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March 10th, 2011

Find your voice.

Do all of your tweets, ads, newsletters, point-of-sale materials, internal docs., etc. sound like they’re coming from the same company? Does your brand speak with one voice? Better question: do you have a voice? What is it?

For instance, the voice we use for vitaminwater might be described as your “witty, enlightened b.f.f.” For University Hospitals, it’s more like “nationally-recognized innovator meets local, compassionate care giver.” As for our own brand, umm, “brilliant, self-effacing, goofy bastards from Cleveland.” (Okay, so maybe the “brilliant” part is a bit of a stretch—hey, we can dream, right?)

So, why is it so important to have a unique voice? Because in today’s marketplace, the tangible differences between products and services are rapidly decreasing. So in reality—although most corporations will never admit this—the only thing that might separate you from the competition is your brand voice, and your ability to use it to forge an emotional connection with your audience.

Companies like Volkswagen, Old Spice, and Apple understand this. They know the power of personality. After all, according to rational techie geeks, the iPod is not the best MP3 player on the market. But try telling that to your 12 year old.

So, what are you waiting for? Find your voice, and then share it with the world. It’s time to be heard, Ben Konop. (Never mind that boo bird, lil’ buddy—you’re doing great.)