Have you ever given some thought to what your company’s personality would be? Would it be serious or jokey? Emotional or scientific?
Would it sound like you as the business owner or be a completely separate entity?
There are a lot of things to consider!
You might give thought to your logo, your brand colours and what marketing materials you need but brand voice is regularly overlooked when it comes to business branding.
Consciously and strategically making these decisions makes sure that your marketing activities have as much impact as possible.
You might wonder why you need a brand voice – is it really necessary? You might think it’s just something for huge brands. You might think it’s something for the marketing department to keep to themselves as it’s not relevant for the rest of the company.
Think again! Does any part of your business involve communicating with other human beings? If the answer is yes, then read on.
What is brand voice?
Your voice should feel natural and be appropriate for your product or service. It should also be appropriate and relevant to your audience, with a synergy with how they speak so they find it relatable. A funeral director might have a formal and respectful tone, whereas a children’s cereal brand might have a fun, enthusiastic voice. Brand voice informs the language and level of formality that you use. It’s vital to hit the right mark!
Having brand voice guidelines makes it easier for everyone who communicates on behalf of your company to share the same voice that is consistent with your brand and company vision. Once you have brand voice guidelines, share them far and wide within your company – don’t keep them to yourself, or leave them hidden away. Share them with anyone that communicates on behalf of your business to make sure that everyone is on the same page – it could be internal but could also be your social media agency, graphic designers and website builders.
Everyone has competitors, and everyone says they have USPs. But these are usually down to service, product or customer experience. Have you thought about how your tone might be able to set you apart? A defined voice gives your brand presence and personality and makes it memorable.
The go-to example of brand voice in blog posts like this one is Innocent. Their tone is consistently tongue-in-cheek and warm yet direct – which is why so many people connect with it. It’s a great brand voice for a soft drinks brand, but it wouldn’t work for a construction company.
To truly develop a cohesive brand personality in line with your values, your voice needs to be consistent across every single channel. Every social media post, blog and article you write should be true to your brand voice and express your brand values.
A consistent voice creates trust as people get to know you and what you stand for, and the right customers will be drawn to your brand, which in turn leads to sales, brand loyalty and repeat business.
Finding your voice
The starting point for all communications is establishing who your audience is, i.e. who do you want to talk to.? Creating a customer persona really helps you home in on who it is you’re speaking (and hopefully eventually selling) to. Doing this takes time and research. You can make a start by using this handy tool.
Next up you need to refine your values. What do you stand for? What’s your opinion? What are you led by? A solid brand will have central values that shine through at every opportunity and strong brands usually have a clear point of view that people can align with.
So that’s your audience and values sorted, now to explore what your audience will respond well to. Consider how they speak – that’s how your tone should sound. Are they serious or jovial? Then be led by that!
Using your voice
If this all sounds great but you need a little assistance or an outsiders’ point of view on your business we can help! Our Honest brand voice development service helps companies define and refine their voice.
This starts with a free consultation, followed by research into your market, competitors and audience, then an interactive workshop. After all that we’ll create your brand voice guidelines!
To find out more about brand voice, and to see some examples of brand voice in practice and the brands whose voices we love, head to our website for more info!