There’s always that one person who stands out when you go out for a dinner or party. It’s not about the way they are dressed up for the occasion but their poise, behavior, attitude, personality, and, of course, speech.
They are great at storytelling and they easily captivate the audiences’ interest. They have an inherent charm that’s hard to miss.
You wish you were them and the next time whenever you have a conversation with anybody, you try to pick their way of the flow of words.
What is a brand voice?
Now, imagine that person as a brand and their voice as the brand voice. It’s that memorable content, the distinct personality, and compelling storytelling coming together to form the brand voice. It’s the personality your brand takes in all its communication channels.
In business, you can recognize the brand voice in the website, mobile app, social media, ad, emails, and blog content of the company. It has the power to make your brand come to life. It helps customers remember and relate to your brand.
Every time you create content for any of the above channels, you are exercising your brand voice. It’s not just related to the posts, blogs, or website content but even your response to customers such as emails, comments, and customer chats conveys the voice and vibe and builds up an impression in their mind.
Brand voice revolves around what is being said. Maintain consistency in it with all the communications delivered. By having an unchanged brand voice, customers perceive your brand as being reliable and relatable.
The brand tone, brand voice, brand image, and brand logo all come together to form the brand identity.
One important question that comes into our mind is does brand voice really matter? Should we be overtly conscious of how we communicate with our customers? Let’s find out the answer.
Why does brand voice matter?
When you are into creating a brand image, why should you care about brand voice? Why not convey the information to your customers in any style? It can’t be that way because inconsistency reflects on your brand image and it may negatively impact the brand. A consistent brand voice shapes the end user’s experience and highlights the brand’s flexibility and inclusivity.
1. To shape your business personal
Content in a website, mobile app, blog, social media post, or ad starts with people having zero expectations from your company. By the end of it, they will have pretty much judged you by the content, voice, and tone.
Your brand voice reflects your company’s unique value proposition. It effectively communicates what you want your audience to perceive you as and what your products are. It shapes your business persona and helps to convert the audience into customers.
2. To create a unique identity
In today’s times where there is intense competition, how do you differentiate yourself from the crowd? Customers out there have various options and they need just a second to hop from your brand to another. Your brand logo or tagline will not help much every time. This is where creating a brand voice helps.
Note: Write content in the same tone and voice to create consistency and attention.
3. To stand out from the crowd
When do brands stand out from the crowd? It is when you create memorable content everywhere on websites, apps, ads, social media, and blogs.
Brand voice gives your business a distinct personality and makes for compelling storytelling that people will remember whenever they see your company’s name anywhere anytime. It is also this factor that makes your brand stand out from your competitors.
4. To attract the target audience
Content is not just about photos and videos. It’s the text you put inside these. It’s the voice that conveys the message. It’s important how you take forward your brand to your customers. And these show in the various ads and posts you put out to attract them.
A survey shows that 45% of customers unfollow a brand on social media when they post irrelevant content. It goes on to show the significance of having a brand voice that is consistent and recognizable and staying true to it to attract the right kind of customers to your brand.
5. To help people associate with your products/services faster
A strong brand voice strengthens your brand’s appeal to customers. With an authentic voice, your company’s messages are more likely to be perceived in a positive way making them acceptable.
When you stay consistent, it reinforces your brand value and exudes expertise and authority on the topic. It sums up what your business can offer potential customers. And customers start associating your brand with quality products and services.
Don’t you think it is best not to deliberate on brand voice and start at it right away? Fine. But before you create one, go through these tips to zero in on your BRAND VOICE.
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What should you keep in mind when creating a brand voice for your business?
Your brand voice is unique to your brand. Even though it is a marketing strategy, it pretty well communicates what your brand stands for and its personality. Businesses have to put in efforts to create an inspiring brand voice in tandem with the brand image to put together a strong identity.
For instance, the Zillow brand highlights “Reimaging real estate to make it easier than ever to move from one home to the next”. It also highlights points on inclusivity and creating change in communities. They carry these values throughout their website through images, apps, and ads and most importantly in their dealings.
Understand your brand’s core values, it will be easier to connect them with your brand voice.
1. Get your company values to the forefront
When you start your business and gradually move forward, you identify and establish the brand mission, vision, and values. But these are not empty beliefs you put in the annual report or on your website and forget. The best way to practice these core values is by putting them out through your brand voice.
Identify the best part of your company’s fundamental beliefs- these will guide you to create a strong brand voice.
