Envision your brand as a living, breathing entity. How would they dress? How would they speak? How would they be perceived by outsiders?
Your brand voice should be what every customer and prospect hears through every interaction. It’s intentional in its tone, style and objective, and embedded into every avenue of your brand, from social media posts to emails to product descriptions. It encompasses the smallest details, including:
- Mechanics — Accuracy, consistency, use of punctuation and more
- Tone — Positioning, promises and emotions
- Language – Sentence structure, word choice and level of sophistication
A subtle yet powerful influence
Brand voice is the personification of your company. And when bringing your company’s personality and presence to life, it can effectively strengthen your business. How?
By building brand recognition. A consistent voice throughout every piece of branded content gives your brand a cohesive feel that your audience can count on. When done correctly, customers and prospects may even associate your brand with certain words and ideas. For example, there’s a good chance that when you hear grande latte, you think of Starbucks. Or that hot tub conjures the brand name Jacuzzi.
By fostering relationships. Your brand voice should engage your target audience, letting them know what you’re all about — and how your brand can provide the solutions they need.
And ultimately, boosting sales. By fostering trust and loyalty with your audience, you can increase sales and maintain repeat customers.
Defining your voice: How to establish brand voice guidelines
Every employee, consultant and vendor working with your company should follow the same brand voice guidelines. If you don’t have a formal set of guidelines, follow these tips to get started.
Consider your values. What does your company stand for? Tapping into your vision and mission statement can be valuable in determining what sets you apart from the competition. If you’re a company that values the environment or sustainability, for example, those eco-friendly characteristics should be woven into your brand voice.
Know your audience. A great way to do this is to create a customer persona. Who are you speaking to and how do they like to be spoken to? What do they value? Think about the language you can use to be relatable, to best identify with them and to fulfill their unmet needs.
Determine the terminology. Are there catchphrases or taglines that are synonymous with your brand? What words and vocabulary do you want to highlight in your written content? Consider how you would describe your business to a customer and client, and write down all the keywords that pop up.
Set the tone and style. Are you academic and authoritative? Fun and casual? Or somewhere in between? Pinpoint exactly who you want to be, and who you don’t want to be — and make sure that it’s the same throughout every touchpoint with your audience.
Once you’ve established your brand voice guidelines, share them with everyone that creates content for your company — including agencies and freelancers.
If you haven’t already, find your voice, develop it and make sure it’s heard! And when customers and prospects can truly connect with you and believe in what you do, you’ll know you’ve nailed it.