We’re all used to brands tightly policing their visual identity. But what about their verbal identity? It’s not unusual for a brand to find itself engaging with customers, employees and stakeholders in places where visual identity is pushed into the background or even out of view. Think social media and a chat with customer services for starters.
So how do you know it’s the brand you know and love that’s talking to you? That’s where Verbal Identity comes in. It goes beyond communications guidelines (usually reserved for marketing department and agencies). What about the other 99% of people who speak on behalf of your brand?
Building on the brand idea
At Calling, we believe the strongest brands are built from the inside out – through employee engagement. It starts with your brand idea, which needs to be embedded in the business and used as an organising principle that informs everything you say and do.
Think of Verbal Identity like a red thread that runs from top to bottom of the organisation. If a brand is a promise delivered, then its Verbal Identity is the way it expresses that promise at every touchpoint.
Find the red thread
Think of Verbal Identity like a red thread that runs from top to bottom of the organisation. If a brand is a promise delivered, then its Verbal Identity is the way it expresses that promise at every touchpoint. But don’t mistake Verbal Identity as a fancy alternative for tone of voice – yes, that’s part of it, but this is about giving your people in every part of your organisation the tools they need to speak to customers effectively.
One voice, many people
Brands no longer have an obvious front door – the digital world offers many ways to interact. In the past, advertising may have set the tone but these days, a customer’s first contact could easily be through Twitter or a call to customer services. Having a consistent voice and story is vital to create an authentic, joined-up experience for employees and customers that will win their hearts and minds.
How does your brand’s Verbal Identity stack up?
Does it even have one? What would make it stronger, deeper and more effective? Does it work through every part of your organisation? These are the questions we think every brand should be asking – and answering – in their own unique way.
Take the Verbal Identity Challenge
Ed Prichard, Head of Verbal Identity