By Eric Dickmann

November 15, 2021

Brand Positioning, The Virtual CMO Podcast

The Virtual CMO Podcast

Season 7, Episode 5

This week, host Eric Dickmann talks with Chris West- founding partner of Verbal Identity. Chris leads the world’s leading strategic brand consultancy focusing on brand language. Verbal Identity has created distinctive and engaging brand voices for global and national brands, relaunches, and startups, from B2B, B2C, and everything in between.

Chris founded Verbal Identity in 2010 to advise clients on the power of brand language. His 30 years’ experience allowed him to help brands and companies use their language to engage customers, deepen loyalty, and de-position rivals.

Chris’ book all about his practice is titled “Strong Language” – the fastest, smartest, cheapest marketing tool you’re not using. It is a practical, how-to guide for creating a distinctive brand language, as well as winning support for change and defining the budget and ROI for doing it.

You can connect with Chris on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Chris West
Chris West

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Why You Should Build Your Brand’s Identity

It’s important to build your brand’s identity to promote customer loyalty, market trust, and brand recognition. It gives your customers the confidence to work with businesses they believe they can trust. In a fiercely competitive environment, brands need to create a persona both visually and verbally to stand out from their competitors. For the brand to establish its identity, marketers need to represent their company’s values and messaging in a consistent way across all online and offline channels.

What is Your Brand’s Identity?

Your brand’s identity refers to all the elements that portray the right image to your customers. It relays visual and verbal cues to help people better relate to your business. Often, brand identity and brand are interchanged. Brand identity is the visual part of your brand, while brand refers to your customer’s overall perception and experience.

Key elements of a strong brand identity:

  • Brand mission and vision
  • Brand personality
  • Unique positioning
  • Brand voice
Build Your Brand's Identity

Highlights from Our Conversation with Chris:

“When you do spend a bit of time looking at your brand voice, it doesn’t have to be a lot, it’s not a forever project. When you do that, what you find is you focus in on what is authentic.”

  • [00:03:20] How do you describe verbal identity or the voice of a brand?- If businesses still can’t identify their brand voice, it may be found in the founder’s head or from people within the organization. Once businesses have the voice defined and learn how to flex it on different channels, their voice suddenly becomes as strong as the other elements in their brand.
  • [00:05:21] How can people write in their own voice?- If you look at a great piece of copy from a brand that you really like, you can often just put your hand over the logo, show it to someone, and hide the rest of the elements. A company’s brand voice is patterned to how they view the world.
  • [00:16:42] Apple-a great example of brand voice- Apple makes a conscious effort on having their team talk about their products or services on a global stage. Despite their different presentation styles, they continue to be successful in communicating with the same brand voice.
  • [00:18:10] How do you build your brand’s identity?- Whether you are a large or small business, your brand voice matters! Just like your logo and visual identity need to stay consistent, your brand’s identity should be consistent across all channels.
  • [00:22:46] A buyer’s persona- Buyer personas work well when you take the time to scratch below the surface and actually get into the nuance. Being able to consistently deliver your brand message and getting your team to talk in your company’s voice allows the message to flow much better.
  • [00:26:36] The power of having an authentic brand voice- Your brand voice is not a forever project. Staying focused on your brand voice and values is the joy of business.
  • [00:28:18] Strong Language- Chris’ new book- Strong Language- The Fastest, Smartest, and Cheapest Marketing Tool You’re Not Using was inspired by Chris West’s clients and years of experience in the business world. He spent the past year writing the book to help businesses achieve quick wins and improve ROI.

Build Your Brand’s Identity and Other Resources Mentioned

Live Stream on YouTube

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Eric Dickmann

About the author

Eric Dickmann is the Founder / CMO of The Five Echelon Group, host of the weekly podcast "The Virtual CMO" and YouTube series "Work-Life" and a fractional CMO for a variety of small and midsize companies. An executive leader with over 30 years of experience in marketing, product development, and digital transformation, he has worked with large, global companies and small startups to develop and execute marketing strategies to bring innovative products to the market.

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