Think about the type of people you have the strongest connection with and what type of attributes attract you to them. What is unique about them? And what do they do that inspires you?
More often than not, this connection is aligned with one common theme: AUTHENTICITY.
People tend to be drawn to those they can relate to while owning who they are — be yourself and nothing else.
The same applies to companies truly leaning into their authentic brand voice and effectively communicating who they are, what they do, and, most importantly, WHY they do what they do. Aligning the company’s internal voice with its external builds an emotional connection to an organization because it is believable.
First, dig deep internally.
Connect with your most valuable asset: your employees. From cell operators to senior leadership, companies should always take the time to uncover what is special about their team. Be curious! Develop questions to guide answers you think can help you better understand why your employees work for you and why your company attracts and retains employees, customers, and suppliers.
When the team shares responses, it’s important to truly listen and let their voices be heard. Make this more conversational vs. it being perceived as another company-wide survey. From there, evaluate your findings to identify where there may be overlap to formulate a team consensus to develop themes. Not only is this activity designed to build authentic messaging, but more importantly, it nurtures trust and a human-to-human connection. Whether it is executed from within or from an outside firm, like Vive conducting its registered assessment known as the Zweck Analysis®, this is meant to go beyond the surface level and get to the root of the internal voice of the employee.
Next, bring in the external voice of the customer.
To create cohesive alignment with your messaging, connect the internal voice with the external. Start by assessing positive and constructive customer feedback the company has received thus far and pair it with any information obtained from a more formal customer interview process. If it has been a while since your company has conducted an organized interview process, work with your marketing team to craft questions identifying key attributes and themes based on the customers’ overall impression of your business, why people choose to do business with you, what type of content they’re looking for, etc.
Although it would be beneficial if companies received ample feedback from a majority of their customers, we know this isn’t always feasible. The reason for the disconnect may be attributed to a lack of availability, not being interested in participating, or perhaps just being unable to provide helpful feedback.
On the flip side, what we’ve found is when a trusted, third-party company, like Vive, conducts the interview process, the customers tend to be more transparent in their delivery. They also appreciate it when their voices are heard and leveraged in a productive way. Keeping this in mind, it is imperative to communicate to the customers in advance, assuring them Vive’s external analysis is a trustworthy process.
Analyze and create the overlap.
Once the customer responses are received and reviewed, find the commonalities between the internal and external feedback to begin building themes and messaging based on that. Here’s a visual example of that messaging overlap:
With this valuable information, infuse themes into your marketing and communication efforts. Whether it is your website, social media, sales tools, etc. have it consistently and frequently highlighted in your messaging approach.
When companies deviate from the internal and external drive voice, it may be perceived as off-brand or inauthentic. That’s why it’s so important to stay true to your authentic brand voice no matter where it is being leveraged. Not only do your employees appreciate it, but your customers and suppliers will be able to build strong, long-lasting relationships with you based on trust, allowing your business to thrive.
Looking to build your company’s brand voice, but don’t know where to begin? Contact Vive today to start a conversation!