One of the more fun aspects of business development is creating a brand. It’s fun to think about a cool tagline, or a logo that would look good on some swag and that you can have fun promoting. But developing a brand is not easy. You might stumble upon a snappy brand right away. Great! But it often takes a lot more research and reflection and can be clouded by overthinking. Cameron Thomas Voiceovers’ “Tried & True” tagline and logo developed over a long period of time. So what’s behind the CTV brand and how does it work for your voiceover project?
Voice Actor Brand Factors
Not only am I a voiceover guy, but I am also a project manager for Voice Actor Websites where we help other voice actors design and build websites for their business. One of the biggest struggles that they often encounter? Their brand. I enjoy walking through a talent’s background and experience to explore brand possibilities, whether it’s through website colors, a logo, tagline, imagery, etc.
Key questions are what is it about yourself that’s different than others. What is your signature sound? What does your voice convey and what do people think of when they hear your voice. What are your areas of focus, or genres? What are your personal values? These are just a few considerations among many, and it takes time to sift through.
Once you distill that down to some key ideas, then how does that look conceptually and visually?
Background of The CTV Voice Over Brand
To get my first website off the ground when I first started years ago, my first logo was actually a loosely shaped head with the swoosh-style design, a mic, and a hat, which I wore all the time (Go Bruins!) as a general concept to convey a casual guy speaking into a microphone. I didn’t have a tagline at the beginning but I chose the college/sporty font to represent the youthful/young-adult aspect of my voice.
But I needed to dig deeper. After reading some branding/marketing books, I spent months jotting down literally dozens of pages of notes about all aspects of my potential brand, trying to boil it all down to a simple catch phrase that captured the essence of CTV. I just couldn’t decide.
Finally, my wife said to me, let’s go out, have a drink, and let’s chat about it. Within just minutes of sitting down, she blurts out, “tried and true!” BINGO! That was it!!!!! What literally took me months and pages of notes, she figured out by our first beer!
I find that many popular company brand taglines are often phrases that you hear in common, every-day conversations. Someone will mention a cliche or phrase, and with just a minor tweak, becomes a signature brand.
I recall a video producer mentioning on LinkedIn that describing your brand on a social media post can be as simple as saying what do you do and who you serve.
So what does “Tried & True” mean?
“Tried” – An Experienced Voice Matters
After more than 15 years as a voiceover and hundreds of projects, I have the experience. Clients need an experienced voiceover that can deliver quality sound, quickly and reliably. There is simply no time for clients to spend time with inexperienced folks just learning how to record and deliver audio, not to mention delivering the right tone and pacing. Not only do clients hire me for my voice, they appreciate prompt recordings, high-quality audio, and professionalism. They tried me, they liked me, and they came back for more. I greatly value and appreciate the clients that have used my voice for more than a decade!
“True” – A Trustworthy Sound
A good exercise on voice branding is to get feedback from demos and actual projects. What do people think of when they hear your voice? When folks heard my demos and previous work, one of the most common words that came up was “trustworthy”. In fact, one client commented about an audition I sent saying “I trust that guy!”
What does “trust” look like on a website? When it came to my brand colors, blue is my favorite color. But blue also helps convey trustworthiness. It has that professional, reliable feel that folks tend to associate with business. Plus, the Air Force core value – integrity first – is one that I value the most and I want to be as true to my clients, my work, and myself as possible.
Putting it all together in an image, I wanted to keep my signature hat in the logo to represent my casual, friendly, easy-going nature as well. With the help of my neighbor, Jim Carlen of Carlen Images, who built a really nice shed with some rough-sawn planks, took a picture of my hat casually hung on his shed wall. The wood gives it a warmer vibe, much like the style of my voice.
His daughter Saralyn Carlen, a talented graphic designer, designed the cap into my logo on top of an old-style microphone. I kept the same style of font that I still sound young but added a little “wear” (like my hat) that reflected my experience and longevity as well.
So that’s how the “Tried & True” brand came to be. An experienced and trusting, “Tried & True” voice for commercials, corporate videos, e-learning, explainer videos, and narrations.
Brands do not have to be super complicated. Concise and simple works well. Be resourceful too. Perhaps a friend or family member can crystallize a tagline or logo, or even have a cool looking shed. Your brand is out there. Just watch and listen, and it’ll hit you – sometimes when you least expect it.