Creating a unique slogan or brand phrase is only the first part of the marketing process. Every brand owner, wants their audience to remember their unique message by making sure there’s enough message retention in the content to make people act.
Before stepping into your next campaign, think of the way you talk to your customers and how your brand is defined by your brand’s style of communication.
Your brand voice can have any style, as long as it feels true to your brand values and persona—be it authoritative, playful, intellectual, ominous, kind, or fun.
The question here is how to determine your brand’s voice?
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If you own a brand and you want to determine its voice then we will help you. Understand and determining your brand’s voice by considering many factors as the first step of a long process.
First, you have to understand what the brand’s voice is and how it’s different from the brand tone.
What Is Brand Voice?
The voice you give to your brand is what shapes its personality. It is responsible for creating feelings and determines what the perception of your brand is like in the audience’s minds. The brand’s voice reflects everything about your brand, from the words, language to the personality, and how you want your brand to be remembered.
If your logo didn’t appear with your content, could your audience identify the content as coming from your brand?
Your brand’s voice is what makes you stand out among other brands and competitors. It is what sets the basic foundation for your content, ads, and even offers. If your audience remembers your brand for its content or personality, then it’s because of its voice.
A brand voice is successful when it causes your audience to connect with, engage in, and most importantly, believe in what you do.
Brand Voice Vs. Brand Tone
In a nutshell, your brand’s voice is the words the brand says, the brand’s tone is how it says it.
The brand’s tone reflects the emotions that the brand wants to deliver to its audience. For example, if you will write a greeting post, your tone must be cheerful and friendly.
The brand’s tone has the ability to vary according to the message but the brand voice is consistent and steady.
Now let’s dig into the core of our article and tell you some factors that can help you determine your brand’s voice.
How to Develop a Meaningful Brand Voice
Brand voice a complete abstraction in our minds. A logo is just a graphic unless and until there is a meaningful promise behind it: a brand promise.
Start by reviewing your brand promise
A brand promise is talking to employees, investors, and partners. These people have already bought into the brand; they need to know what to do to further it. A line designed for these people is going to be worded entirely differently than a tag-line.
The brand promise usually lives within an organization’s documentation, such as a brand book. An organization should communicate the brand promise to anyone who will be doing work to further the brand; this includes all employees as well as external partners such as freelancers, service providers, and retailers.
The brand promise should place the product within the scales of category, quality, and price level, as well as organizational values if applicable.
- Product Category: the type of product or service provided (e.g., Brand X = Modest Fashion)
- Quality: the expected level of quality, or the product qualities customers expect (e.g., Brand X = “build the best product”)
- Price: the part of the market your company occupies (Brand X = enthusiasts, i.e., high end)
- Values: any organizational values which are an essential purchase consideration for customers (Brand X = “use technology to facilitate people’s life”)
We’ve collected 7 of the greatest brand promise examples we’ve ever seen. It just goes to show that a successful brand is a lot more than a logo, icon, or memorable slogan.
- BMW: The Ultimate Driving Machine.
- Wal-Mart: Save money. Live better.
- Nike: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
- Coca-Cola: To inspire moments of optimism and uplift.
- H&M: More fashion choices that are good for people, the planet, and your wallet.
- Starbucks: To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.
- Apple: Think different.
If you are willing to develop a meaningful brand voice, this is where the old cliche “actions speak louder than words” is particularly true. A brand promise is nothing if it’s not followed through with action.
Understand your target audience
Your target audience depends on the product you are selling; so based on this, you need a voice that can easily reach your audience and relate to them.
For example, if your product is for elders, then you must give your brand a voice that speaks of a mature, wise personality. And if you’re selling a product for those of young age, then you will go for fun and maybe sarcastic.
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” — Jeff Bezos
You can gather a group of people, friends, and family or create an online poll and ask your audience how they see you.
Some of the questions you can ask include:
- If our company were a person, what would it sound like?
- Why do you use our services?
- What do you want most from our brand?
The impression the audience took from your brand and product can help you in determining your brand’s voice. Put in mind that your audience can perhaps see things you didn’t notice.
The brand’s responsibilities and values
How do you see your brand? What do you want it to represent? Imagine your brand as a person, how do you want it to be? Do you want it to be fun, cool, and quirky? Or is it confident, bold, and inspiring?
Setting your brand’s personality and characteristics will give you a hint of what its voice should be.
Also, determining your brand’s values and what it stands for is a major factor in determining its voice. The values will tell you more about the personality as it will represent it, and from this point, you can start to shape how the voice is gonna be.
For example, when you think about Nike, you think of someone who is inspiring, strong, persistent, and encouraging.
But when we think of TODO, we think of someone who is sarcastic, funny, and cool.
All of these characteristics can be spotted when you check their content.
Describe the brand in 3 words
If your brand was a person, how would you describe its personality to someone? At this point, talk about how you would describe your competitors as people, too. Is one of your competitors the class bully? Is another the head cheerleader? How do your brand’s personality traits make you different?
Now that you know the brand’s personality and what it speaks for, describe it in 3 words and create a chart of Dos and Don’ts.
After choosing 3 words, create a chart, and start analyzing those 3 words and how you want to express them.
For Example, if you want your brand to be a fun person, then write down the word “Fun” and start listing the ways you want to follow to express the word.
Description: A person who is funny, friendly, helpful, spreads joy and humor.
Dos: Can be sarcastic, follows trends, memes, and uses GIFs in communicating.
Don’ts: Depends fully on memes and jokes, and makes fun of a customer.
Get inspired by similar brands
Looking for competitors is necessary when you’re launching a brand. It is what keeps you away from making mistakes. So, when you search for similar brands, you have to focus on their voice but never copy it.
You’re doing this to avoid their mistakes and avoid having the same voice as they do. It is just a step you have to take to make sure you’re going in the right direction.
Remember that the success of your brand relies on its voice; this is how people will remember it, and how it can spread among everyone.