The lifestyle, fashion and apparel market is exploding. Every day thousands of new brands are being launched leading to crowding of the market place and a lot of noise. For a new fashion startup, entering a crowded market segment and cutting through the noise is a gargantuan challenge.
One way to overcome this obstacle and create an impact with the target audience is to create a clear and unique voice for your brand that will cut through the noise and be heard. May sound like an obvious thing to do – now that most of fashion consultants are advocating this – but the real challenge is finding out how to execute it.
Let us start with defining what a brand voice which can be simply stated as the personality of your brand. This is the impression or perception that you want your brand to convey when interacting with people.
Your brand voice can manifest in several different ways including your visual identity, the content on your website, the articles you post, the podcasts or videos you produce, how your social media channels look, how you sound on these platforms, how your products and services are and how your customers feel about the experience of dealing with your brand (Yes, I know! That was quite a mouthful!)
This article is one of the lessons from my Ultimate Brand Builder Course. By completing the course you will have built a robust and stunning brand that will be poised to attract your target audience and dominate your market space.
The brand perception you want to create should be rooted in your brand core values. Otherwise it would become an exercise in futility and the brand would come off as fake or inauthentic! For almost all big brands you will see this is true. They all start from a set of core values or ideas that represent the brand’s essence. These values define and dictate how the brand would look and behave and this in turn sets the brand tone and voice.
Your brand story also takes inspiration from your core values and your story enables your brand to become unique. How the story sounds is brand voice. It is not what your story says or how you say it. It is about how make people feel when they encounter your story and your brand voice.
Your audience and your customers want an authentic tone of voice. They do not want to be treated as just dollar signs.
Here are a three suggestions on how to craft your brand voice and what to use as yard sticks:
Respect Your Audience
As a lifestyle brand your primary responsibility is to respect your audience and customers. If you fail on this one, then your brand is doomed.
A lifestyle brand should think beyond just the products and services they offer. They need to get into the shoes of their audience and understand their lives beyond this brand world view. Don’t simply market to your audience. Communicate with them.
Be Their Guide
Audience embrace brands that help them understand this world and solve their problems. To do this your brand has to be a guide and your brand voice should be one of guidance and help. This means your articles or social media posts should go beyond your market segment. You should try and reach into your audience’s worldview and talk about things that are important to them while still aligning with your core values.
A lot of young lifestyle brands tend to think in terms of being grandiose. They feel that by simply associating their brand tone with uber celebrities, their brand also gets that status. The truth is that rarely happens. In fact your brand may come off as being in-authentic and fake.
Being truthful and real. It is ok to get on the band wagon of celebrity gossip but you must also spend time creating your own branded content with a clear and true voice.