check memos every time There's ah, you know, whenever your employees get paid, there's a little memo down there that's an opportunity to put your brand voice on. And then also those terms and conditions. Documents to one of the trends that I'm seeing lately that I really like is that many organizations are opting for a plain language version of their contracts. And I think that that's a fantastic way to insert your brand voice in a very appropriate way in the legal department. So next we have sales and marketing. So these air pretty obvious. So these air where your brand voice would normally play. So places like brochures sign up forms call to action buttons. You also have your website and social media. So Blog's tweets hosts all of those places, um, product descriptions or another big one on. And don't forget about your meta tags and keywords. That's another big place where you can insert some brand voice, Um, and also kind of own a specific of term as you develop it over time. So products again. We've talked a little bit about product descriptions. How do you name all of the different products and processes that you've got within your organization. Also, we have customer service. So what are some common questions that your customers may have? You also have different self help portals. So, again, thinking about it from your customers X, you know, point of view. How would they want to interact? Is there something that is particularly complex that you can lay out and make really simple . Finally, you've got your internal in HR department. So these air things like company memos, job descriptions, things like that. So use the attachment in the download section and develop a tone Well, that works for your organization and then list out the very specific different types of content that you would see within each department. 14. Write Example Tone Copy: So once you have all of the pieces of communications outlined, now it's time to make this come toe life with real world examples. So for the best results, you want to make sure that your examples are relevant to the industry. So, for example, if you're selling fountain pens, all of your examples should be about fountain pens. They shouldn't be about, you know, extracting oil from the Gulf. Um, they should be very, very specific to your industry. I've also found that using a good, better best situation actually works best when talking about examples. I don't like using his bad and good because that feels really polarizing. Um, and there are situations where, you know, you may need to use thes good version instead of the best version. You also want your examples to be very obvious and clear. So the best way to do that is to have very, very similar sentences where only one thing changes. So if you're using a good, better best, um, you know, make sure that it's very clear what the difference between each of those is, and finally, you want to use examples that are modified from actual use, so if you put something in there as an example that is taken directly from an example that somebody has used when you go to train your staff, they may take that very personally. So take the time to modify these slightly and, um, avoid having some hurt feelings in the end. So now we're all set up. We've got our tone wheel, We've got our examples and we know how to write very clear examples. 15. Understand the Purpose of a Style Guide: were almost there. Now we're going to talk about some best practices for training your team so that everyone can speak in your new brand voice in a cohesive way. First, let's talk a little bit about what the purpose of a style guide is. The style guy that I put together from my clients. I call a message playbook, and I think of that kind of like how a football team has a document that allows them to work together. Your organization needs a style guide to help you flawlessly execute your communications. It also helps you react quickly to shifting markets. So the more that your company understands precisely how to use your brand voice, the more likely it is that they will be able to use it in appropriate situations. Recently, Rebecca Live, who is a researcher for the Altimeter group, published a research report about how organizations can use real time marketing, and she wrote a block post about this and in there. She talked about Oreo during the 2013 Super Bowl, and I think it's important to know one of those things that she said, she said. If Oreo, for example, hadn't nailed down its brand voice, point of view. Brand values, tone, image, res, graphics fought target audience channel strategies and all of those other brand book and style elements, not to mention secured approval or the ability to get them fast. You never would have hit it out of the park to mix sports metaphors at the big game. Having a brand voice that everybody understands will enable you to act very quickly. It's also important to note that Oreo also had a very good process for getting approvals. If you are on the leadership team, it's important to know that your team is going to need toe look to you to be able to get things out. Too often we look at process and it can hinder us. There needs to be a balance between mitigating risk and responding to opportunities. So take a minute and think about style guides, particularly messaging guides, research the brands that have them. Many organizations published their style guides online so that they're available to contractors. Um, look through some of the style guides that David Airy has put together. He does a great job of compiling all of them, so they're nice and easy to use are easy to research and then also think about. Why do you think that brands have taken the time to document their brand voice and outline what their corporate style is? What are some of the benefits? Are there any other is outside of what I've talked about here and what would happen if they didn't have this document? What are some things that might go wrong, or what are some things that they wouldn't be able to capitalize on? 16. Completing Your Style Guide: So now we understand the style guide, and we've got all of the information that we need to go ahead and fill it in. So you've done a great job really feeling in some fantastic information, and now it's time to put it all into one cohesive document. So in the download section, you'll see that I have a template for you to work from. Basically, it follows this format. So the first is talking about the purpose in overview of your style guide. Why are you using this? Why is it important to your organization? Next, we're going to talk about your brand story. So think of this kind of like on about US section that's a little bit more intimate. Next you're going toe, highlight your mission and vision. You wanna have that really clear so it's front and center. The next section talks about your audience who buys from your brand. This is a great place to put your personas. It's also a great idea to put an image of each persona so that the person who is crafting the content will be able to associate a face and really empathize with um be sure that you don't just include the demographic and psychographic information, but you have also included information that you've learned from the archetypes such as motivations, fears, hopes, fears and dreams. Next, we're going to talk about your brand personalities, thes air, the