Finding your brand voice.

Your voice is more than the timbre and pitch that comes out of your mouth. It’s also the words you choose, your style of communication and your personality. But it’s something you’ve probably developed without thinking about. You’ve just naturally absorbed idioms, phrases and slang terms from your environment and added them to your personal lexicon without much thought.

But what about your brand? Has your brand voice come as naturally? And what’s more, should it? And either way, is it important? Let’s take a look.

What is brand voice and why is it important?

Brand voice is a showcase of your company’s values, character and personality. From the shortest tweet to the most in-depth advertising campaign, it tells your audience who you are and what you stand for. It can be fun and relaxed or formal and authoritative. It depends on you, what you stand for and what you hope to achieve. It’s a way of telling your brand’s story.

How do you find your brand’s voice?

If you have any printed, web or multimedia presence at all, your brand already has a voice. You may have developed it without giving it much thought.  It might be authentic and right for you. Or it may be less than ideal. But it’s never too late to rebrand your voice. Here’s how:

  • Define your voice – Choose a few (less than five) words or terms that capture the personality of your company. Find your personality niche and speak to it in everything you do. A good strategy is to say “we’re (this), but not (that).” E.g. “Determined but not pushy.”
  • Look at your customers – Depending on your industry, your audience may respond to different voices. Teenagers may relish and appreciate crude humor, but it is unlikely to resonate with bankers. Look at how your customers speak to one another for cues on what brand voice will resonate with the.
  • Decide what distinguishes you – Are you classy and elegant? Funny and irreverent? Find a way to differentiate your brand from the competition.
  • Speak to your audience – Be inspiring, engaging and confident. Speak about your key messages with assuredness. Be proud of what your brand stands for and don’t be afraid to ask for the sale. Go to where your audience is and speak to them in a manner they can understand.

What do great brand voices sound like?

Great brand voices can sound like almost anything. But they all have one thing in common – they’re distinct. Here are a pair popular brands with strongly developed brand voices to inspire you:

Chipotle

A great brand voice creates emotion that is consistent across all channels. Chipotle’s brand voice is instantly relatable and compliments their mission of using only quality ingredients.

Tom’s of Maine

All-natural, established and transparent. Tom’s of Maine has a brand voice that reflects the qualities and values they stand for. In every piece of marketing collateral, it’s apparent that Tom’s of Maine takes care of their customers by providing quality products you can trust.

A strong brand voice takes planning, dedication and consistency, but  it’s a great way to stand out and ensure you’re always representing your brand the way you intended.