Duke of Digital

019 - How to Determine Your Brand Voice with Jennifer Engevik

December 09, 2019
Duke of Digital
019 - How to Determine Your Brand Voice with Jennifer Engevik
Chapters
Duke of Digital
019 - How to Determine Your Brand Voice with Jennifer Engevik
Dec 09, 2019
Brian Meert


You can have the best product in the world, but if you don’t define your brand voice, customers will not care. Raise your pinkies because today we’re going to discuss setting up your brand voice. 


Jennifer Engevik
http://jenniferengevik.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-engevik

Brian Meert

https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianmeert

Duke of Digital
https://www.dukeofdigital.com/
https://www.instagram.com/dukeofdigital/

AdvertiseMint
https://www.advertisemint.com
https://business.facebook.com/advertisemint/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/advertisemint/
https://www.instagram.com/advertisemint






Show Notes Transcript


You can have the best product in the world, but if you don’t define your brand voice, customers will not care. Raise your pinkies because today we’re going to discuss setting up your brand voice. 


Jennifer Engevik
http://jenniferengevik.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-engevik

Brian Meert

https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianmeert

Duke of Digital
https://www.dukeofdigital.com/
https://www.instagram.com/dukeofdigital/

AdvertiseMint
https://www.advertisemint.com
https://business.facebook.com/advertisemint/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/advertisemint/
https://www.instagram.com/advertisemint