six different character traits to you've outlined, including the foundational content. Again, I find it helpful to go ahead and find an image that really resonates and kind of, um, uh brings this toe life so that it's not just the text that's talking. I'm also able to share my vision in a very clear visual way as well. Next is what I call a word springboard, and the way that I developed this is I put each one of the words from the character profile , um, into a thesaurus and then find different words that are kind of similar. So you can think of this as a very, very specialized the source for your brand. It's a one page document that is meant to hang up next to everyone's desk so that they can very clearly understand. You know what the brand voices and in every single communication, whether or not it's a correspondent's email with a vendor or there creating a really, um you know, uh, add that is going to be seen by millions of people. They can make sure that they're consistently using that brand voice across all of their communications. Next, you're going to talk about your very specific writing techniques. I would mention any reference guides that you were using. So if you're using the AP style manual versus the Chicago Manual of Style, you know, talk about the reference guides that your writers should be referring to. Um, there also you, um, helpful thing is to look at some very basic plain language, um, documentation. And I've included that in the template for you. Next, look at how you're going to bring your personality toe life. So talk about using those characteristics and what specific writing traits you're expecting . It's also helpful to include Resource is links to blob articles or books so that your team can really understand and delve. Indeed, next we're going to talk about the tone wheel, and this is in the Common Situations section of the brand guide. So for each section of the tone wheel include, um, some specific documentation. If you have pictures that's even better screenshots work great to, but go through and write out the examples for each one of the different areas on your tone wheel. So operations, finance, legal sales websites, internal HR, each one of those You're going to list out the specific piece of correspondence and use the good, better best format to outline your, um, to outline the examples. Finally, I've included some places that you'll want to specify how things should be used. So this is what you call your brand house style. So things like making sure that subjects and verbs agree, using a consistent verb tense. How do you want to use commas? Are you going to use a serial comma, which is a comma before the end? Or does your organization not do that? So really listing out again, using the good, better best example formula to showcase how this will work for your organization 17. Creating Copies of Your Style Guide: so great, you've got everything put together into one cohesive document. Now what do you do with it? Um, now you need to share it. So there are two different ways. First is to print it. And I would recommend having at least one copy that is in color and is really nice and accessible for everyone at the office and that also recommend having one version that's digital that everyone has. And if you have any updates, make sure you share that with everyone on your team as well. I'd also recommend using a service such a small pdf dot com to compress your document. We've got a lot of images in there, and those images can really eat up the, um, the file size. It could make it really large, and that makes it difficult. Sometimes when you're trying to email this using a compression service, such a small pdf dot com will compress everything so that it's much, much smaller and very easy to email 18. Training Your Team: We've got a style guide. We've shared it with our team, and now it's time to actually go in and train our team on how to use it. So here are some tips that I have for best practices for going in and training your team. So first, encourage discussion and encourage questions about the style guide. That's exactly what you want. You want people to be talking out loud. Remember Tina Fey's rules of collaboration? If you have someone who is, you know, incredibly critical, you can use those different facilitation techniques to really set everyone up again. You also, I found, want to break down the style guide into different modules and presented over time. Um, then this way you prevent kind of information overload. Typically, this document is somewhere between 50 and 75 pages. Once it's all put together, so going over it in a one hour session is just way too much for most teams. I recommend kind of breaking it out over six weeks. Um, and you know each section. You know, you've got several different sections there, so depending on your organization and what your priorities are, but you know, really focusing on breaking out the content and presenting it each week. Some organizations that I've worked with have actually taken that brand voice meeting. Let's say they meet on Tuesdays at two o'clock. After that, they will turn that into a content planning meeting. Eso They will talk about how they can use their brand voice and all of the different pieces of the brand. So if that's something that works for you and your team, great, you also want to avoid using examples that single people out. The quickest way to lose buy in from your team is to exclude someone and to make them feel that this entire project is because of one mistake that they made. Um um, and no matter how many times you iterated that, how many times you say it if they see their work presented there in the style guide, most people can't hope but take it personally. So that's why it's important that all of your examples should be ones that are revised and not lifted exactly from a particular situation. And finally I found that it's really good to use peers to give each other feedback so you can create exercises that go along with your brand. And instead of having the supervisor or the manager review, um, the correctness of a of the new brand voice to use piers. So people who are on the same level So if you've got an associate, pair them up with another associate, they're going to feel much more comfortable interacting in that way. 19. Conduct Brand Audits: So here we are at the end. You've got a fantastic brand guide and your team is trained. The last step is to keep this momentum going by conducting brand audits on a regular basis , just as you went through and collected all of the different pieces throughout your tone wheel and saw how your brand voice was being displayed. Go ahead and go through that process about once 1/4. You can also get your team together to discuss how the brand voices working, whether or not you're hitting the mark or whether or not you're not. Eso set up recurring quarterly meeting on the calendar and review your recent communications. Discuss the results of your team and then keep your brand personality alive. Congratulations. You've got a great document that hopefully will serve you really well. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. I'm very active on Twitter so you can find me there. My handle is at Andrea, you lay, and you can also find me online at your brand box dot com. Thanks so much, and I really hope you enjoy this course. Enjoy your new brand voice