Whenever we start a project with a client, we often ask this question: What is your brand voice?
Some are lucky enough to capture that distinct voice right away, while others are still in the process of deciphering their voice content after content after content.
But what exactly is your brand voice and how can this help you set your brand apart?
Finding Your Brand Voice
Your brand’s voice is the unique and distinct expressions your company uses to communicate with your customers. Your brand voice conveys the predominant personality of your brand through your website, your blogs, your social media posts, your ads, or any content your produce.
If you haven’t nailed that unique voice yet, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
- What should your content sound like?
- What is your tone? Casual, informative, straightforward or funny?
- What is the emotional reaction you want to inspire from your audience?
Take note that your voice is not the same as your tone. Your brand voice is the umbrella term that covers your brand’s personality (inspiring, personal, fun, cheeky), rhythm (short and sharp) and vocabulary (plain and simple, rich and complicated). Your tone is the manner in which you use your voice in different situations, depending on your topic (edgy, humourous, challenging, joke-filled).
Why should I care?
What makes your brand different from the rest? What does your business stand for? These are the things that having a clear and well-defined brand voice will help you achieve. You may be offering the best products or services but your brand personality is what will make your business human and what will help you build trust with new customers. This will help them get to know you beyond your product or service offerings. This is how they will interact with you on a more personal level.
As far as content is concerned, good messaging is often grounded on consistency. Will your audience easily recognise your content without your branding and logo in it? This consistency will position you in as an authority and an easily identifiable source in your niche. Take a look at Apple. What makes brands so valuable is the consistency in their voice and using this to communicate with their customers across different platforms.
Simple ways to find your brand voice
1. Who are your audience?
Quite simply, the best and sure-fire way to nail that brand voice is to understand who your audience are. Monitor your communication touchpoints and find out how they respond to you.
2. Showcase your company’s beliefs
Your voice should match your company’s beliefs and core values. Are you a funny company? Are you authoritative? Are you a cool company? Sprout Social’s Q2 2017 Index, among the top behaviours customers seek from a brand are honesty, friendliness, helpfulness and being funny.
3. Take a long, hard look at your content
If you have started developing content, gather a representative sample—blogs, videos, social media posts and webpages—and find a unique and unifying voice. Set aside those that sound like everybody else. If this is the voice you want your brand to embody, stick with it.
4. Narrow it down to three words
Once you’ve gathered this sample content, you can group the common themes into three general traits. It would help to think of your brand as a person: how would you describe his or her personality to someone? Is she quirky, smart and honest? Is she passionate, idealistic and trustworthy?
Whatever your brand voice will be, the most important thing is to be as authentic as you can. Your audience will be able to tell if your faking it. And remember to be consistent. You want your audience to visit your website, follow you on Twitter and chat with you on your customer service platforms and have the same memorable experience.
How do you describe your brand voice? Share us in the comments!