When starting a business, your brand voice can truly set you apart from your competitors. Not only can a defined core message help you speak directly to your target market, but it’s how you leave a lasting first impression with potential customers — so it’s imperative you make a great impression. We sat down with the founder and CEO of Modern Love Tennis, Lauren Hendrickson, to uncover how she prioritized building an intentional brand first to help build the product.
What Is a Brand Voice?
A brand voice is your company’s personality. It applies anywhere your brand speaks to future or existing customers – anywhere from newsletters, social media posts, to any form of advertising. Developing and refining your brand voice can help you be consistent across all your marketing efforts, be recognizable to your customers, support your missions, and ultimately, distinguish yourself from competitors. Lauren wanted Modern Love Tennis’s messaging and social media presence to be a living and breathing piece of her brand, “I want it not only to showcase and sell our products but also push our mission to reimagine tennis apparel.”
Why Does Your Brand Voice & Messaging Matter?
Like your logo and brand colors, your message is also key to your brand’s presence. For users coming to your Instagram profile or website for the first time, they want to get an idea of what your brand stands for. For example, when customers are deciding between brands, they’ll most likely pick the brand that’s messaging aligns with their beliefs or sound most like them.
This is exactly what Lauren from Modern Love Tennis wants for her future customers too. Aside from differentiating yourself from other brands. Brand voice and messaging will lead to brand awareness and community.
How Brand Voice Leads to Brand Awareness and Community
From caption copy to newsletter subject lines, your words help build brand awareness and community among your followers and customers. Writing copy with your brand’s mission leans into the ethos. Writing to your customer’s beliefs and ideals not only will grab their attention but also make them want to follow and keep up with your brand. You can even write captions with calls to action that ask your followers to leave a comment. This helps create community, so when your brand releases new products or content, they’re already engaged with what you have to say.
3 Tips to Develop Your Brand Voice from the founder and CEO of Modern Love Tennis
#1 Find Your Space in Your Target Market
Modern Love Tennis is a brand rooted in personal needs, focused on making tennis apparel practical for women. Lauren began playing tennis during the pandemic and was shocked to see so few clothing options without pockets. Men have pockets to keep ample tennis balls, while women have to find a secure spot on the court. “I didn’t feel like any of the women’s tennis brands resonated with me, and thought there was an opportunity in the market to modernize the tennis apparel space.”
“It’s not the 1960’s. Why are we limited to skirts and dresses?”
This was when she decided to break into the tennis sportswear market and create a brand that’s inclusive and practical for women playing tennis.
As a business owner, it’s important to create a brand and product that fills a gap in your industry and market. Lauren used herself as the customer blueprint and began building her brand identity and voice around that.
#2 Develop a Brand Blueprint
Lauren came up with the idea for Modern Love Tennis in November 2020. She didn’t put her idea to paper until February 2021. She spent a lot of time researching other brands and talking to other women in tennis and what they were looking for in their tennis apparel.
“I started out with a brand blueprint, and I really believe that’s how the brand came to life through brand voice, photography, aesthetic, copy. I had a really good foundation so when I brought on freelancers, I had a really solid brand foundation,” shares Lauren.
To Lauren, branding was the key to building her brand, and she spent five months building it. This included everything from identifying her brand’s persona to her brand’s visuals – and wasn’t completely done with developing her brand’s “blueprint” until June 2021. While most companies make their brand framework or blueprint an afterthought, Lauren knew it was key to helping her set up for a strong launch with future customers.
#3 Incorporate Your Brand Voice into Your Brand Strategy
After finalizing her brand blueprint, Lauren focused a lot of her time on writing and turning the brand into something you could understand – like on Instagram.
“I want our social media to not only showcase and sell our products but also push our mission to reimagine tennis apparel. Who else is pushing the boundaries on women’s apparel? On both fashion and function?”
She wanted to come up with one-liners that were both attention-grabbing and resonated with her customers. She wanted to build a community around her brand. A community that empowers women to play sports and move their bodies, carrying everything they need in their pockets. She also wanted them to be comfortable and efficient while doing it, which is why a lot of Modern Love’s website and Instagram speaks to the most common problem in women’s tennis apparel — no pockets!
PLANOLY Pro-Tip: Lauren uses the integrated content calendar to build out her marketing content strategy. Using it as a 360 marketing calendar not only keeps her organized but helps keep her message and voice aligned.