Speaker 1:
0:00
You can have the best product in the world, but if you don't define your brand voice, your customers may not care. Raise your pinkies because today we're going to walk you through all the steps on how to set up your brand voice
Speaker 2:
0:13
presented by advertisement. The juke of digital will guide you through the rapidly changing landscape of digital marketing, social media, and how to grow your business online. To submit a question for the show, text (323) 821-2044 or visit juke digital.com if you need an expert to fix your ads, the friendly team at advertisement is ready to help visit advertisement. That's M I N t.com or call (844) 236-4686 to grow your business.
Speaker 1:
0:49
Here's your host, Brian Mitt. All right, I'm here today with Jen [inaudible]. They say that right? It's actually [inaudible] Oh, I was so close. I practiced like 10 times before we started. I blew it. Um, well man, I want to thank you so much for being here today. We have a very specific topic on developing your brand voice. And I know that this is something you have done for a long time. You've got over 15 years, uh, in branding. You've worked for companies like Apple, 20th century, Fox dollar shave club, Warby Parker, Playboy, all of which that you have helped them with developing their brand voice. Um, you've been a TEDx speaker, you're the founder of the project. Be bold, uh, project be bold.com. And man, did I miss anything? How am I doing?
Speaker 3:
1:42
I know. And uh, and have just a, um, launched a new little company called, uh, content. Oh shoot, now I'm messing up. Uh, just launched I think content.buzz. So I've kind of just stepped out on my own with a group of, uh, other brand makers.
Speaker 1:
1:58
Oh, that's fantastic. Okay. So what is think content.buzz? Is that, that's right. Okay. Tell us a little bit about that.
Speaker 3:
2:06
Uh, you know, it just focuses on content as the core. Uh, you know, it's a core piece. Um, a lot of agencies, they'll focus on everything from, uh, you know, paid advertising. And you know, all of these other facets, uh, but, uh, companies come to us just to focus on brand voice and to audit their content, uh, and, and kind of where they're at.
Speaker 1:
2:31
Got it. So, I mean, is this something that, uh, you know, are you, do you only work with the biggest of brands? Is it something that, you know, we're, we're kind of the limits for when someone should give you a call.
Speaker 3:
2:42
Um, I would say either your a brand that is just starting, but you do have some capital behind you, uh, or you're an established brand that is just feels like you're a bit lost. Got it.
Speaker 1:
2:55
Okay. Okay. Sounds good. And how can people find you if they want connect with you? Um, is there any approved methods that you're like, this is where you should, should reach out to me?
Speaker 3:
3:05
Uh, yeah, they can look@thinkcontent.buzz, our website, and there's a phone number, email, all of that good stuff.
Speaker 1:
3:13
Perfect. Sounds great. All right, well, I want to dive into this topic because I do think this is one of the most critical things. And we had a little conversation before we started and I was like, Oh, we've got to get in there and start recording this, which is developing your brand voice. And it's, it's one of those things that a lot of times people think it just exists or kind of happens. But the brands that people generally love the most were created that way. There were teams that said, this is what we want to create and what we want to brand to stand for. Um, so I, I'm really excited because I think the process of setting that up, I have seen, you know, numerous people that have come to me like, well, here's our brand voice, or here's our brand. And they don't even have a brand.
Speaker 1:
4:02
They're like, look, I made a website, you know, make us lots of money. Uh, and so I think it's something we're like, Whoa, like let's take a couple steps back. What does this company about? What does it stand for? And so that's what I was so excited to be able to talk with you a little bit and walk us through some of the processes of how you go through your day and set this up with the clients that you work with. So my first question would be, you know, walk us through what you do for brands kind of on a daily basis or what your job entails.
Speaker 3:
4:33
All right. Uh, well first, uh, you know, and, and, uh, kind of listening to your intro there, I wanted to give you an example and start, uh, from scratch here. Uh, there was a brand that just, uh, came to me and they said, we have a million units of a, uh, kind of a nutraceutical that is amazing. It's an energy product. And we have worked with scientists is the most amazing thing. And they poured all this money into, you know, a million units and they had no brand voice documents. Their website looked like it was something out of a 1990s, you know, horror show, web 1.0 website. And, uh, they were just like, alright, we're ready to go and we want to sell on Amazon and we want to put our products into convenience stores and we want to, uh, anyway, so, uh, I looked at their content, I looked at their branding and it was just nothing.
Speaker 3:
5:38
And so they invested all this money into that. So I think a lot of people, or a lot of companies, they think they see these brands on Facebook advertising and they're looking at it going like, Oh, we have a great product. We can do this. But they didn't have any basis. So now they've got millions of dollars invested into this, this product, and they're stuck. And so, uh, this is an example where they're like, what do we do? And I'm like, you're not launching in January like you thought you would because you are going to waste so much money and throw money down a hole. And so that's a kind of, if we could start there.
Speaker 1:
6:18
