Tags – Brand Voice and Personality
In branding, people tend to think about how a brand looks visually, but often overlook a brand’s voice.
Do you know what your brand stands for?
What it represents and how it makes people feel?
If not, don’t worry – you’re not alone.
A lot of business owners struggle to articulate their brand’s unique voice and personality.
That’s why we’ve put together this blog post on Brand Discovery. In it, we’ll discuss the importance of finding your brand’s voice, and share some tips on how to do it.
What is Brand Voice?
Brand voice is the unique personality a brand takes on in its communications.
Imagine this: you’re at dinner, talking to the guests. And one person really stands out because they’re telling a story in a distinctive way: their personality, the language they use and the flow of their words all combine to make a memorable experience.
In fact, every time you go to repeat the story, you think of this person straightaway.
Now take your brand.
Who is your brand online?
And if your brand was a person, what personality traits would it have?
What traits would it avoid?
What phrases does your brand use all the time?
Essentially, this personality needs to shine through everywhere your brand has a voice – such as newsletters, social media posts, internal communications and advertising efforts.
The Importance of Brand Voice
Why does brand voice matter?
Well, the digital landscape is far too crowded, filled with messaging from brands alike.
Unfortunately, you can only stand out so much based on your visual content, logo or products/services.
Your written content requires the same attention and consistency you give to other elements of your brand’s presence if you truly want to set yourself apart from your competitors.
And this is where brand voice plays a key role: you cannot have a unique personality without a distinct brand voice.
In other words, it’s all about how you present yourself online and how to make yourself recognisable, which in turn, creates stronger brand loyalty.
Creating a Brand Voice
Now we’ve explored what brand voice is and why it’s important, let’s jump into how you can develop your own unique brand voice.
1. Be Consistent and Document Everything
The voice of your brand, just like your visual brand guide and social strategy, needs to be documented as well.
Unless you have one person in charge of all communications and marketing, a brand voice document will be useful for various departments.
It’s a standard that ensures the brand’s voice is maintained in writing. It maintains social media posts and marketing text consistent and on track.
The opening section of the document should detail your company’s primary values and mission statement – you should be able to extract some defining personality traits from this too.
The document should be made up of several sections, including the personality characteristics, popular phrases, and most significantly, examples.
You’ll want to produce a lot of samples that illustrate both how to use your brand personality while also pinpointing what sorts of choices go too far outside of your style.
2. Assess Your Current Voice
Do you need some inspiration for your brand’s personality?
Examine your existing materials to see what kind of message you’re sending.
Here, make sure you collect samples from all different types of communications to have a good feel for what the voice is like now.
Because of various authors or uses of specific words over others, you may discover that your voice is inconsistent.
So take note of how your target audience engages with you and speaks – what common voice characteristics do your best-performing articles and newsletter issues have?
By doing this, you’ll be able to identify what your brand’s personality is right now and then begin the process of generating more characteristics to emulate from there.
3. Identify Your Audience
Another method for expressing your brand voice is to identify who your target audience and marketing personas are.
If your target audience is younger, you should use phrases that appeal to them. Using words belonging to an older generation will only drive your audience away.
While working through your audience and personas, list out characteristics and common words you want to incorporate as a brand.
One piece of advice: avoid straying too far away from your company’s current operations. You want to be able to speak authentically and not like a robot, or seem like you’re just chasing trends.
4. Understand Your Tone
As well as your voice, you need to understand your tone.
But what exactly is the difference between voice and tone?
Well, your tone may alter depending on the circumstances of your communication, while your voice remains constant.
For example, a light-hearted social media post about a fun sale would be different from an urgent news story about a company crisis.
- Voice: describes your brand’s personality – it’s consistent and doesn’t change
- Tone: is the emotion applied to your voice – it can be adjusted depending on the particular message
That said, identify recurrent situations you encounter as a business and categorise them into the various tones you may use.
5. Review and Adapt
Developing a brand voice isn’t something that can be done overnight.
It should be reviewed and updated at set intervals, such as once a year or during major branding overhauls, and during significant marketing events that impact your company’s whole strategy.
Your brand voice may change over time, and the words you employed five years ago may no longer be on trend.
Consequently, you run the risk of sounding outdated or out of touch with current events if you don’t keep an eye on your brand voice.
Now that you know a little more about brand voice, it’s time to get started on your own.
There’s no such thing as being too unique or distinctive.
As long as you have a distinct, appropriate personality for your company and audience, you’re good to go. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your brand voice.
Remember that your company’s priorities might shift over time, so the brand voice document is always a work in progress.
To find out more please contact us today.
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