Why Having a Strong Brand Voice is Important For Any Business Three ways to create a distinctive identity that hooks the audience from the get go, and resonates with target market

By Nabeel Ahmad

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Entrepreneurs spend a great chunk of their time designing and curating products and services, yet a majority of startups end up failing. Plausible causes range from lack of finance to shoddy marketing. However, there's another problem most entrepreneurs fail to notice.

When most people sit down to analyse what went wrong they debate over everything from bad investors to poor team performance. What they don't pay enough attention to, however, is their branding. A mediocre brand is a major startup killer.

Having a strong and unique brand voice is one of the most important components in building a successful business.

We always judge a book by its cover. If the cover doesn't hook you on the get go, whatever's inside the book, no matter how riveting, becomes irrelevant because you have already moved on. Your brand is your cover page. It's where the connection between the consumer and product begins. Mess this up and you've lost your audience forever.

Here are three ways you can create a distinctive brand identity that hooks the audience from the get go, and resonates with your target market.

Define "Why you?"

Deloitte's team had to come up with a different branding strategy once they realized the organization was registering low considerations. Reason: The company could not differentiate itself from its competitors. What launched next was a dedicated campaign named Deloitte Go and the purpose was simple: Help 17,000 people answer "why Deloitte?". The rebranding was a massive success.

You have about 15 seconds to make an impression before an impatient customer swaps you for the next tantalizing item on the Web. Make them count. All great brands have distinctive personalities. An Apple user knows exactly what he's purchasing with his money: a lifestyle. Amazon promises the ultimate online experience. Google's mission is to make information universally accessible.

Define your brand. Ask yourself. Why you? What sets you apart from the crowd? How does the audience perceive your brand? What kind of tone do you use? Quirky, humorous and colloquial like Mailchimp? Or confident, assertive and dominant like Gillette?

Your content, advertising, engagement… pretty much everything depends on your voice. Make sure it's both authentic and unique.

Speak the Language of Your Target Audience

Look at Starbucks. What is Starbucks' recipe for success? The company serves its target audience an unparalleled experience. The atmosphere. The comfort. The conversations. You can order a coffee, find a corner, and plug into work instantaneously. That alone is worth the high price of the beverage.

Your brand should always serve your customers. Research your target audience. Understand their behavioral patterns. What makes them tick? How does your brand provide value to them? Are you giving them a seamless experience? Why should they come back to you?

Your content needs to speak to them on a personal level. Curate your brand identity around the people it will serve. What will offend them? What will hook them? How can you make their lives better?

One of the best ways is to directly go to your audience and let them help you build a more effective product or service. Ask for feedback and measure their responses. Building an effective communication engine helps you identify what you're doing right and where you're going wrong.

Sell Stories That Foster Powerful Connections

People make purchases based on emotional connections. The product or service either satisfies an emotional need the customers have or it provides an exclusive experience they dearly crave. What do you feel when you buy something? Empowered? Hopeful? Giddy? Regretful?

Customers who are emotionally connected to a brand are highly valuable. Great brands leverage this loyalty to create long-term tethers to the consumer-base. Once you have nurtured a relationship, you can use it to further scope and scale your business and be assured the customers will follow.

Nobody does it better than Nike. It's the largest sporting brand in the world, and they use the hero archetype to excite our emotions. We all know the story. The hero faces an insurmountable obstacle, goes through a life-altering struggle, and, walks out of the battlefield, bloodied but victorious.

Nike takes this archetype and makes you the hero of the story, urging you to take charge of your destiny and defeat your fears and limitations once and for all. This potent cocktail of storytelling and call to action makes the customers feel powerful. In return, they gift Nike their unquestionable loyalty.

How does your brand create a powerful emotional connection with its audience? What dreams are you selling? Find the answer to that. And you'll be unstoppable.

The best tip to any entrepreneur or established business veteran: Remain faithful to your vision. A lot of entrepreneurs follow the herd and lose their individuality in the process. Social media trends can be powerful but they are perceptible to change every two minutes. Your brand is here to stay, and while every organization needs to reinvent itself every now and then to keep pace with the rapidly changing world, it should never lose what separates it from rest of the crowd: its identity.

Nabeel Ahmad

Founder and CEO, Vertabyte


Nabeel Ahmad is a serial entrepreneur who has founded multiple successful businesses in the fields of marketing, software development, design, e-commerce, and more. He is the founder and CEO of Vertabyte, a full-service digital media agency that partners with clients to boost their business outcomes. Nabeel’s clientele ranges from SMEs to some of the top corporations of the world. 


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