Oh, I love it. So I mean, so there be two examples, right? Um, the example that you just mentioned where they've got money and funding and they're getting the products made and they have a website and they're doing all the steps that generally would happen with business. And then there's the opposite side, which is Elon Musk that says, boom, Tesla truck, check this out. Don't you guys want it? Order it now. Now it's not coming out for like two years. They only have one prototype like it's a million miles away. But he's telling the story and saying, this is what it represents. This is, you know, the biggest, baddest truck. It, uh, you know all the features about it and people go nuts over it and it has one of the highest pre-sale, um, for automobiles of all time and he's, he's only done the branding behind it and kind of peaks peoples interests.
Speaker 1:
7:06
So, you know, what are your thoughts there? Do you focus more on the story from the beginning? Cause you obviously saw they had everything in place and they were about to hit the gas and you're like, hold on for a second and let's line up and put together what is the story behind the company, what is the voice of who the company is? And I think, you know, before we, or before we started, you mentioned three things, you were like, you need to set up the voice of, of the company, you need to set up the story and then you set up the content. So can you walk through each one of those steps?
Speaker 3:
7:40
Uh, yes. Um, okay. So I'm working with a brand right now and I can't really say what the brand is. Uh, but you know, it's in the CBD industry and it's a, an extremely tight and very competitive space right now. Yup. And so they didn't have any brand and, and uh, voice documents or our voice and tone documents. And so we start from scratch, like writing, like what does the brand name mean? Okay. So, uh, the, the name is, uh, indicative of something that every pro had. This is I, how do I say this? I'm sorry. Um, anyway, uh, okay. So basically we outlined exactly what the brand, uh, ah shit, how do I say this? I'm sorry. Uh, okay,
Speaker 1:
8:33
so you, I mean you can't say the name, which is fine, but so the name has some reference to what they do, but you can't talk about it because it's so top secret.
Speaker 3:
8:42
Okay. So what I, what I do is I dive in and I start like spitting out tons and tons of content and I'll write like, what does that word mean? What does it mean to humanity? Like how does it tie in to my heart? How does it tie into your heart? You know, what's the psychology behind that word? And so I wrote tons and tons of content surrounding that and some of it was cheesy, some of it was, you know, weird. Some I you just like let it flow. And so then you sit down at a table and I like just say, okay, check this out. And the brand, you know, the, the owners of the brand are like, Oh my gosh, like that's so far out there. I said, yeah, but we, you have to connect on a deeper level. First. There has to be a pool of like, like good stuff behind it and then we can hone it into, uh, like something that makes sense. And yeah.
Speaker 1:
9:42
So do you, um, you know, as you're, you're putting this together, you're the brand voice, and this is a question I would have. Does it come from this, the president or the founder's personality? Does it come from a team that says what we're trying to reach a certain type of audience and we want to resonate within them?
Speaker 3:
10:03
Well, okay. First and foremost, uh, the brand that I'm speaking of, they want to appeal to women. And I walk in the first day to work with them on content and it's a, a room full of guys. And, you know, they wanted to, you know, they wanted to go with the like, could we say, like made for women, you know, uh, by women, is that a, and I'm like, no, no, you can't do that. Now. The reason being, okay, now I'm one woman who's working on the project, but like a little digging and your brand can be slaughtered by, you know, so, uh, you can't do that. Um, and anyways, so, uh, yeah. What, what was your year?
Speaker 1:
10:45
I was just, you know, the, the question was voice story, content. That's where we were talking about is, you know, what's the process of creating the voice? Um, and then what's the process of creating the story, which is basically any businesses their why, why are they here, why do they exist? What makes them different? What makes them better? Um, you know, so in this example, if you were going to two women, what were some of the things that you would do in terms of creating a story behind that?
Speaker 3:
11:13
Yeah, so, uh, okay. So, like I was saying, you know, I wrote pages on pages, like why, what it means to women, like why it should matter to them and you get a whole bunch of info. And in the end, like all of my writing ends up being like that. Like I, I'm just showing an example of just like, like there are pages and pages written, but this is what it was refined down to. And I'm, I'm showing this,
Speaker 1:
11:39
I love it. Which I mean, and you have it as a brand manifesto, which is what it says on the top of the page. And I love that because it really is a single statement. There's probably what, uh, 40 words, uh, in the different bullet that you've got there in terms of this is exactly who we are, what we stand for now. How long did it take you to get to here is the manifesto, does it, is there a lot of reworking, we're throwing a lot of ideas and then you whittle it down? Or did you just, you go and you're like, this is who it is and we stamp it and we're, we're moving forward.
Speaker 3:
12:15
Do you know, it's, it's just different for every client. Sometimes I'll just hit it on the nail or the nail on the head. Like sometimes it will just happen and it's just like, boom. You know, uh, the project that I'm talking about, you know, it, it took a handful of days for us to whittle it down to what it was all about.