2. Try looking at the prior content
Sometimes, unknowingly, the content you have already produced reflects exactly what you have been looking for.
Have a look at the visual content, emails, tweets, ads, and blogs you have created. Is it following a pattern? Are there certain points that are emphasized always? If your brand value is in your head, it will come in the content knowingly or unknowingly. Put in a little effort to identify that content. Something like you feel “This is what I wanted! This describes our brand’s voice”.
If you are still not able to identify it, gather some phrases and words inside the content. Maybe, even these could possibly give you a chance to create a brand voice or at least act as a guideline.
3. Understand your audience
When you think of Nike and Coca-Cola, what comes to your mind?
In Nike, it is the Swoosh logo followed by their tagline “Just Do It”. But they improvise on this and create slogans for different ad campaigns such as “Impossible Is Nothing”, “Play New” or “Make Your Mark”. Their ads follow a pattern and aspirational voice. In Coca-Cola, you instantly think of their style of advertising rather than the logo. Their ads have a unique and distinctive element in them. And this is the factor that differentiates it from other brands.
A brand may have a straightforward no-nonsense voice or it may be the complete opposite with a cheeky (but not offensive) humor-filled tone.
Some brands cultivate a distinctive voice to suit their target audience. For instance, an insurance brand can combine humor to drive the point about the need for insurance for working professionals or businesspersons.
Similarly, a clothing brand would try to have a cheeky voice to inspire GenZ. The brand voice isn’t just for recognition though, it communicates unique values and the personality of the business.
4. Work with your team
Sometimes, it is better to hear what your team has to say about your brand than to try to find it out yourself. Your employees have been with you and they have worked for the company. They can better define your brand voice as they have been involved in the creative for your brand.
Also, encourage each team member to come up with what they think describes the brand. Find related words in their outputs and define these words further. For instance,
Bold: Adventure, risk-taking, fearless, daring to be unique, straightforward
Innovative: stand out from the crowd, keep trying, not be satisfied until done, understand customers’ pain points to solve challenges
Keep expanding the words and add related phrases that define your brand. Sooner or later, you’ll identify your brand’s unique voice.
5. Go back to the story of your business
Every business has its story. Why was it created? What was the inspiration? It may be a rags-to-riches story of your parents that inspired your business, it may be an accident that pushed you to innovate a product, or it may be your friend who encouraged you despite you failing even after several attempts.
These stories not only build your character but also defines your business. Maybe, you’ll find the right attitude, tone, and voice on such journeys.
Why we stress about going back to your story is because people identify with it and relate themselves to it. Because each individual is going through some struggle or the other and it’s the brand voice that helps you connect with your audience.
6. Speak in the language of your audience
Use the brand voice as a powerful tool to bridge the gap between you and the audience. A survey shows that 59% of shoppers buy from a brand whom they trust.
Can you identify the hint from the survey results? You have to speak in the audience’s language if you have to connect with them and win their trust. First, identify your intent and the audience’s needs. Next, understand how you want to connect to your audience’s needs.
Identify what your company stands for and what’s absolutely essential for your brand that you cannot compromise. When you answer these questions, half of your job is done.
7. Be aware of do’s and don’ts
Once you have a headway into how your brand voice should be, narrow it down further by striking down what you don’t want your brand voice to be. For instance, if you want your brand voice to be humor-laced and informative, strike out adjectives such as serious, unfriendly, and pretentious.
So, now, you have a somewhat clear picture that your brand voice has to be funny, authentic, down-to-earth, and friendly.
Make it simple by filling in a template. These documents help you express what to do with the information and lay down the rules for your brand voice.
Try building a style guide specifying the tone, words, and language you’ll be using. Later, when creating content, stick to this style guide for reference.
8. Implement the brand voice into your communication channels
It’s never too late to implement a brand voice into your channels of customer communication.
Whether it is promotions, customer support, emails, or social media posts, make sure your brand voice is heard loud and clear.
Once you have found a brand voice, implement it and follow it diligently. Follow it across all touchpoints, from initial awareness all the way to the final purchase and the customer service later. When you are consistent, it reinforces you as a trustworthy brand having a unique value proposition.
But, it doesn’t mean that you stick to your brand voice when times change. Go with the flow and change your brand voice if the need arises.
A well-defined brand voice is an invaluable asset to your business. Invest in it and build a brand voice that is immediately recognizable across your entire marketing strategy.
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