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What is a brand voice?

Harry Swayne

In our latest blog, you’ll discover what a brand voice is and why it’s important for businesses to have one.

Whenever you address your customers or other businesses, you should try not to speak as yourself, but as your company.

Your brand voice is how you want your company to be portrayed in speech and text. It also helps identify your brand, helping to make you stand out from other businesses in your field.  And now that social media is an essential marketing tool – this makes having an excellent brand voice even more important.

But what exactly is a brand voice? 

A brand voice is the unique personality that your company has and takes on when engaging in communications with clients, potential clients, and your community.

Think of creating a brand voice a bit like creating a character for a story:

  • What traits does their personality have?
  • What makes them likeable?
  • Are there any phrases your brand consistently uses?

Attribute these to an online setting and combine them to create your brand voice!

Remember that the voice is going to be used in all communication opportunities that your business has. For example, posts on your social media accounts, blog writing, email communication, telephone calls, and company newsletters to name a few.

Why should your business have a brand voice? 

Giving your business its own voice will help give more of a consistent feel through each type of communication, for example on social media.

It will also help to make your brand more memorable to your audience. You want to be able to stand out from the crowd, right?

Having a brand voice will also help your audience gauge what they can expect from you and get a better understanding of the type of content they expect to see if they follow you on social media.

Having a clear, unique brand voice will further help to boost the familiarity in your business’ relationships with both your clients, potential clients and potential partners.

How should you hone your brand voice?

You should take great care with honing and creating your brand voice. We do not recommend winging it and writing “whatever,” as this could create a disconnect with your audience.

"Your brand voice is how people can identify your business from a crowd."

So, here are a few tips we suggest for honing your brand voice:

Be consistent and active:

Like with a marketing strategy, it’s recommended to have a document regarding your brand voice included within your brand guidelines.

This can act as a helpful reference for someone needing to write in the company’s voice, for example, if you are outsourcing your blog writing.

You should include your company’s mission statement, the core values of the business, and the defining personality traits you want to display.

By highlighting examples of your brand voice, you will provide a great visual resource for your employees to reference.

Audit your voice:

If you are not certain which direction to go in for your brand’s personality, go back to a selection of previous communications and pinpoint the similarities of each one to look for common traits.

If you find inconsistencies, it could be due to using different writers for varying communication opportunities. Or it could simply be that your voice has not been fully established yet.

Review your best social media posts, your most recent newsletter and review some of your email communications. You can then plan how to refine these traits and create your brand voice.

Identify audience and target market: 

An alternative way to hone your brand voice is to identify your target audience or market. For instance, if you have a young audience then utilise language that speaks to them. If you use language aimed at, say, the older generation you could potentially alienate that younger audience.

As you do this, list the common traits and vocabulary you want to use for your brand. Remember not to stray too far from your brand’s ideals – you do not want to come across as unnatural or a trend-chaser.

Know your tone: 

Your brand voice is what you say, and the tone is how you say it. Your tone could vary depending on the audience that you are communicating with.

Including your tone within your brand guidelines will help guide your team in communicating in a way that best represents your business.

Review and adapt:

Creating a brand voice should not be a ‘one-and-done’ job, you should make sure to allow time to decide whether your brand voice needs updating.

You may decide to update your brand voice if your company goes through a big re-brand.

As time passes, language evolves and some of the words and phrases you were using may not associate with your brand’s image anymore.
If you do not consistently review your brand voice you do risk sounding out of touch and out of date with current events.

Why does having a brand voice matter?

Your brand voice is how people can identify your business from a crowd. Having a brand voice matters because you and your team are communicating in a way that represents your business without the audience spotting who wrote individual tweets throughout the week. This then creates great consistency across your social media, from grid posts and stories to pins on Pinterest.

Solely relying on visual content, logos and products will only take you so far. The written content you share should have the same attention to detail that the other areas of your brand has online.

If you are looking to take the next step in developing your brand, get in touch we are always happy to help!

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