Speaker 1:
12:32
Well, I think what's so important is it very much is like a North star for the company in terms of where we're going and where we're headed and who we want to be and be associated as. So you can't really, especially, I mean, we work a lot in advertising. If there isn't something like that of here is where the company wants to go, you get ideas from all over. Everything's like, yeah, sure. That sounds great, let's do it. And ultimately, this is why it's so critical is without a brand voice and our brand story, a lot of times it just becomes a mess. Um, it really does. I mean, I've seen it multiple times from people that have, you know, come to us saying, help us. And I'm like, yeah, cause wow, there's, there's a lot of messiness here where they've tried everything, everything gets green-lit. Um, and ultimately it just becomes kind of messy. Um, you know, in your opinion, what are some of the brands that you think are doing the best or possibly the worst in regards to their brand voice?
Speaker 3:
13:35
Um, you know, I mean, I really, uh, I think that Nike is, uh, an amazing brand because, and it's an off a lot of obvious reasons. Um, Nike connects with the heartbeat of humanity. And it doesn't matter if you're here, if you're in Asia, if you're in Africa, if you're, you know, uh, wherever, you know, they know how to connect with the heartbeat of humanity and they really come across as though they care and that they want to see, uh, humanity push themselves to another level. Um, you know, and uh, I think that's a great example. Um,
Speaker 1:
14:17
well for, so for Nike we'll use them as example. Um, you know, w when should a brand go down the route of getting involved with, or what's your opinion on getting involved with political events or um, you know, movement type events where a lot of times people can be very divided. An example I would think I would use was, uh, Colin Kaepernick, uh, he had a campaign with Nike that was at the time, you know, very controversial. A lot of people agreed with Colin or disagreed, uh, for their own reasons. But Nike came through and was like, here, here's the stand and we're supporting him, you know, is that, does that have a downside of the people that maybe disagree with that issue being like debts it or do people respect brands that are able to take aside?
Speaker 3:
15:12
I do think that as you know, as we're progressing and, uh, you know, you look at gen Z, um, you look at gen X even to a certain degree, like th I think that they want to see you take a stand, but obviously you have to be extremely careful about the, the stance that you take. Um, you know, uh, using Chick-fil-A as an example, you know, I will never go to a Chick-Filet if you paid me. I mean, based on what I've seen, you know, and, and, you know, so I don't know why.
Speaker 1:
15:50
I mean, it's, I think what happens is, you know, it's, uh, it's a, uh, an issue and usually a social issue. Um, and a lot of times people will have thoughts on this is right, or this is wrong, or I believe this or I don't. Um, and what happens is companies come through and, and make that decision where they're like, Hey, this is what I, you know, this is now the company is associated with one of these two sides. So I mean, the obvious advantage of that is you believe it's right and the company believes it's right. So I mean that I would say do that. Um, and usually people that support that are like, this is fantastic. Like their, their brand loyalty and their part of their story is, is becoming much more solidified with this company. But on the flip side, it has a potential to alienate other people that are like, you have now caused that one little rift. So is it, is it better for a company to be like, let's do it and know that half the population may not like us, but the other half is going to like us twice as much? Or is it better to just be like, we're gonna stay away from those issues. And is that part of developing the brand voice? Like are you controversial or are you just a, we're here to provide a service or a product? And we're moving forward and we stay out of those type of issues.
Speaker 3:
17:06
Ha. I think that it, it has to tie into your brand promise and you know, and your mission. Um, you know, I'm not one who, uh, it's, this is, it's a tough question for me. Serious. Uh, seriously. Um, I, I don't know. I, I wish, I, I, I wish I could have some huge answers.
Speaker 1:
17:32
Yeah. I know. I feel like it probably is going to be, um, determined by the company to be like, do we want to be someone that's more assertive in there and that we are, are, you know, known by taking a stand on issues or, you know, Hey, we're just going take a step back. But
Speaker 3:
17:51
yeah, I, I guess, uh, I would say that, uh, you know, if you feel strongly, if, if a brand feels strongly about something, go, go there and, you know, push it to the hilt if you would like to. Um, you know, uh, I don't know. It's not really my, it's not really my area. But I do think, and I gave you the example before the show, I have a client that is in, you know, the, the vape space and you know, they are trying to stay ahead of the curve and trying to educate and you know, they have never used ingredients that are dangerous to people, uh, as, as they know. Um, and so they're trying to stay ahead of the curve and to, uh, like, you know, uh, you know, become a newsmaker from that perspective. And I would say that's more my area of expertise, expertise,
Speaker 1:
18:46
just getting ahead, being proactive. Um, you knowing they're going to be conversations happening and how do you position the company's in a good light or that are, you know, uh, emphasizing the positive elements or the talking points to be like, you know, there are two sides to every story. Um, and making sure that you have that lined up and prepared.
