There’s no dearth of advice on conversion rate optimization. Making your messaging stand out, using the right CTAs and pulling words out of customers’ mouths to make your message resonate with them—are all topics that have tons of content around them.
There’s advice for each stage of the conversion process from awareness to the purchase decision stage. There’s a lot of focus on understanding problems that plague your ideal customers and lot more effort into hacking the right solution.
But there’s a hidden problem lying underneath all that brilliant-sounding advice. You hope that your brand would succeed by listening to this expert advice and perhaps applying a few of them. Yes, discovering the right problems and offering solutions is going to work and get you some moderate success but you’d never realize your brand’s true potential following pompous advice.
How to arrive at your brand’s true potential?
All the sage advice doesn’t enlighten the fact that people care about you as a brand. People do bother. That is if you’ve built a brand. If you are able to elicit emotions from them.
I recently got a subscriber email from Talia at Getlift. She was describing the experience of losing her first client. Here’s what she wrote:
I devoured books on the psychology of decision-making.
I broke down thousands of high-converting landing pages.
I tested…and tested…and tested.
Eventually, I discovered the one thing that would change my business forever:
All the tools, hacks, best practices, data and analytics in the world will never get me to where I want to be.
To become the person who knows how to double and triple my clients’ revenues,
I had to master the one skill that matters more than anything in the world:
Emotion is the ONLY way to get people to realize they need your solution.
And I agree with her. 100%.
Killer copy, mind-blowing images, arrows, the big orange button, copy swiped from your customer’s mouths all work to an extent. But you could do so much more by tapping into EMOTIONS.
Brands that stand out have their unique take on things that’s distinctly theirs and something that no one can copy. That’s what separates true brands and influencers from others. They set trends.
But how to elicit emotions? By being strongly opinionated and taking a stand that you don’t deviate from.
You might not love me for this example but bear with me. But Donald Trump didn’t win the elections being a pacifist. A certain section of the society felt alienated, and even his supporters were afraid of showing their support openly. So much so that every opinion poll predicted the worst elections in history with Hillary winning by the widest possible margin in the history of US elections. Those predictions by political pundits didn’t pan out.
Taking a stand works. Your stand tugs at the heart of those who believe in it.
Here’s how to get started with finding an opinion to support:
The stand you take becomes the voice of your brand, the brand’s ethos that echoes in everything you do. But why do you need a brand voice at all?
In these days of fleeting customer loyalty where discounts and free shipping is enough to make customers abandon their favorite site, how do you keep people coming back? A strong brand voice is your answer. It keeps all marketing communications consistent across channels and customer loyalty by extension.
Let’s look at examples of how developing a brand voice helped a few companies stand out from the pack.
Yellow Leaf Hammocks
Yellow Leaf Hammocks does a particularly good job of driving home their motto and how they go about achieving it on their about us page. The page explains that they train mothers in backward communities to weave and ultimately break the cycle of poverty.
This is followed by real-life testimonials of weavers from indigenous communities sharing their experience of working with the company. And sadly, that’s where it ends. The brand voice doesn’t extend to the homepage or social media channels.
Is there a way to extend the voice beyond the about us page? When the customer looks at any random product anywhere on the site will the message find him?
Here’s another example that nails this down perfectly.
Nine Line Apparels
The about page at Nine Line Apparels begins with a description of the heritage behind the word Nine Line which is traditionally a distress call in earlier times from injured soldiers.
It goes on to describe how Nine Line Apparel imbues the sense of patriotism and sense of national pride that’s slowly dissolving away and giving way to racism, hatred, and dissent. The apparel brand represents patriotism and feeling of brotherhood under a common flag.
However, the brand voice doesn’t disappear. They’ve successfully permeated their voice in all products. The company’s top-selling product says, “Stomp My Flag, I’ll Stomp Your Ass.”
And similar phrases and feelings are peppered throughout the product pages. The voice extends to social media as well. Again, nearly two-thirds of the marketing budget at Nine Line Apparels goes to Facebook.
In addition to being able to drive down to core demographics, they’re able to ask for feedback from their followers on new designs. Just focussing on their brand voice has helped them grow year by year. In 2015 sales grew a staggering 391.1% to reach $9.33 million, easily clutching the spot top 1000 fastest growing apparel retailers.
How to go about finding your own brand voice?
Begin with the purpose of your business
Essentially, discover the purpose behind your brand.
Before going about defining a brand voice, first get a few things clear first. Understand what the brand is, who the customers are and what their core beliefs are. Be clear on who it serves or figure out the majority segment of customers. Again what is it you do that differentiates you from the rest of the brands out there? Is there anything- a tagline that you want everyone associated with the brand to you? Tying back what you stand for to the brand is in essence everything.
The business you set up exists for a particular reason. If not, there’s no reason for it to be on that planet. In the run-up, you might have forgotten the true purpose. It’s time to dust of the layers of dirt and grime and look beneath and discover its purpose again.
Get a low down on your core values. It’s easy if you can ask and get answers to these questions.
- Which pain point inspired you to start your business?
- What’s the problem with existing solutions?
- What is it you can do differently?
These questions sum up what it is you want to do, how you differentiate yourself from others and so on. More importantly, you rediscover the passion you felt when you started the brand.
Get feedback from your audience
There are two ways to do this. One is using a feedback tool like Qualaroo and second is going to the core group of readers who have decided to engage with you and built a relationship with you over the years.
These are loyal fans who haven’t left your side over the years.
Think of your brand as a person
Next, think of the brand as an individual with dreams thoughts and passion. To shade life into inanimate ideas is going to be an uphill task but dissociate yourself and think of the brand as an individual.
The voice shouldn’t falter across channels
Be it social media, product pages or your eCommerce blog the voice should be consistent across all channels. Because it’s the same customers everywhere. Don’t change your stand on social issues when you hop from one platform to another or your tone of communication.
The voice should be difficult for others to copy
Being in the veteran niche, it would seem that the Nine Line would hit the ceiling in growth. But that’s alright. Because their focus is unabashedly niched down, nobody else can replicate them or their voice.
They have perfectly nailed down what they believe in most, and their channels products and blogs are a constant unfiltered expression of their honest commitments.
Such passion is hard to be replicated.
Bring Everything Together
Based on your analysis, audience feedback and topics you feel are relevant you might feel that certain topics are overlapping.
What do you think about the importance of creating a brand voice? Do let us know in the comments below.