Branding is a job that often focuses on how a brand looks, like the fonts, colors, and styles it uses. But the brand’s voice shouldn’t be forgotten. In a time when social media marketing is more important than ever, it’s getting harder and harder to stand out from all the digital noise without a strong brand voice.
No matter if you know what the word means or not, you’ve probably heard it. Even though you can get by without a unique brand voice, your marketing will work much better if you have one.
What Does Brand Voice Mean?
Your brand talks to people by taking on a voice. No matter who makes the content, any communication campaign needs to be consistent across all channels.
The words and language you use in your marketing materials are meant to bring out your personality and image. You need it if you want your message to stand out and make an impression on potential customers that will last.
Brand voice helps brands stand out from the crowd and makes it easier for people to connect with and remember your brand. This makes people more loyal to the brand. Also, brand voice encourages people who are interested in your product or service but haven’t seen it yet to find out more about it.
Having a strong brand voice is important
A strong company knows what it wants to do and has a strong sense of who it is. Everywhere they are, their message is delivered in the same way through their brand voice.
Consistency and repetition are key to getting people to recognize a brand. When your personality or message changes often, it’s harder for people to figure out what you’re all about. In this case, your efforts will be for nothing, and a competitor with a better brand name will beat you.
Content is more than just pictures and videos. Both text and pictures are important. People care about how you present yourself. The same index says that consumers stop following because of bad presentation. Almost half of consumers said that the content was unrelated. People can stop following you if you post content that doesn’t fit with how they think of your brand.
Also, brand voice is important so that your brand is easy to remember. You don’t have to know who posted it to be able to recognize a brand by what it says.
How accessibility changes the voice of your brand
In the last few years, getting online has become a very important topic. Slowly, we’re starting to realize how many brands don’t cater to disabled users, especially online, even though they use the web to do a lot of their daily tasks.
When a brand makes digital accessibility a top priority, they are doing their part to make the customer experience more inclusive and show that they care. Making a website that is easy for people with disabilities to use and meets the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes you a socially responsible brand that promotes equality and inclusion.
Customers want to do business with brands that are real and stand for something. This is why web accessibility should be taken into account when developing the brand voice.
Voice and tone of a brand are different things.
As we talked about, your brand voice is always the same because it shows the personality of your brand.
It ought to be:
- Unique: You don’t have to be the next Apple or Facebook to give your brand a voice. You just have to be the first to deliver your message.
- Easy to recognize: Would a piece of content you wrote be able to make people think of your brand? Yes, for sure.
- Add to your brand’s personality: Each part of your brand identity should work together to give a full picture of “who” your brand is as a whole.
- Uniform: Your brand voice should be present in every piece of content you post, whether you’re answering a customer’s email or sharing an interesting article on your Facebook page.
- Your brand voice stays the same, but your tone can change based on where it’s used. A brand voice is the overall message you want to send, while a tone is how you send that message.
When you respond to a comment on social media, you probably use a lighter tone than if you were answering an email from a customer who was upset or if you were announcing your business hours instead of responding to a comment.
Setting up the voice of your unique brand
Explain Your Brand
First, the voice of the brand should come from the brand identity. You can tell a lot about a brand by how its content sounds, just like you can tell a lot about a person by how they talk.
In that way, a brand is kind of like a movie character. To be true and believable, a character’s lines should reflect who they are. This depends on a lot of things, like their vocabulary, jargon, how they talk, how they talk about different things, etc. These things help people decide how to feel about a character.
When your brand’s voice stays the same, it stays true to itself. Once you’ve written it, your captions or ad copy can tell your customers who you are.
Look over your current content and messages
Time to take a quick look at the content and copies you’ve already made. Here are some things to think about:
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- Website Videos
- Signage in-store
- Advertisements on TV that are printed
- Radio commercials
- Look for recurring ideas or a consistent tone and message. Would the voice you use now fit with what you want to do and what you believe in?
How can you make it better?
Keep an eye on your best-performing content, whether it’s a blog post, a video, a website page, or a social media post. These may teach you the most.
Check with your audience.
