Understanding Brand Voice
Your brand voice is the personality of your business. It’s what makes your content consistently recognizable across all platforms. It’s a shorthand you have with your audience that makes communication personal and unique.
Your use of language, tone, and storytelling is different from others in your field. This differentiation is how your brand develops its voice.
And once you find your brand voice, three celebrity judges will push a button and spin around in red chairs to scream, “This is the voice!” Just kidding. But it will do other amazing things for your brand.
What is Brand Voice?
Brand voice is the personality of all your brand’s communications. It leaves an impression on your customers and permeates your company. You use your strong, recognizable brand voice for internal and external communications. An established brand voice teaches your employees how to communicate with one another internally, which improves the way they communicate with customers. It ensures that all communications reflect your company’s mission, values, and culture.
Voice vs. Tone
Your brand’s voice determines what you say to your audience. Your brand’s tone of voice determines how you say it.
For example, Nike’s tone of voice for athletes and competitive individuals. Their slogan is “Just Do It,” which is a commanding, inspirational tone. In contrast, McDonald’s’ tone is fun, playful, and geared toward parents and their children. Their slogan, “I’m Lovin’ It,” paired with a catchy tune, is much more relaxed and casual than Nike’s.
The purpose of your brand voice is recognition. Your voice represents the energy you want to portray and your company’s formality (or not). Is your use of language scholastic or “pal next door?” Are you using big words or everyday language?
Whatever it may be, your brand voice should be cohesive across the board. Your voice in marketing emails, social media campaigns, and even interactions with business partners should have the same feeling. The message or purpose of your communications may differ, but the voice should remain the same.
Why Voice Matters
Customers pay attention to detail, even if they don’t realize it. They know when their favorite brands struggle to find their “lane.” Would you want to buy from a brand that didn’t know who they were? How do customers trust you if you don’t know your core values and reflect them in your communication?
When you speak the language of your audience and remain authentic and united in your voice, they support you and encourage their friends to do so too. Trust results in loyalty. Loyalty equals future sales.
Benefits of Having a Strong Brand Voice
To be a respected player in your industry, develop a strong brand voice, and watch your support grow. Occasionally showing your brand’s personality is not enough. Consistently showing up and putting the heart of your business out there is what customers want to see.
Benefits of a strong brand voice include:
- Develops Consistency. A consistent voice doesn’t mean every piece of content reads the same. It means that your audience can tell it’s from your brand no matter what the content or topic is. Sometimes circumstances require shifts in your tone. Think of it this way: you’d give a speech at a wedding differently than at a funeral. But, the intent is still the same – to be kind and loving. Consistency helps customers relate to your brand.
- Build Connections. You’re building a connection when customers feel like you’re speaking directly to them. Get to know their lingo and sense of humor, so your content can reflect that. Make your clients feel seen and heard to create a bond quickly.
- Builds Trust and Authority. When your clients trust you, those in your industry do too. They will look at your business as an authoritative figure in your field. Stay true to your voice, and you will become the brand to look to.
- Helps You Stand Out. Your business is already unique because it’s yours. To become the preferred business in your industry, you have to stand out. The goal isn’t to sound or look like anyone else. The goal is to represent your brand across all platforms authentically. Customers will see and appreciate what makes you different.
- Increases Performance and Revenue. A polished, professional brand image is attractive to potential customers. Your content will generate more exposure and ultimately greater support for your business. Remember, your voice is the way you communicate with your audience. They will buy what you’re selling if they feel like you’re speaking with them instead of at them.
- Unbeatable Competitive Advantage. Research your customers and your competition. You’ll win every time if your voice caters to your ideal customer and stands out from the competition. Brands lacking consistency and originality are simply missing the opportunity to sell and garner support. Don’t be like them!
Developing Brand Voice
As you’re toying with different ideas for your brand voice, there are some nonnegotiables to consider. Once you’ve researched them, you should better understand what your brand represents and how you want to communicate that.
When uncovering your brand voice, consider:
- Your Mission. What is your brand’s mission? What does it stand for? You want your brand voice to reflect it.
- Company’s Core Values. Identifying your brand’s core values should be the first step before considering your brand voice. When you know what you stand for, you know what you want to portray. Core values should be known to every member of your company and personified in every interaction with a customer.
- Target Audience. Knowing your audience is key. Look closely at your audience and compare it to your desired audience. Find a happy medium that caters to both so you can maintain and grow simultaneously. Again, your audience should feel like your content was hand-picked for them… and it should be!
- Tone and Attitude. Who are you speaking to, and how? How do you want your audience to feel when you talk to them? Is your tone funny or serious? Formal or casual? Respectful or irreverent? Enthusiastic or matter-of-fact? Only you and your team can determine what fits your brand best.
- Writing Style. You will quickly know which styles work best for your brand based on content traffic. You may find that short, how-to articles perform better than long, in-depth blog posts. Your choice of language should complement your chosen style so you don’t confuse your readers.
- Identify Relevant Trends. Pay attention to your industry. Do more of what is trending within your industry. Your insights are a direct link to what your audience is showing up for.
- Evaluate When Necessary. Your business is likely to change over time. Don’t forget to reevaluate your brand voice to ensure it still fits your mission, values, and customers. In short, make sure it stays consistent with your brand.
Your Voice Matters
At Content Journey, our brand voice is helpful, honest, and friendly as we help you grow your business. Contact us to help you go from a quiet brand in the background to a forerunner in your industry. Your brand’s voice is not something you should neglect, and we want to help!