Speaker 3:
19:08
I mean, I can say also from the perspective of we live in a day and age where people I think should speak up about the things that they care about, you know, especially, you know, if, uh, you know, people are being hurt and you know, I, I do think that there are things that, uh, we should all stand, you know, stand up and talk about, um, I'm just not the expert on whether or not a brand should just like go full force. Yeah.
Speaker 1:
19:34
Oh, for sure. Um, you know, how much time and or money should companies, and I know this is kind of a, a vague question because you could have companies like Apple or you could have companies that are just, uh, you know, starting up, but you know, w is there in your mind how much time, how much money should be allocated and, and is it only at the beginning or is it something that is always changing and is an ongoing process, um, for building their brand?
Speaker 3:
20:02
Well, I think that, um, your every waking moment should be spent thinking about your content and what, you know, what you're putting out there. Um, you definitely need to invest, uh, heavily. I can't give you a percentage or a certain dollar amount per se, but, uh, in the beginning you should definitely be spending heavily on your, um, your content creation. Um, you know, on, uh, in, in working on a media calendar, uh, you know, making sure that every single day you're being proactive about what you're putting out there and, uh, all of that. Good.
Speaker 1:
20:41
Yeah. Yeah, no, it's definitely, I think when it comes to branding, uh, and having your brand voice, you're either going to for it at the beginning or you're going to pay for it later by the mistakes that happen or as things get squirrely or out of control. Um, you know, is if I were to give you this a challenge, if I was like, Hey, uh, and here's, here's a story and you tell me what you think. So near my house there are two taco trucks, uh, one on either corner. And when I drive by this corner, one of the taco trucks has like hundreds of people in line waiting to get tacos. And on the other corner is another taco truck. Now they look, you know, maybe they're painted differently or whatever. The second one will have like four people in line, you know. So there's obviously something happening there where customers are finding one much more valuable. If I wanted to create a third taco truck on that corner and be able to compete and you know, I'm ready to go, but I come to you and say, Hey, I need help with uh, creating a brand voice or a story, you know, what would you say like is that something that happens quickly in a day? Is it something you're like, we would take a while or how would you, how would you treat me as a client and what would be some of your tips for me?
Speaker 3:
21:58
Well, I would say from the beginning you really have to think about the whys and hows of your brand. You know, take a look at your competition and see like taco truck a, like they're doing this well and this is what their focus is. You know, taco truck B, which is the most successful taco truck in the area. This is what they're doing, you know, this is, this is how they're being successful. Um, and here's how I can differentiate myself. Um, and all the while you're thinking about, uh, you know who you are, you know what type of food you're delivering. Like, you know, what, what's, what's different. Um, don't serve up the same exact thing obviously as everyone else and really develop a story surrounding it. Um, I had a Mexican food, a chain that I worked with and they really dove into their, a story with me. Like we really dove in and went way back to the days where, you know, their father who started the chain, uh, ran a taco stand and how much do people in the community really loved his tacos? And you know, how that goes into their, uh, you know, into their a restaurant. And you know why that is, is important. Yeah,
Speaker 1:
23:17
I know. I know before we started we are, you know, talking uh, briefly and we were saying, you know, some comments about there are times that a company could have a better product but their competitor will do better because they have a better story. Um, or if the products are close to being identical, like in the case of Mexican food, um, it's the story that people will remember or it's the brand voice that people resonate. Um, and that can be the tipping point for what brings customers to you versus another place.
Speaker 3:
23:51
Yeah, and I have to be honest, like there has been like blood, sweat and tears. Like I've sat with brands and we've tried to bring them to life with amazing life changing products and it just did not happen. Like they spent millions of dollars like trying to, to bring this amazing product, you know, to light. But you know, it just didn't connect. And you know, sometimes that's, you know, the marketer's fault, but sometimes it's also the owner and their inability to like be open to new things, open to new thoughts.
Speaker 1:
24:27
Now you had a tip you had shared with me that you said every brand should start at square one. Um, can you elaborate on that for the listeners?
Speaker 3:
24:37
Yeah. Um, you know, whether you are a brand new brand or you're established, you know, you have to like start with your story, create some voice and tone documents, like really dive in and write a, I was telling you, you know, like obviously that, you know, I write tons of, of like backstory. Um, and then you, uh, you know, create a content roadmap. And in that content roadmap, you have to think about, you know, organic content and you have to think about, you know, paid content, like how you're going to put that into the, to the mix. Um, and you know, how you're going to distribute that content. Like, you know, are you going to use Facebook or are you gonna use Snapchat and how are you going to, you know, how are you going to do that? Um, and then, uh, you know, you have to just continually put out content each and every day.
