Brand Voice: Why It’s Strategically Important to Have One
Communication is nuanced and multi-layered. Good communicators don’t just convey the right message. They integrate tone, attitude, personality, and timing to be as effective as possible. When speakers or writers have this ability they have a well-developed voice. Your business needs the same in order to be successful. Developing your brand voice is a key part of your business strategy.
What is Brand Voice?
Brand voice is the way that your company communicates with its audience. It’s one of the most important tools you have for sharing your company’s persona through your content.
Why is Brand Voice Important?
Chances are, other companies offer the same products or services that your company does. They may even target the same audience. Because of this, at least some of your messaging will be very similar. However, your brand voice is what makes you stand out.
If you create a compelling brand voice and use it consistently, your audience will begin to connect with your business. That voice adds a human element to your brand that appeals to people. Also, by having a consistent brand voice, you build trust. People are attracted to brands that deliver a personality and manner of expression that doesn’t change.
What Happens if You Don’t Create a Brand Voice?
At best, your branding is left boring and nondescript. Nothing about your content and communication stands out, particularly if your competitors are offering the same information that you are.
At worst, you will struggle to earn trust from prospective customers. Have you ever met a person with a cocktail personality? These are people who seem to adopt whatever persona and communication style that allows them to navigate each situation to their benefit. While it’s okay to make adjustments in some cases, for example during a very somber occasion, this behavior makes people uncomfortable. Without a voice, your brand may come off as feckless or even manipulative.
Examples of Winning Brand Voice Strategies
Here are some great examples of winning brand voice strategies.
Mailchimp Emphasizes Relatability And Helpfulness
Online marketing brand Mailchimp is here to help. They empathize with your problems, and have a solution to offer. The company’s voice is earnest, helpful, and kind. To achieve this, they have a conversational, somewhat casual tone.
Taimi is Frank Yet Positive
As an inclusive LGBTQ+ dating app that emphasizes exploration and dating fluidity, it makes sense that Taimi has a brand voice that is frank, even a bit bold. However, in order to avoid coming on too strong, that aspect of the company’s voice is balanced with a positivity that is engaging and infectious.
Nike is Simple And Direct
Just do it. Those words are brief, but they make a strong point. That is what defines Nike’s brand voice. The company focuses on a simple indirect tone of voice marketed to athletes and aspiring athletes. Anything the company wants to communicate it does so with hemingway-esque brevity.
Dove is Supportive And Affirming
Love yourself and your and no matter what. The team at Dove has focused on this message. The only way to communicate this is with a supportive and affirming brand voice. Dove is the encouraging friend who is always there to point out for positive traits and encouraging you to love yourself as much as they do
Tiffany is Elegant And Charming
You’re at the social event of the year. You can’t help but notice that everybody seems drawn to one person. They are undeniably charming and witty. At the same time, they are entirely approachable. They’re genuine charm, humor, and witty insights keep everybody engaged and entertained. For a brief moment, you forget they are from old money.
That is Tiffany’s brand voice personified. Here the focus is on Old School luxury without pretentiousness.
Old Spice Pokes Fun at Itself
Not long ago, Old Spice was struggling. It was quickly sliding into irrelevance as a cologne for grandpas.It took a rebranding to save the company. This included introducing a new brand voice. Old Spice shifted from a rugged, masculine voice with a decidedly cowboy appeal to one that is humorous and self-deprecating. Today, people bond with the kind of subversive humor that defines Old Spice’s brand voice.
Tips For Creating a Brand Voice
How do you develop a brand voice that’s as memorable and compelling as the brands listed above? Try these tips for creating a powerful voice for your business.
Clarify Your Company’s Mission Statement
The brand voice you create should make sense. It needs to align with your mission statement and reflect your values. If your mission statement leans towards seriousness and sincerity, people aren’t going to trust an irreverent brand voice.
Do Some Market Research
How do your customers and prospective customers perceive your brand today? Create some polls and surveys to gather feedback. How you intend for your brand to come across isn’t how it actually comes across. This doesn’t mean you need to change your brand voice. However, it may mean that you have additional work to do before you have the ideal brand voice.
Conduct a Content Audit
If you have already been in business for any period of time, you already have a brand voice. It’s communicated in your website content, ads, emails, social media posts, press releases, and more. You’ll want to review that content to determine exactly what your brand voice is right now.
As you do this, annotate things. If you decide to make major changes to your brand voice, you’ll want to know how to modify each content piece that doesn’t reflect the voice you’re developing.
Get to Know Your Audience
If you want to build a brand voice that’s relatable to your audience, you have to know as much about them as possible. What are their demographics, interests, and values? You can mine quite a bit of this information from customer records. There are also publicly available data sets, and competitor research.
Keep Building And Evolving Your Brand Voice
The tips listed here will help you build a strong brand voice that makes sense for your business. Once you have a solid foundation, you can continue to strengthen your brand voice with constant testing and adjusting. That’s truly the key to building a voice that has an impact.