Establishing a successful brand voice enables you to convey to your customers what your brand stands for and truly connect with them. Your brand voice is what your brand promotions want your target audience to see when they interact with your brand.
Building a successful brand voice is a process that requires meticulous planning and consistency. So, in addition to being authentic and conveying your brand values, your brand voice should be consistent across all communication channels; websites, emails, and social media platforms.
Although brand voice and tone are frequently used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. This article will walk you through the process of creating a strong and successful brand voice, the distinction between it and brand tone, and examples of great brand voice.
Your brand voice is how your company communicates with its target audience. If you have a distinct brand voice, people will instantly recognize it when they come into contact with it.
It is more than the words people read when they see your brand; it is how your target audience hears you. You shouldn’t just strive for a distinct brand voice that your target audience can recognize from a mile away. Your brand voice should also reflect your company’s personality, or what it stands for.
Keep in mind that being distinct isn’t enough to establish your brand voice; you also need to be consistent. So, ensure your brand voice communicates your values to your audience and is consistent across all your communication channels.
So many brands do what you do, and sometimes even better. So, why should people choose you over the competition?
The answer is simple: your brand’s voice. It distinguishes you from the competition and allows you to connect with your target audience.
When potential customers interact with your brand, a unique brand voice allows you to pitch your products without necessarily making a sales pitch. However, if your brand voice doesn’t make an impression on your audience, they may abandon your site before discovering what you have to offer.
You only have a few seconds to make a positive first impression, so shape your brand voice to match your brand values in a way that piques your audience’s interest and makes them connect with your brand.
When potential customers see your brand and notice that it stands out from the crowd, they become intrigued and want to know what you stand for. So, your brand voice should express your company’s values and vision to your target audience.
For example, if your company is very conscious about its environmental impact, your brand voice should portray your brand as eco-friendly.
So, be different but also genuine; the foundation of your brand voice should be your values and vision, not just being different.
Your brand voice is how your company interacts with its customers, while your brand tone is how your words are crafted. Your brand tone is the emotion that people perceive from your communication; it could be educative, assertive, formal, friendly, or any combination of these.
In most cases, the user persona, customer journey, communication channel, and other factors determine a company’s brand tone. So, while your brand voice should be consistent across all communications, your brand tone should be flexible enough to effectively establish a relationship with your customers at every touchpoint.
For example, your tone when you’re in a meeting is probably different from when you’re talking with a close friend. It doesn’t make you an entirely different person or change your values, you just interact with them differently because your relationship with them isn’t the same.
Since your brand voice is how your target audience perceives you, you have to be deliberate in developing a distinct and consistent brand voice that attracts your target audience.
Here are the main factors to consider when creating your brand voice:
The company’s mission statement says what your brand stands for and what it hopes to achieve, so it’s a good place to start when developing your brand voice.
When developing a brand voice, keep your brand values in mind to stay in touch with what you want your target audience to see when they interact with your company.
Also, an organization’s mission statement indicates the problems the brand intends to solve, which helps you figure out the brand’s target audience and the brand voice that suits them.
Identifying your target audience allows you to tailor your brand voice to them. You can determine who your target audience is by reviewing your social media insights, conducting a user persona survey, and reviewing Google Analytics.
A successful brand voice connects with your audience and leaves them with a favorable impression of your company. If your brand voice does not resonate with your target audience, they will be less likely to buy your product because they can’t connect with your brand.
So, before developing your brand voice, you must first grasp your buyer persona’s viewpoint and expectations. For example, do they expect you to be an eco-friendly brand?
Also, what tone catches their attention? Do they prefer a formal tone or something more playful and humorous?
Overall, knowing what your target expects from you helps you to develop a brand voice that resonates with them.
Noting the attributes of the content that your customers respond to helps you understand what your audience values and what they expect from you. For example, do your users prefer more straightforward and formal content or do they prefer something more offbeat?
Also, does the best-performing content align with your brand values? If not, it’s a sign that your brand mission needs to be restructured to fit your audience or you’re targeting the wrong audience.
Starting with what you don’t want allows you to focus on what you want. Once you’ve identified how you don’t want your brand to be perceived, you can focus on highlighting what you want your brand voice to be.
For example, you don’t want your brand to come across as standoffish, nor do you want to be associated with animal cruelty. Your brand voice would be the polar opposite of these; it would be warm, friendly, and anti-animal cruelty.
It’s always better to start with what you don’t want because it helps you know what not to do. Starting with what you want, on the other hand, may cause you to overlook some key traits you don’t want to be affiliated with.
If you are not a marketing professional, developing a brand voice to fit your company’s values and target audience may be uncharted territory. Outsourcing this to a third-party agency will save you both time and money.
A branding agency will help you define your target audience, buyer personas, and your company’s mission to establish a successful brand voice. They also give you a brand style manual to guide your future communications so that content from your company matches your brand voice.
For example, you can create a survey to learn what your brand personality is from your customer’s standpoint, and how you can improve it. Then use the data collected from this survey to create a brand style guide for your communications team.
Consistency is important when it comes to brand voice, so make sure to document and review all communication materials sent from your company to your target audience.
You can create an editorial guideline to ensure your company’s communication staff compares their content with it to stay on brand.
Once you’ve determined your brand tone, you can use platforms like Grammarly to create communication tone guidelines for your brand. It’s easily accessible for your team and indicates whether or not their content is on brand.
Data that can be visualized is usually easier for people to understand than very long paragraphs listing writing requirements. So, creating a brand voice template allows writers to quickly understand what their writing should be.
Your brand voice templates should include the key traits that your company represents as well as how you want people to perceive your brand. The template should include voice characteristics, descriptions, and do’s and don’ts for those characteristics.
For example, if you want your brand voice to be warm and friendly, you can write a description column that says you want users to see themselves as part of a community that cares about them.
After developing your brand voice, ensure you onboard new employees to know what your company stands for and how to effectively communicate in the content they write for your brand.
Also, when you make modify your existing brand voice, organize workshops, courses, or meetings that updates employees on what needs to be improved and how they should it.
Evaluating your company’s content and performance enables you to see what is and is not working for your brand. For example, evaluate email open rates, social media engagement, blog post signups, and other metrics.
Assessing your brand personality allows you to discover your brand’s traits through the eyes of your target audience. Brand personality surveys provide answers to the question, “What do people think of when they see my brand?”
Knowing what your brand represents to people also helps you identify what your brand’s dos and don’ts should be.
Formplus does more than just list the services it offers; it also walks you through how to use them in a friendly and confident tone. So, its brand voice is helpful, confident, and friendly.
Oatly’s playful, quirky, and informal tone is evident in the font, illustrations, and word choice.
This brand’s voice is friendly and confident. It starts by telling you what the brand can do for you in a friendly tone, with no hint of condescension or arrogance.
Developing a great brand voice requires authenticity and consistency; your brand voice should embody your brand values and be consistent across all channels of communication.
Also, your brand voice and tone are not the same; your brand tone changes depending on the message you want to convey to your audience, guided by your brand voice, of course.
There are several methods to building a unique brand voice including creating a brand voice template, conducting a brand personality survey, and others.
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