Table of Contents
- What Is a Brand Voice?
- Why Do You Need a Brand Voice?
- Brand Voice Guide: 7 Tips to Establish Your Brand’s Voice
- Key Takeaways
What characteristics come to your mind when you think about brands with distinct personalities? Do you associate Apple with class, Nike with determination, and Wendy’s with fun?
It is a fact that communication is crucial, and your brand must be heard loud and clear in order to form significant connections. Your audience may get to relate with and recall your brand as you develop a dialogue by using a consistent brand voice and tone.
In this blog, we will take a deep dive into why it is crucial to have a distinct brand voice, and how you can build a brand voice guide for your business. But before we get to the technicalities, let’s cover some basics, so we’re on the same page.
What Is a Brand Voice?
In a 2020 survey by Sprout Social, consumers discussed what makes brands stand out in today’s cluttered and oversaturated market. Memorable content (40%), a distinct personality (33%), and intriguing storytelling (32%) were the most popular responses. All of this is made feasible by having a well-established brand voice.
To put it simply, your brand voice is a way in which you communicate with your customers. It is geared at your target audience, and it can be authoritative, playful, intellectual, menacing, friendly, or entertaining, as long as it truly reflects your brand values and persona.
There is a certain way to interact with your consumer base, just as there is a particular way to communicate with your family, friends, partners, and coworkers. Consumers are more likely to invest in a brand they feel emotionally connected to than in a brand whose content is uninspired and distant. It’s not so much about what you say, but about how you say it, in the end.
For example, Wendy’s has a “sassy” brand voice that is reflected in all its communication, and the audience loves it. The company’s Twitter persona is a perfect reference for it.
Wendy’s Twitter roasts are a thing, and you will love them.
Why Do You Need a Brand Voice?
Because your brand’s voice reflects its personality, it naturally has an impact on how your overall brand is viewed and recognized. It serves one big purpose: to clearly demonstrate the key principles and goals your brand and the people behind it hold. A brand voice can help employees and customers grasp your brand’s distinct traits and culture.
Here are the three biggest benefits of having a consistent and well-established brand voice.
- Your brand’s voice can effectively demonstrate your value proposition.
- A consistent brand voice can help forge meaningful relationships with customers. Subsequently, It helps you gauge how to engage new customers and retain existing ones.
- A uniform brand voice across all platforms helps create a great first impression. If they like what your brand has to offer, your users will start engaging with it from the get-go.
That said, it’s not enough to define your brand voice; you also need to give your team the right direction and tools to stick to it and create products that reflect it well.
You want your brand to resonate with the target audience in every way imaginable, regardless of who is sending the message—marketing, sales, customer service, or IT. That will be possible only when your brand voice remains consistent across all communications. Your brand image will be protected if you create brand tonality guidelines.
Brand Voice Guide: 7 Tips to Establish a Brand Voice
Now that you understand the importance of a brand voice, let’s understand the steps you need to take in that direction. Treat this as a mini brand voice and tone guideline.
1. Research your target audience
Whom do you communicate with as a brand? Your target audience. So, the first step to document a brand voice is deeply understanding your target audience. After all, not all demographics communicate in the same way. Research shows that different generations absorb content in different ways.
- Compared to their older counterparts, over 80% of GenZ uses social media before making a purchase, with a greater tendency to utilize Snapchat and Instagram.
- Millennials, who have a reputation for being brand loyalists, place higher importance on Facebook and email than previous generations. They do, however, respond to corporate blogs as well as social media platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram.
- Although GenX and baby boomers are less likely to utilize social media, about 60% of them make their purchases via email.
Knowing how your target audience prefers to connect with companies is an example of behavioral data you can leverage—specifically, by focusing on the most appropriate marketing channels to develop your brand voice.
Participating in the conversations that matter to your target audience is a terrific approach to fostering a sense of belonging, community, and enhanced recognition for your business. Your content will become significantly more relatable if your audience believes it accurately reflects their apprehensions.
2. Determine your current brand voice
The next step in developing a brand voice is to examine your current content. Examining what you’re already producing is a great way to learn more about the kind of content that appeals to your target audience.
Make sure to look at examples from across your company, from public-facing material to internal documents, when evaluating your existing content. Because of the many diverse writers and the lack of a clear plan, your brand voice can appear uneven at times. You can, however, discover the seeds of a more conscious brand voice by paying attention to how your audience interacts with your posts.
