Whether you’re launching a new concept, in the process of rebranding, or assessing your content with a goal to refine it, defining your brand voice is key to brand development, marketing and content writing success.
What is Brand Voice?
Brand voice is a vital part of your brand identity. It’s the voice you will use to talk to your customers across all channels, and should represent the personality and values of your brand.
Brand voice should be consistent. If you were to read an anonymous message from a close friend, it’s likely you’d be able to identify who had sent it. That might be because their personality shines through with their wit, because they talk in long, elaborate sentences, or because of their tendency to be direct. Maybe they use words and phrases that you rarely hear from anyone else, or have a knack for making everything they explain easy to understand.
Your brand voice will have qualities that will be key to how your readers perceive your brand.
Why is Brand Voice Important?
A carefully crafted brand voice is part of defining and developing your brand as a whole. It is your tool for talking to and connecting with your customers.
Understanding how to create a brand voice is important for new business leaders and existing organizations. If you want your brand to be more relatable, or have a goal to make your content easier to understand, redefining your brand voice is a great place to start.
Refining your brand voice can help your organization appeal to new customers, and help build customer loyalty. It can also highlight what your brand stands for, and why new customers should choose to work with you.
A Step by Step Guide: How to Create a Brand Voice
Learn how to develop initial brand ideas and create a voice that has something to say to the world.
Create a List of Adjectives that Define Your Brand
Your first goal is to get your team members on the same page in terms of understanding how your brand is defined. Or, perhaps you don’t know yet and need a place to start.
Consider the following:
- Personality: Is your brand “funny”, “intellectual”, “witty”, “edgy”, “professional”, “scientific”?
- Values: This is a great time to think about what truly matters to your brand and how you will relay your values in the messaging you provide.
- Unique Value Propositions: What makes your brand more appealing than your competitors?
Work as a team to come up with a list of adjectives that define your brand. Ask your group to share their ideas in a meeting and write them up on a white board, or give everyone five post-it notes to write an adjective on each. Then stick them up on the wall.
Once you have plenty of ideas, start to refine your list. Pick out three to five words that truly define your brand, or the brand you aim to be. You might find that several people have written the same words down – that might suggest this is an important descriptive word for your brand, or if not, it suggests additional communication is necessary to move away from a voice you’re not satisfied with.
Once you’ve chosen your three to five words, you should be able to write a sentence that summarizes your brand voice. For example:
“[Brand name] is ____, ____ and ____. Occasionally _____ and ____.”
Perhaps you’re more family-friendly, product-specification focused, calm, direct, formal, or energetic. The above are just a few examples of words that can be used to define brands.
Look to Brands You Admire
When you’re trying to define or refine your brand voice, it can be helpful to look at competitors and other brands you admire across industries.
Perhaps you love how Coca-Cola engages its customers, or have always admired how the owners of your local café captivate shoppers passing by with the unique quips on their side-walk signs. Whether you’re a financial advisor or a shoe brand, you can find inspiration from voices you admire across industries.
Try to identify what appeals to you about your favorite brands of all time, and consider whether their values align with the goals of your brand.
Put Your Ideas into Practice
By now, your team should be on the same page, and have a solid understanding of who you want to be, as a brand. You’ve developed a strong idea of your brand personality, values, and unique value propositions. Now it’s time to put your ideas into practice.
Give Examples of How to Write in Your Brand Voice
Draft a few sentences in your new brand voice. A great place to start would be an opening sentence for an About Us page. Look back at the adjectives you chose for guidance.
Here is an example for a brand that is warm, inspiring, community-focused, family-friendly, empowering, welcoming, and easy-to understand.
How to write: Welcome to Example Tutoring! We’re proud to be a part of your community, and serve the families of Rushmore with exceptional tutoring services. Your children are the future, and we’re here to nurture, educate and help them grow. Get in touch using the form below – we’d love to hear from you.
This example is warm, and literally welcomes the reader to the page. It expresses pride in the community, making a connection between the brand and local readers. It states that “children are the future” – an inspiring, family-centered concept. “We’d love to hear from you” is another welcoming and friendly, affirming notion.
Next up, try writing a few social posts or a blog post, to reinforce what you have learned. As you become more familiar with the voice you have defined, writing in it will become increasingly natural.
Create Brand Voice Documentation
Consistency in your brand voice should translate to documentation you create, company-wide:
- Keep your list of adjectives and examples in a shared space, where everyone that writes for your brand can access them.
- Encourage your team to read over your examples and practice writing to ensure consistency.
- Establish a peer-review process until all writers feel comfortable writing independently with your brand voice.