Often businesses perceive brand voice as something ‘“extra” rather than foundational. They’ve got logos, signature colour palettes, and striking visuals, which seems enough to get the conversions going.
However, seeing brand voice as a supplementary asset doesn’t stop it from being there. Using words to communicate with your audience, you’re using a brand voice. The only difference is that instead of serving its purpose, the brand voice remains neglected and pulls your brand down.
And therefore, it’s imperative to make the most of it for the best customer experience.
Today direct marketing is not the only option. You’ve got to engage people, not just with your products but also with your brand.
The best way to understand this is via the Sprout Social Index, which explains how customers identify different brands. While marketers think that giving out pop culture references or setting trends spice up conversions, people, in reality, value transparency, engagement, distinctiveness, and unique content more.
The need for emotional engagement and humanizing brands is more than ever today. And having a voice can turn your business into a brand.
This article focuses on a brand voice, its significance, and how to cultivate one to bring the ball to your court.
What is a Brand Voice?
Have you ever operated Slack and realised their bot is much friendlier than any other? If yes, you pretty much know what a brand voice is.
A brand voice is how a brand converses with its customers. It’s a combination of your brand’s tonality, personality, and mannerism. The focus is on how consistent and uniform you are and is aligned to your brand’s goals and vision.
For example, ask yourself, does your brand sound technical or playful when talking with the customers? You’re getting there if you have an answer, even a slight inclination to either of these two types!
Why is a Brand Voice Important?
Your brand has got to live, not just survive, right?
Brand voice is essential to stand out from the crowd. There’s so much already in this digital world, and your brand would have at least 50 other businesses to compete with. If you want to have a brand that does not seem desperate but rather convincing, you need a brand voice.
- Increased Engagement and Widespread Reach
Labels like Coca-Cola and GoPro dominate branding is because of their compelling and welcoming brand voice. They communicate their offerings by involving their customers. Now, be it to “Share a Coke” or simply “GoPro.”
Engagements and reach are highly interrelated. The more popular or, to be precise, happening your brand is, the higher the reach will be.
- Mark of Authenticity
A brand voice is like a hallmark of your brand. If lost in translation, the connectivity is gone from the picture, too. The more consistent you are with your brand voice, the more professional and reliable you will sound.
- Cultivation of Lasting Loyalty
You can only sell when you are trusted. And what better way to gain lasting loyalty than having a brand voice that resonates with care, respect, and concern for the customers!
- Builds Positive Perception
Having a positive brand perception is crucial because you want to have customers think of your brand as you do. A brand voice sets out to instil your thoughts into people’s minds. Make your brand theirs.
- Creative Edge over Competitors
A brand voice offers immense scope to test out-of-the-box and create a never-seen-before blend of words, purpose, and methods for communication.
Voice vs Tone
Before discussing how to create a brand voice, it’s vital to differentiate it from the brand tone.
A simple way to distinguish the two is to ask “What/How” questions. “What to say?” identifies the brand voice. On the other hand, “How to speak?” focuses on the tone.
Voice is equated with consistency, and the signature attribute of tone is adaptability. The former remains the same, while the latter changes according to the moment. The best analogy to understand this is to treat brand voice as climate and consider brand tone as the weather.
How Can You Create A Brand Voice?
So now that you understand brand voice and its importance, how do you jump on the bandwagon and still manage to steal the show? Many brands and establishing your distinctive brand voice can be a daunting task. Fret not, given below is the ultimate guide to creating a brand voice that reflects your brand.
- Know Your Goals, Mission & Vision
The primary step to building a brand voice is awareness of your brand’s goals, mission, and vision. All crystal clear.
Even in the same industry, you could be entirely different from some other business. For example, H&M and Louis Vuitton are fashion brands; while the former’s voice concerns comfort, the latter speaks of class.
Brand values and visions determine the brand identity. And brand voice helps convey them. Hence, pump up your understanding of what your brand stands for, want to achieve soon, etc.
- Describe Your Brand
Next, think of how you perceive your brand by humanising it. Associate your brand with colors, music, and emotions.
Make use of visual identity & aesthetics to define the voice. If your brand centres around “pop of colours,” a high-spirited and cheerful voice would fit best. Browns and beiges usually provide a neutral voice.
You can also follow the scale strategy to aid you in this process. On a scale of 1-10, ask yourself how formal your brand is? Pose similar questions and be as descriptive as you can for your brand.
- Understand the Demographics
Leverage social media to comprehend audience demographics and behaviours. Find your target audience (TG), and get to know them well.
Create customer personas by learning the average age group and gender. For example, their interests, dislikes, and activity on your account can help you decide the brand orientation.
- Evaluate the Content Already Put Out
Surveys and research come out handy when highlighting the inconsistencies in your brand voice. A simple evaluation of your current content can assist in keeping track of your growth.
Find out what type of content works best for you. Examine the insights and study the impressions and engagement on your posts.
Tip: Do not forget to document the progress to utilise the data in the future.
- Maintain Consistency
In the case of a multi-channel brand presence, keep the voice consistent on each platform. If “funny” is the right adjective for your brand, ensure your brand voice does not become dull on some other platform.
Moreover, your brand voice must also complement visuals and designs. For example, minimalist or simplistic graphics would not support long, complex sentences.
You can also conduct various exercises or activities among the team members to keep everyone on the same page.
- Review, Reframe and Retry
Review your TG and revisit all your previous insights. Introduce subtle changes in brand voice to understand different outcomes and what could land better engagements.
Use the brand voice to instil emotions and attract customer participation. If your brand is simplistic, describe yourself as “Ordinary but better.” It raises a doubt. Your first interaction with your TG.
Long story short, stay unique but relevant.
- Consider the Competition
Don’t ignore your competition. Rather take inspiration and see how you can step up your game.
Below are some of the most popular brands with a distinctive voice that can help you out:
- Tiffany – SendPulse describes it as “classic, witty and elegant.”
- According to SCMP, Gucci’s “tongue-in-cheek tone of voice, paired with its mash-up of high and low cultural references, has gone down well with consumers.”
- Apple – The brand voice of Apple can be described as personal, clear, and minimalist.
- Nike – positive, powerful & motivating
Building a strong and positive brand image and long-lasting impact takes time and constant effort. A consistent and uniform brand voice, however, simplifies the task multifold.
The seven tips provide insight into building a strong brand voice that attracts higher engagements and positive perceptions. So, analyze the essence of your brand, review everything on the table, spark imagination and get the ball rolling!
You can also contact us at 7frames to understand different aspects of brand identity and learn how to create an irresistibly appealing brand voice.