When small businesses talk about branding, it’s usually in reference to the things you can see: logo, colors, fonts, graphics, etc. That’s just part of it. The other part, and often overlooked, is verbal brand identity. So, let’s dive into what it is, why you need it, and what goes into developing it.
Verbal band identity is a strategic choice of messaging that you use to communicate with your audience. It defines the words you use, the style of writing, how you name things, and so on. For example, does your verbal brand tell your audience that your company is fun and lighthearted or does it tell your audience that you’re serious and driven?
Your verbal brand identity brings shape and clarity to how you will present your company to your audience, how you’d like to be perceived, why you exist, and what impact your company will make.
Without these four things defined, there’s no foundation for how you exist as a brand.
Several elements are used to define your verbal brand identity. They set the stage for everything you write or create for your company. It ensures that you’re aligned with your company’s goals and your target audience. Here’s what goes into it:
Mission: What you aim to accomplish as a company
Vision: The impact you want to make on the market
Values: What you stand for
Descriptors: A set of adjectives that describes your company. Its “personality”.
Tone of voice: The style of writing that you use
Differentiators: What sets you apart from the competition
Once you have the above elements in place, you can begin writing your brand messaging. These include:
Value Proposition: A succinct statement that communicates the value you provide
Positioning statement: This is your who, what, why, and how. It’s a statement that would belong on the homepage of your website.
Tagline: A brief statement that encapsulates your brand
Elevator Pitch: The answer to “what does your company do”? I like to create a few different versions in length of this to give business owners options depending on where this will be used.
There’s a lot of work that goes into developing a verbal brand identity but as you can see, it gives your brand shape, clarity, and purpose. If internally as a company you are not clear on these things, it will without a doubt translate to anything you do externally like social media content or products/services you create. The result is a lack of connection and confusion.
On the other hand, with a well-defined brand, your company attracts your ideal customer like a magnet. Anything you write or create for your business is easier and better. You know your why, your purpose, and your overarching goal as a business. All of these lead up to one thing: more profitability.