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Marketing Strategy

Finding Your Customer Voice

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Your customer voice is key to your brand personality because it connects with and inspires your audiences. Here’s how to keep yours authentic.


Key takeaways:

  • Your customer voice is important to your brand personality and how people view your company from the outside.
  • People care about what you’re doing to help society, not just how great your products are.
  • Customer benefits and society outcomes are two of the most important drivers of authenticity when finding your voice.
  • Define your audience and ask yourself which key word – such as “persuasion” or “authority” – will make your customers take action.
  • Download our FREE Customer Voice Worksheet so you can find YOUR customer voice

Every organization has a story to tell, but you need a true understanding of your voice – the tone, attitude, and behaviors of your company – to tell it in a consistent, effective way. That voice is essentially your brand personality.


Download the Free Voice Worksheet

It’s not always easy to know how to define your customer voice, much less start using it. This guide walks through what your customer voice means and how to find it, including the key questions you need to ask yourself and a helpful worksheet to get you started.


What is your brand voice?

It’s important to note that your brand voice can be used in multiple ways, and that you can have different tones in different types of content. Also, your organization is made up of multiple individuals, each of whom incorporate their own voices and tones into the overall brand voice. Consistency is key, but each person can still bring their own personality to the table. You can have multiple tones and still stay true to the brand voice.

It’s also helpful to differentiate between branding and brand. Your branding is your logo, color scheme, website design, swag, and elements like your graphics. Your brand, on the other hand, is your company’s reputation and how people view it from the outside. It takes into account how you treat customers and what your community of buyers feels like.

As FleishmanHillard put it, “It’s not just about what you sell, but how your brand and your leaders engage with society.”

Your customer voice is the brand of your organization. It’s the expectation that people have when they hear from you and tells them what it will be like to interact with you. That’s why getting your brand voice right is so important.


Authenticity drivers

Nailing down your brand voice requires that you get real with yourself. If you’re not sure how to start defining it, think about these drivers of authenticity to help you stay true to your business goals and vision:


  • Customer benefits: 49% of people look for customer benefits, including better value, customer care, and innovation, when looking to work with a brand.
  • Society outcomes: 32% look for societal outcomes, such as care of environment, community impact, and employee care. What are you doing to improve the world?
  • Management behaviors: 19% look at the behavior of management, including whether the business focuses on ethical actions, shows consistent performance, and communicates credibly

Let’s dig deeper into the customer benefits element since it’s so important. It’s no longer enough to create great products. It’s important to people that you’re trying to make positive impacts on the world around you. What you focus on with your messaging sets the stage for what you want to be as an organization. 

To stay authentic:

  • Identify your place — What do you want to be known for?
  • Define your space — Find an uncontested niche to tell your story.
  • Create great content – Get great content that will convey your message effectively.
  • Connect with your followers – Build an actionable audience

Remember that people trust people. Mark Schaefer writes in his book, Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins, that “Studies consistently show that content about a brand created by a consumer – in their authentic voice – receives between 600% and 700% more engagement than content about the same product posted by the company.”  This is why case studies and online reviews are so effective. Hearing from customers allows you to build trust with other potential customers because, again, people trust people.


How to find your voice

You can find your customer voice in a few simple steps, but it may take you time to get it just right. Pretend your brand was a person, and start by answering these questions:

  • What personality traits would it have?
  • Describe, in adjectives, what it is NOT (which is just as important).
  • What makes it special?
  • What would its relationship be to the customer? (mother, friend, uncle, mentor)
  • List companies with similar personalities.
  • What makes these companies similar to or different from you?

Then, you need to define your audience. This includes their:

  • Gender
  • Geography
  • Age
  • Parental status
  • Behavioral trends (what do they do online)
  • Psychographics (what do they care about)

You need to know the drivers that lead someone to make a decision or change. Think about your voice, tone, and message, and about what actually causes customers to act. Consider these keywords:

  • Persuasion
  • Reciprocity
  • Scarcity
  • Authority
  • Consistency
  • Liking
  • Consensus

Really try to nail down the words that stand out to you before you begin formulating exactly what you want people to take away from your voice. Then, consider what drives consumers to act, which are broken down into three hierarchy categories:

  1. The standard hierarchy: Think → Feel → Do

You feel something and want to take action. You’re thinking about purchasing a computer, for example, so you visit Apple’s store, are blown away by their products and the thought of being in their community, and you buy one.

  1. The low-involvement hierarchy: Do → Feel → Think

You want a cup of coffee. You know you can trust the quality of Starbucks and you love the experience, so you go there, order, and you enjoy the purchase.

  1. The experiential hierarchy: Feel → Do → Think

Someone created pop-up Luke’s Diner cafes where fans of the show Gilmore Girls can visit and engage with a beloved series. This approach plays to what people know and love to give them an experience of nostalgia they’ll remember forever. 

Thinking about these stages helps you nail down what drives the people you’re trying to inspire.


Your worksheet to get started

Click here to download our FREE Customer Voice Worksheet so you can find YOUR customer voice

Remember: Keep your voice consistent. Think about where you fit on certain spectrums, like positivity versus curiosity. Do you always want to be super bubbly and positive, or are you OK with questioning things? Are you snarky or sassy? Do you see yourself as the voice of God, the one and only authority on a specific topic? What are you trying to say?

This simple worksheet with examples of potential answers will help you get to brainstorming:

  • Content type? (i.e., Tweets, blog posts)
  • Reader (i.e., potential customers, marketing professionals)
  • Reader feelings (i.e., eager to find interesting information, looking for a solution)
  • Your tone should be (i.e., informative, approachable, helpful)
  • Write like this (i.e., “Did you know? The 8-hour work day was invented to help people work less. Get the skinny here.”)
  • Tips for writing (i.e., use lots of questions, avoid sounding authoritative, invite others to learn and discover.)

Download the Free Voice Worksheet

Find your voice with ContentBacon

At ContentBacon, we help you define your customer voice and shout your unique messages from the rooftops. We also make sure that your inbound marketing content will inspire your audiences to act and keep your flywheel spinning. 

Learn more about our subscription services to get started with better, tastier content.


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