3. Conduct competitive research
The third step is to understand the voice your direct competitors use. Take a deep dive into how your competitors communicate with the audience on email, ads, social media, and so on.
That said, while it’s beneficial to see how your competitors set a tone and connect with their clients, you shouldn’t strive to imitate their approach. Attempting to replicate your competitors’ success may attract attention but in a negative way.
4. Define your core personality
Once you’ve done all the research, you’ll need to decide on another thing. What does your brand sound like? Basically, it’s tying everything together into a theme.
Create an ideal profile or persona for your brand, just as you would for your consumers or readers. Alternatively, if you have a mascot or spokesperson, use them as inspiration. Determine your persona’s mood and demeanor, as well as how they describe things and themselves. Are you, for example, any of the following?
- Short-spoken or conversational with a propensity for amusing tangents?
- Do you prefer facts and figures, or are you more interested in stories and people?
- Are you witty or direct?
Answering these questions will help you define the core elements needed to build a brand voice.
5. Create a brand voice chart
The next step is to create a brand voice chart that details the nitty-gritty of the voice you choose. You can construct your brand voice chart in a variety of ways, but the basics are easy to remember. This forms an important part of any brand voice and tone guideline.
- Choose an adjective (such as playful)
- A brief explanation of the adjective you chose and how it relates to your business.
- Important dos and don’ts
Here’s an example of a company’s detailed brand voice chart.
Are you still having a hard time figuring out the details? Consider visualizing and describing your brand as a person. Have a good time and be creative with it. Take a peek at other brands for further inspiration.
Consider this example: “My friend Google is intelligent and creative, but he does not take himself too seriously. IBM, his roommate, is more formal, professional, and responsible.”
6. Discuss with the team at large
Once you have made a brand voice chart, you should share it with the team at large—for example, members from different departments in your business—and take their opinions.
This will help you in two ways. One, it will make sure the brand voice you choose integrates with the company culture. And two, your team will feel comfortable in using a brand voice they have opined on.
Happy internal teams are critical to the success of your brand voice. They rely on the standards you establish to represent your firm consistently and correctly, so make sure your employees’ demands are met: everyone must be able to behave in accordance with the same guidelines.
7. Create the guide
Finally, you must create a brand voice guide your entire team can use as a reference point. The brand voice and tone guideline can be delivered in a variety of ways. Think about which format is best for your company’s culture. What will be the most beneficial to the majority of people?
We advocate a central online platform that is accessible to all employees in real-time, given that we hardly use paper today. Keep in mind that your brand is always changing, and your brand tonality guidelines must keep up with it. As your business grows, you’ll need a quick and easy way to keep everyone informed. It’s time to distribute your brand voice guide once you’ve finished these procedures and properly compiled them.
These are the seven steps you must follow to document your brand voice and create a brand voice guide that your team can follow at ease.
- A brand voice is a way you communicate with your customers. Your brand voice is geared at your target audience, and it can be authoritative, playful, intellectual, menacing, friendly, or entertaining, as long as it truly reflects your brand values and persona.
- The process of documenting your brand voice begins with researching your target audience and determining your current brand voice.
- Understanding the competitive landscape is the next step to document your brand voice.
- Once the research is done, you must create a brand voice chart that you can share with the team at large.
- Finally, you should create a brand voice guide: a document that outlines the brand voice details your team can follow.
How do you know when you’ve found your brand voice? It’ll happen when you publish content or launch a new marketing campaign, and a reader recognizes your brand before clicking. In order to cement this impression in your customer’s mind further, you need a detailed brand voice guide.
Keep in mind that your brand voice is both your initial impression and the foundation for building consumer relationships. It’s a crucial step toward establishing a company with devoted customers and a long-term market presence.
In simple words, a brand voice is a way you communicate with your customers. Your brand voice is geared at your target audience, and it can be authoritative, playful, intellectual, menacing, friendly, or entertaining, as long as it truly reflects your brand values and persona.
Here are the three biggest benefits of having a consistent and well-established brand voice.
– Your brand’s voice can effectively demonstrate your value proposition.
– A consistent brand voice can help forge meaningful relationships with customers. Subsequently, It helps you gauge how to engage new customers and retain existing ones.
– A uniform brand voice across all platforms helps create a great first impression. If they like what your brand has to offer, your users will start engaging with it from the get-go.
An example of a brand voice is Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola’s tone is upbeat, pleasant, and approachable.
A brand voice guide is a document that defines your company’s vocabulary, messaging examples, tone, and personality. It reveals your personality traits, and how you bring your company’s principles to life.