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What is Your Why?

What is Your Why?

By theVWC

What drives you to push your limits? Travel? Sustainability? Creativity? Freedom? Many times these are the very things that drive a business or career. Our goal at theVWC is to be a resource offering sustainable education and inspiration.
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Minicast: Sustainability is a Win for Businesses

What is Your Why?Apr 29, 2022

Sit Down with Dr. Debra Miller, Professor and One Health Initiative Director
Jul 01, 202227:08
Sit Down with Leslie Kehmeier: Photographer, Journalist, and Aspiring Filmmaker

Sit Down with Leslie Kehmeier: Photographer, Journalist, and Aspiring Filmmaker

Link to show notes.

Jun 16, 202226:09
Karma is Into Business Climate Initiatives
Jun 03, 202204:56
Minicast: Corporate Sustainability
May 25, 202204:07
Sit Down with Michaela Barnett of KnoxFill
May 17, 202236:12
Minicast: Business 101 - Setting Up an Online Presence
May 06, 202204:59
Minicast: Sustainability is a Win for Businesses
Apr 29, 202204:59
Minicast: Social & Ethical Responsibility in Marketing
Apr 18, 202204:55
Five Timesaving Ways to Craft Consistent Content
Apr 12, 202205:21
Humor in Branding

Humor in Branding

I think a sense of humor is the emotional equivalent of a sense of realism. One should not take everything seriously, and everybody takes some things seriously.

-G.S. Merriam

Humor, we have learned is not universal. What Chad finds funny does not always coincide with Tracy's sense of humor. For example, universal humor in Tracy's world is defined by John Oliver. Nothing says humor to Tracy like dry wit. For Chad, Letterkenny tends to be a go-to. Chad loves humor. He asked if he could do this segment, I was thrilled to let him take the reins.

Are you considering using humor in your brand voice? We love this idea...and think it works well. Have you decided which kind of humor you will use?

Masterclass lists 13 types of defined types of humor. We are not going to list those here, but we will link to them here. Instead, we will break down four of our personal faves, and companies that exemplify them.

  • Deadpan comedy: This style of dry comedy evokes laughter through the intentional lack of emotion while talking about absurd topics.  We see this in the Dollar Shave Club ads, and Dropps Laundry Detergent
  • Farce: Farce centers around exaggerated characters dealing with improbable situations. Home Alone (1990) and The Hangover (2009) are two popular movies that employ farce. We will consider the Mayhem campaign by Allstate. This guy was constantly being attacked by natural disasters, implying the need for insurance. One of our most recent faves includes Mayhem on a stationary bike, a la Peloton style.
  • Surreal humor: This form of humor focuses on absurd situations that defy logic and reason. The British comedy troupe Monty Python developed a unique brand of surreal humor in their shows and films. Remember the Old Spice commercials? Some even appeared in movie theaters. They were bizarre and yet incredibly memorable.
  • Tragicomedy: Tragicomedies combine comedic elements with serious subjects to explore different aspects of the human experience. It is advisable not to push the envelope here, as there are true areas of human life that are not approachable as means for humor. We'd like to introduce you to Frida. We found out about this company while writing this article. They take the realities of parenthood, and blatantly discuss them --- such as boogers, poop, and more. Ewww. Their mission: Preparing parents for the unfiltered realities of parenthood with simple-yet-genius solutions that get the job done.

If humor is your love language, then find your specific, and add it to website content, social media posts, marketing brochures - all of this becomes your brand voice.

We'd love to hear, too! We love a good, cleverly crafted laugh.

Apr 01, 202203:31
Sit Down with Missy Petty of Conservation Fisheries

Sit Down with Missy Petty of Conservation Fisheries

Missy Petty is a Senior Conservation Biologist and Contract and Data Manager at Conservation Fisheries, and the work she does there, she can not even call work, she says. She adores her job, and yes, she is saving a part of the world.  In this full length episode, we return to the original intention at VanWhy CoOp - interviewing people with a passion for the work that they do. We sat down with Missy who has a job that she says chose her. Her story is the WHY of VanWhy.  Grab a cup of tea and listen along.  P.S. A follow up article can be found here to accompany this episode. 