Speaker 3:
25:35
And in the beginning, it's probably going to be crappy content, possibly crappy content, unless you have a lot of money to get, you know, all the basics in place. Uh, but as things progress and as things grow, um, you know, you could really have a, a wealth of content that resonates with your audience and, and you can't think of it. A lot of my clients come to me and they're like, we want this, you know, SEO, you know, uh, we, you know, we need SEO content. Well, Google, yes. While they're into, uh, you know, SEO content, now they're starting to look at like high quality content that provides, you know, actual, um, you know, uh,
Speaker 1:
26:17
value to the user, um, and their, their elements that they take in, which are, you know, time on site. Um, you know, it's not just, I put a lot of keywords on a page and there we go. My job is done. It really does. I think most of the platforms are coming back around to value. Um, and I think that goes back to exactly what you're talking about, which is, you know, who you're talking to. And you need to create a voice and a tone information that that person, that customer will be like, Oh, this is valuable. Like, that resonated with me. Yeah. I, I, it's worth my time to stop and pay attention. Sure. Versus, you know, just a keyword stuff article or you know, something that's a bunch of content mixed around. Um, yeah.
Speaker 3:
27:02
And you know, something that, uh, I've been working with, with a handful of brands, or we call them super pages, you know, SEO super pages. Okay. And in those those pages we break up and we'll create like, let's just say if you are a, Oh gosh, a CBD brands. Okay. Um, so one of the big questions is obviously like, you know, why does CBD work? And so we'll create these like super long, uh, you know, 2000 to 3000 words, super pages where we break down in a way that, you know, both Google is gonna love and that the reader is, you know, it's just this wealth of information that, you know, may even drive a conversion, you know, so just kind of a, it's a multipurpose,
Speaker 1:
27:50
Oh yeah. I love it. It's super pages. Um, okay. Well let's, let's do this, I know we're kind of coming to a close here, but are there any final words of advice or tips that you would share with someone else that you know, is maybe wanting to create their, their brand voice documents or to get started?
Speaker 3:
28:10
Um, I would say, you know, just cast a wide net, you know, start and, you know, really pour yourself into it, um, and then just continually refine your message until it resonates with your target audience. And you know, it may take, uh, creating a focus group where you sit down with your target audience. It's so easy to make assumptions as to, you know, Oh, this is what my audience likes. But in the end, like let's say if you're marketing to gen Z, well a lot of people make assumptions, assumptions about them. Um, but they are so there are non BS like they want, uh, they want to see the, even the flaws and a brand like, and uh, whereas gen Z ears are often like, you know, we're still a product of our baby boomer parents that like to, you know, appearances mean something to us. Like, you know, uh, with gen Z, no way. Like you can't fool them and uh, you're going to see that become more and more important.
Speaker 1:
29:11
I actually loved your story about, you know, a brand that's wanting to resonate with women and walking into a room and it's all men. Yeah. I've seen that happen numerous times where the people who are starting the company are like, we want to enter this market, but none of us are necessarily in that, but we're good at marketing or we're good at business, so we'll be able to do it. Um, and you know, it's crazy because I'll walk into those conversations and be like, wait, where's the, that's in that? Like, have we talked to anyone who's actually the customers? And it's like, no, it doesn't matter because we'll just do everything right. And we'll, they'll do what we want. And I'm like, Oh my gosh. Wow, that's, that's horrible. Um, and I think there's some extent in that example. I mean, that's exactly right. Like you walk in and I'd been like, we need to even the odds here and bring in some other people and, and that's why, you know, the, the research side or, you know, the test user testing or just sitting down and talking with someone who would be your customer and saying, Hey, this is what we're thinking.
Speaker 1:
30:15
What do you think? Do you like it? Do you not? What are your thoughts? And I've just been surprised at how many great ideas and great thoughts and directions come from the actual customer. Customers themselves, they'll tell you what they want if you take the time to listen to them.
Speaker 3:
30:32
Yeah. And you have to be able to, and especially if you're an established brand and you're sinking, um, you know, uh, you really have to be able to make some quick changes and, you know, you have to be strategic about, about it.
Speaker 1:
30:46
Yeah. Yeah. Well, awesome. Well, thank you so much, Jen, for being here. It's wonderful tips that you were able to share with everyone else, so thank you very much. All right guys, we will check you out on the next episode.
Speaker 2:
30:59
Thank you for listening to the Duke of digital podcast with Brian Mitt. Want to network with other business owners. Join our exclusive group at facebook.com/groups/duke of digital fancy the Duke. Leave a five star review on your favorite podcast app and you can be mentioned on the show. The Duke of digital was produced by advertisement and recorded in Hollywood, California. All rights reserved.
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