Establishing a brand can tell the public who you are and what your business does. If you work in marketing or brand management, you might be familiar with brands and brand voice. Ensuring that a brand has a strong voice can help make a company stand out in the market and give customers a quick insight into what they might expect when they make a purchase. In this article, we define brand voice and explore how you can build a voice for your brand.
Related: 4 Steps to Building a Brand
What is a brand voice?
Brand voice is the collection of words and signals a brand uses to show its personality to the public. A brand's voice should be unique and accessible to anyone who encounters it, so the brand can make an impression and attract new customers. Brand voice can include any characteristics like tone, vocabulary and imagery or sounds used in advertisements that identify a specific brand easily. Aside from advertisements, you can carry a brand's voice through in communications like emails, social media posts or phone calls to maintain consistency across all media.
Why is a brand voice important?
A brand voice can be important in affecting how quickly a brand grows and establishes a customer base. For new companies who do not yet have a presence in a market, developing a brand voice can help emphasize the characteristics a business owner wants their business to be known for and align their company's values and intentions with other successful brands in their industry. You can also create a brand voice for yourself as a professional in your field, which can increase your chances of standing out as a candidate to employers and might open you to new job opportunities.
How to find your brand voice
Here are some steps you can use to find your brand voice:
1. Evaluate your current voice
Consider the voice you currently use to share information about your company. You can do this by reviewing any forms of content or communication you use for sales, marketing or outreach, such as websites, emails, social media posts or commercials. Revisiting the content you produce can help you find any themes or characteristics that might already come through in your content that you can emphasize and synthesize into your brand voice.
It can be especially useful to pay attention to any post or piece of content that performs well or receives a large response, as these pieces can show which aspects of your voice are currently most successful.
2. Identify your mission and values
Determine the values you want to convey through your brand voice. Knowing your mission and values can inform your brand voice by deciding which characteristics to highlight through communications and marketing content. Your mission might include what you want to accomplish in the future and what steps you plan to take to reach your goals. In terms of values, you can choose to emphasize your core beliefs or characteristics such as patience, hard work, or anything that tells your audience about what you value. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help identify your mission and values:
- Why does the company exist?
- What are your future goals for the company?
- How do you plan to reach your goals?
- How do you work?
- What skills do you consider most important?
3. Research on your audience
Conduct research on the audience you want to reach. You might accomplish this by offering customer surveys to people who make purchases from your company, as you can use their feedback to inform decisions you make about developing your brand voice. Another way to perform research on your audience is to review consumer reports about how businesses similar to yours are performing in your industry. This can help identify which businesses attract the most customers, so you can find more successful methods of building your brand voice.
4. Research the competition
Perform research on other companies that are successful in your market. Once you identify a few companies that effectively use their own brand voice to attract business, you can determine which methods for building a brand voice work well in your industry. For example, if you work in retail selling sneakers, you might look into the brand strategy for a few companies that sell sneakers to learn about the vocabulary, tone and signals they use and incorporate them into your own brand voice.
5. Establish a tone
Choose the tone you want your brand voice to have. Establishing a tone that you can carry across through all communication and content can make your brand voice consistent and give insight into your personality. The tone a company uses for its brand voice can tell customers how they conduct business, what a buying experience with them might be like and what you value as a business by using language that reflects your values.
For example, if you work for a company that advertises personal training services, you might use a personable, friendly tone that can make using your business sound enjoyable to customers, combined with a directive, strong tone that showcases your company's commitment to working hard and reaching fitness goals.
6. Consider visual and audio elements
Think about any visual and audio aspects that you want to use in establishing your brand voice. Many companies incorporate a jingle or memorable tag-line in their advertisements that directly relates the marketing content to the company. Similarly, logos and icons that appear regularly in a company's advertising can act as representations of your brand voice by using visual signals to remind consumers of your business. This can help create more opportunities for customers to recognize a company based on its brand voice through using more than only words.
7. Keep everything uniform
Maintain consistency in the content you create with your brand voice. Using the same vocabulary and tone in all of your content can help establish your brand voice by consistently including elements that convey your values and mission. Consistency can also help customers relate different content you produce to your company by incorporating aspects in each piece of advertising or marketing that identify your business. This might take the form of images, audio signals or written phrases that you can repeat in different forms of content.