Mar 25, 202231:21
Guidelines for Brand Voice

Guidelines for Brand Voice


Our previous episodes have discussed what is brand voice and touched on types of voice. Before we break down the categories of potential voices in the next episodes, we would like to discuss what defining your voice will be used for in your company.

We think beginning with the end in mind is a great way to pontificate.

The areas where you will need to utilize your voice are defined by Sprout Social as:

Everywhere your brand speaks, including newsletters, social media posts, internal official communications like company announcements and advertising.

Simple, right? Your voice, is everywhere.

Let's take Starbucks, as they just happen to be rebranding their voice as we create this minicast. Here is what they say:

The Starbucks voice is evolving to unite our brand and meet our audience’s needs.We’re confidently turning down the volume of competing messages to elevate  experience, removing obstacles in the way of people finding exactly what they seek at Starbucks. By using both functional and expressive voices, we’ll create more space for brand relevance, connection and joy.

Let's consider some examples using Voice Guidelines from Starbucks. The link to these are in our show notes. Starbucks has divided their voice into two parts to make the whole: Functional and Expressive.

In their functional voice - they are educational and helpful. The company defines WHERE and WHEN this voice will be used = for ordering and wayfaring. It is worth mentioning that they define what  functional voice is not...which ties into their second brand voice, expressive.  Starbucks's expressive voice is where the personality comes out - it is passionate about coffee and delivers this in a fresh, relevant and interesting way...making every word count.

On the brand voice page, Starbucks provides examples of how their voice comes together, again, the visuals are on our show notes. On the website example, we see the functional voice announcing "Your favorites are back" Then listing some beverages that appear to line with fall - S'mores, Mocha Cookie Crumble, Carmel Ribbon Crunch..." Below that we see the expressive voice in the "Awww yes" caption. Starbucks also provides Social Media examples, in-store signage, print ad, and the rewards card language utilizing this practical expressive voice.

We hope these examples help you consider where your voice will be used. Because next up, we will break down the types of voice.

Until then, we hope you have a day full of ease.

Mar 23, 202203:42
Which Brand Voice?

Which Brand Voice?

Simon Sinek, author of "Start With Why" argues that

as individuals and companies, everything that we say and do is a symbol of who we are. And it is only when we communicate our beliefs authentically that we can attract others to our cause, and form the bonds that will empower us to achieve truly great things.

Today, we discuss this regarding brand voice. And before we dive into the details on choosing a brand voice, we encourage you to pause and take a deep breath. Yes, right now.

In this pause consider that YOU already are your best voice. You know your reasons why, and we would argue these reasons extend beyond needing to pay your bills.

Therefore, we assert that when you know why you what you do, you will know the tone of your brand's voice.

If you're inclined to be happy, create a voice around this.  If you want to add joy, like our friend, Mel, at Knox Girl Soap, by all means, do that!  If you are an educator, teach others like Sal Khan, who started Khan Academy.  Do not try to add joy if you prefer the dark side. Instead, find a voice that honors that dark side - and consider adding a little humor so others aren't afraid?

Today, we invite you to pause, dive deep, and before you define your brand voice, consider your product, align your values, and then you will know your voice. We know the passion for what you do is present, so let's hear it!

We hope this information is insightful. Have a wonderful day!

Mar 21, 202202:37
On Brand Voice

On Brand Voice

TRANSCRIPT: Tone of voice in branding is the way in which you communicate.

This voice is used in all marketing endeavors - consistently and intentionally.

This consistency and intentionality lead to shaping clientele opinions about you.

Five (not exhaustive) Themes for Brand Voice with Examples

Educational - Neil Patel

Funny - Moosejaw

Respectful - Coca-Cola

Enthusiastic/Inspirational - Nike

Formal - Tiffany's

Once you have a direction for your voice, use this and use this and use this.

Consistency is key!

We suggest making a guide such as Starbucks has to remain consistent in brand voice.

This will also make things easier - for you!

Mar 16, 202202:02
What is a Minicast?
Mar 14, 202201:41