In marketing, branding is the promotion of a product, service, or company through a specific positioning expressed in design elements, copy, advertising placement, and other avenues. And though the visuals of a brand, like its logo and color palette, are important elements that help a company express itself, the brand voice is among the most crucial drivers of what your company stands for. Here’s how to develop a successful brand voice.
What is brand voice?
Your company’s brand voice is the tone, inflection, word choice, and other written or spoken elements that help communicate your brand’s purpose to the world. It’s a steady method of messaging, so your target audience can recognize your brand with ease. With a well-developed and consistent brand voice, your company can build a presence that stands head and shoulders above competitors and make it clear that each element put out on behalf of your company truly belongs to you.
Why is brand voice important?
One word: recognition. Well, maybe there are a few more words. Here, we’ll tell you the reasons why brand voice matters:
- Communicate your "why". Your style in communication matters because it helps express why your brand exists. When a brand uses relatable language to talk about their passion for the environment through selling sustainable footwear, this goes a long way in doubling down on that company’s mission statement to better the planet through sustainable goods.
- Reinforce your brand identity. Your identity should come across in every facet of your forward-facing self. Therefore, a style of writing that effectively backs up your brand identity creates a cohesive image of who and what your brand is all about. If you’re selling trendy clothes to teens, then your language should be fresh and up to date — and shouldn’t try so hard to be too current.
- Stand out from competitors. You’ll find similar products, services, and companies in any sector. How are people going to remember your brand? Through the distinct elements you utilize, like a memorable writing style, you can make a lasting impression.
- Retain consistency across platforms and purposes. With branding, unity is vital. If a brand is all over the place in the way they communicate, then people are less likely to remember and recognize the brand. A well-developed style translates to any form of marketing because you already know your brand’s identity so well.
- Help your audience connect to you emotionally. It’s in our nature to want connection. Therefore, with careful word choice and an appropriate tone, a brand can develop an emotional connection with its audience. As a result, that connection fosters trust, which leads to the ultimate goal: brand loyalty.
What to consider when creating your brand voice
Okay, so now we know what brand voice is and why it matters. Now, here’s what should you keep in mind when developing your brand:
- Understand your target audience. Marketing with a specific person in mind is strategic. So first and foremost, know who that person is and identify specific character traits about them (likes, dislikes, age, background, and so on).
Once you have a person in mind, go bigger — think about a group of people that you’re trying to reach. When you find your people and speak to them directly, you can develop a genuine relationship with your customers.
- Know your tone. Your voice is what you say, but your tone is how you express those sentiments. We all tend to change our tone depending on who we’re talking to, and this makes sense — you wouldn’t speak to your boss in the same way that you interact with a friend. But that doesn’t make you an entirely different person. As a brand, slightly altering your tone and level of formality on social media or website copy is appropriate.
- Stay strong in your principles. Know your brand’s values and mission statement and let them guide the conversation. Many people care about brands with an ethical mindset which are committed to something greater than profits. And people respect when brands practice what they preach, so if your brand is rooted in celebrating individuality, speak to that.
- Be authentic. The passion and purpose backing a brand are identifiable by consumers. Think of someone you know who cares deeply about a certain subject — you can hear it in their voice, what they say, and how they say it — as opposed to a person who is feigning interest in the topic at hand. Authenticity takes a brand far, so find something you care about and express it with enthusiasm and authority.
- Create guidelines. At a certain point, a brand develops beyond a singular person with an idea in their parent’s basement — all brands are looking to expand their presence. When you have the voice nailed, a brand voice or style guide helps every writer working on any brand asset to keep the voice consistent.
- Review and adapt. A successful brand is always evolving and changing, so keep up to date on your brand’s voice. Review it often and update the tone of voice guidelines. This ensures that your brand is always fresh and current.
The voice behind the brand
Branding is a skill. That’s why there are entire teams dedicated to building and maintaining a company's image, no matter the size of the firm. It takes time to know who your audience is and how to market to them effectively. But through examining tips, tricks, and success stories, we get pretty darn close to mastering this ability. A brand that’s sure of its voice will experience the rewards of carefully developing a tone that’s suited for its business needs.
Once you’ve got that brand voice down, you just might be in the market for a website where you can put that TOV guide to good use. And when it comes to building a website, tools like Namecheap’s Site Maker can help you every step of the way — no coding skills required. You’ll also be able to create a graphic identity to fit your brand’s copy with Namecheap’s free Logo Maker. So what are you waiting for — get out there and get branding. We know you have something awesome to say!