Thousands of businesses fail every day. The biggest reason small businesses have to close shop is a result of limited cash flow or low sales. While that may seem like a given, how many people can identify the root cause for the collapse?
Is it a poor product?
Mismanagement of capital?
What if I told you the crack in the foundation is often a result of poor brand voice?
Yes, you read that right. Often companies fall flat because they lack a unique and consistent brand voice. Roughly 80 percent of people cite “authenticity of content” as the main factor as to whether or not they follow a brand. But make no mistake, the absence of following a brand goes deeper than missing Instagram photos and Facebook updates. In this case, when consumers perceive a business’s voice to fail to be original and credible, they lose support — and sales.
The interaction between the buyer and seller is as old as time itself, and from the beginning, the saying, “people buy from people they like,” has always remained true. The quote by American author Seth Godin fittingly sums up this notion.
“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.”
With voice being a vital ingredient to a business’s success and sustainability, nailing the right persona is not an option, but a requirement. Hopes of getting by on the product or service alone just won’t cut it in 2020, and in the cannabis industry, where competition is fierce in the emerging market — customer relationship building is the driving force to developing a budding business.
Questions to Ask Yourself
The starting line to discovering your voice begins by asking some self-reflective questions… A voice that resonates with your target audience must first resonate with your company. Examine your mission statement, and dissect what elements should shine through in your private and public voice. A few questions to ask might include:
- What is my role in the cannabis industry?
- Who is my target audience?
- What is my company’s vibe?
- How are my competitors speaking with consumers?
- What makes us different?
- How can we highlight our personality through our voice?
In addition to these questions, isolate a handful of verbs and adjectives that come to mind when looking at your business. A fun activity to do during this stage is the “but not…” exercise. It works like this — say you want your company/voice to be fun, but not… “insert adjective.”
Example: I want our voice to be brazen, but not rude.
Based on these answers you will be able to better formulate what you stand for and what type of voice feels natural for your company — that’s what you want to share with your audience.
Research Your Target Audience
The next step in this process is going down the rabbit hole, known as audience identification. Being in-tune with yourself is first and foremost. But, knowing your audience is a close second. Maybe you’re an energy company that has specifically developed a cultivation light for cannabis. If that’s the case, your audience is going to be more B2B customers, compared to private citizens. In that instance, those potential customers are going to have different behaviors and consumptions habits compared to the customers of a dispensary.
When researching your target audience it is key to understand certain factors such as:
- Job Titles
Many target audiences feel that business communications are irrelevant or fall flat. Engaging and resonating with an audience’s senses circles back to understanding who they are, what they like, and how they talk. Dedicate time to knowing your consumer.
Knowing Your Voice and Tone
Voice and tone are all about connecting with your audience, but the two have different roles. Voice is ever-present in all your communications, it depicts your personality. Tone varies with each communication and implies the emotional inflection attached to the voice.
To recap, the voice should be consistent and tone should be the case by case alteration to fit the mood of the post. These two form a systemic relationship — appealing and resonating with your target audience. Items such as: word choice, style, and format are all pieces that define voice and tone.
At the end of the day, it is necessary that all your communications display a clear sense of purpose. Otherwise, your audience may end up confused or unmotivated, leaving you out of business.
Need Help Finding Your Voice?
Elevato Marketing is a full-service digital agency specializing in cannabis advertising. With a team of experienced professionals, we are ready to help connect your products with the right clients. Contact us to see how together we can benefit your business!