When we think branding, the first place our mind often goes is the visual side of things – logos and colour schemes. But there is so much more to a brand. Your brand voice is just another one of those pieces of the puzzle. It’s an incredibly vital element in your company’s brand strategy, and is crucial to effectively communicating who you are. It works in collaboration with your visual identity, online presence and brand experience to create what will be a solidified, strong brand if done right.
So, what is brand voice, and why is it so important?
LANGUAGE IS EVERYTHING.
Your brand voice is a consistent, decided tone of voice that reflects your brand’s personality. Like people, brands adjust their language based on two things: 1) the people they are communicating to, and 2) the spaces in which they are speaking.
The identity that you create is significantly shaped by the words that you write and how you write them. Rather than throwing a bunch of copy out into the world without really putting any thought into it, a cultivated, well-thought-out brand voice has purpose. It knows who it wants to listen and how it should make them feel.
People are more likely to engage with brands that have a well-constructed and unique, but natural voice. After all, we are most drawn to the brands that sound and feel human – those are the ones we feel connected to.
BRANDING. IS. ALL. ABOUT. CONSISTENCY.
This voice should be used across all of your marketing – and should especially be considered when putting together a content marketing strategy, where it will have a heavy influence.
Think about it this way. Without uniform language, your message is lost. Marketing is all about communication, right? If your message becomes confusing to the consumer, it can threaten your credibility. Consistency will help to position your brand as strong, unwavering, and as an authority in your respective industry.
OK, NOW WHAT?
If your brand voice isn’t something you’ve considered yet, here are a few questions you can ask yourself to get started:
1. What does your company stand for? Innovation? Honesty? Think about your company values, and how you can communicate them through a certain tone of voice.
2. Who is your market? How does your market like to be engaged? Let’s say you’re targeting business professionals aged 30-50. You’ll probably want to use different language than you would for a 16-20 year old group.
3. What is your brand personality? And when I say this, I mean, who would your brand be if they were a person at a party? Would they be sophisticated and calm? Would they be the silly, wild one?
So, you’ve got a better idea of where you’re going with your tone of voice now. But, here’s where things can get a little bit messy. Even if you have a fairly consistent brand voice, it can get diluted over time, especially as companies grow. As more and more people become involved in communicating your brand’s message, it can become difficult to keep it consistent. This can also be tricky when working with various contractors and freelancers who may apply their own different styles of writing. In the end, your brand voice can get kind of murky if you’re not careful.
BUT WAIT, YOU CAN AVOID THESE PROBLEMS!
There are things you can do to ensure your brand voice doesn’t get lost along the way. Establishing guidelines will allow you to ensure that all parties involved are following the same set of rules. And you can always reassess down the road as you grow. Here are some steps you can take to establish voice guidelines:
- Provide sample content written in your brands voice – This is a great way to give any freelancers or new employees direction.
- Describe your brand voice in a few words – Trustworthy? Innovative? Quirky? What describes your brand best?
- List some dos and don’ts
- Review all copy going forward with your brand voice in mind
Hopefully by now you’ve got a good idea of what Brand Voice means, and by applying this along with other components, you can start to see the pieces of the puzzle coming together.