It goes without saying that the visual elements of a brand are vital – it’s the first thing people see and influences the first impression they will make of your business. But as important as your logo, colours and typography are, your brand voice is just as essential.
No matter what the brand is, you will be communicating with your audience through words, and how you talk to them can massively affect their customer experience and familiarity with your brand. It also determines how successfully you can communicate your message and story.
So what is a brand voice?
A brand voice is not only what you say, but how you say it. It’s how you express your brand values and personality to the world. The language used can influence the type of customers you attract, and whether you attract your target audience successfully. Your brand voice should always be distinctive, relevant and consistent across all platforms.
Benefits of having a unique brand voice
It helps you build a trusting relationship with your audience.
You’ll stand out among your competitors.
You’re more likely to have loyal, returning customers.
It creates consistency throughout all aspects of your brand.
Examples of good use of brand voice
First of all, let’s compare two clothing brands – Pretty Little Thing, and All Saints. Two very different price ranges, so let’s see if you can guess who is who based on these two tweets:
The first is Pretty Little Thing, and the second is All Saints – congrats if you guessed right! Both these brands do a great job with their brand voice and how it relates to their values.
PLT is an affordable clothing brand based on current fashion trends so with their brand voice they keep it fun, light and friendly, by using informal language and lots of emojis.
In contrast, All Saints has a very cool, calm and collected personality to reflect their high-quality, timeless pieces that focus on style rather than fashion. They show this personality through short, snappy sentences that are straight to the point, with little need for embellishment.
Now imagine you took the brand voices and swapped them around – they wouldn’t feel right, would they? This is how brands give you a sense of familiarity, when how they communicate aligns well with their perceived personality.
How to find your brand’s tone of voice
Figure out your audience
It’s important to align your voice with the wants and needs of your target audience, rather than using your own personality – think of your brand like a person. For example, if your business was hoping to attract local customers, perhaps using slang common in the area can create a sense of familiarity with your target audience.
Look at your competitors
Research brands that are similar to yours – what kind of tone do they use? Do you think it works successfully? Determining what other people are doing well or doing badly can really help you focus on a more specific vocabulary for your brand.
Define your brand personality in three words
To have a clear idea in your head of how you want to communicate your message, think about how you want the brand to be perceived by your target customer. Here are a few examples:
Develop a vocabulary and stay consistent
Establishing a set of guides to stick by can really help you develop a strong brand identity. Map out how your brand will communicate in certain contexts, e.g. how to talk on social media, wording to use in campaigns and so on.
If you clearly define your brand personality, you can seamlessly blend your unique tone of voice in all the ways your brand communicates to and with your audience.
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