It’s hard to get a clear picture of your brand. Because you are too close to it, it’s hard for you to see it from a bigger picture. In these situations, it’s helpful to hear what customers have to say.
The identity of a brand is made for the people who buy it. You can use your resources to give a brand a personality. In the end, though, it won’t matter if the brand is seen differently by the people who matter. To bring your customers closer to you, you should base your brand identity on your brand values.
A short customer survey won’t hurt when it comes to setting up a brand voice. Write the survey and the email asking customers to take it in your normal voice instead of the voice you’re trying to get. Your answers will be more on point.
Analysis of the Competition
Who do your competitors’ customers tend to be? How do they talk to each other? If, after a few minutes of reading their blog posts and/or social media posts, you feel like you know who the brand is, it’s likely that their brand voice is clear.
Next, find out if their brand voice(s) are similar to yours. How can you relate to your audience in a similar way, or is that not right for your brand? You can look at their social media pages to find out if their voice is getting through to their audience.
In a perfect world, you wouldn’t want to make a brand voice that is the same as your competitors’, because that won’t make you stand out or give you an edge over them. In any case, it’s important to keep an eye on what’s out there, including the failures and successes of your competitors, to think of new ways to reach your audience.
Make a Graph
Now that you know where you are and where you want to go, you can focus on the details. Start by making a chart of your brand’s voice. It can be used to list and describe the things about your voice.
Most of the time, a brand voice chart has four columns. In the first column, the voice trait is named. In the second and third columns, it is described. In the fourth column, some “do’s” and “don’ts” are given.
You can change the way this structure works to suit your needs by adding more columns with examples, etc. Your team can use this brand voice chart as a guide for every piece of writing they do from now on. As your brand voice gets stronger, you’ll write that way without even thinking about it.
Without examples, it might be hard for your content team to know what you want from them. The best way to make a brand voice is to find examples of that voice.
You can also search your blog for great writing and look for other brands that have a similar voice. Add some notes to each sample that explain what you like about it.
Make a guide for content style.
What is your style guide for your content? Tone of voice is only one part of a brand’s consistency. There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to what you write about, how you write your articles, what media you use, and so on. Use a guide to make sure everything is the same.
Bring everyone in.
No matter how well you define your brand voice and content, they won’t have any effect if they just stay on paper.
So, it’s important to tell everyone on the team about the rules you’ve made. You can do this by getting everyone together. Gather all the people who make content for a meeting and talk about it. You can do this by making a slideshow or video presentation.
Give a lot of examples in your speech. Everyone on the team should learn how to write using these rules. Be open to suggestions and questions.
Provide Feedback & Guidance
Once everyone on the team knows what the new brand voice is, it’s time to put it into practice. At this point, it’s very important to get feedback and direction. Make sure everyone on the team gets the help they need so there are no gaps or misunderstandings.
In this stage, give a lot of feedback to make sure the next stage goes smoothly.
Review the written content with each writer and point out where they did a good job of using the brand voice. Also, explain how things can be made better.
If you want to successfully adopt a brand voice, it’s important that everyone in the company, not just the content team, knows how to communicate the brand’s personality.
Examples of Unique Brand Voice
It’s easy to say that your brand should have its own personality, but it’s much harder to do this in a way that feels natural and true. Here are three companies with unique brand voices that might give you ideas as you try to define or improve your own brand voice.
Apple’s ads are easy to recognize because they have simple images, but the words they use are also unique. They choose short, well-chosen words to go with their pictures. On their website, they use language that is clear, direct, and honest.
Along with cute pictures, Oatly’s brand work is full of funny words. Their brand voice is clear in everything, from the packaging to the captions on their social media posts.
The Mailchimp voice guide has been available to the public for more than five years. As an example of a voice guide, it had great spelling and punctuation notes. In the guide, anyone, whether they work for Mailchimp or not, can learn how they talk about their brand’s style and tone.
To make a successful brand voice, it takes time and practice. By following the steps in this article, you can make this process as easy as possible.
When you choose a brand voice, you choose the best way to tell your story. After you’ve found the right voice for your business, you can make content that will connect with your audience and make them want to come back for more.