Your brand’s voice can be one of your most vital marketing assets if you do it right. The unique characteristics that make your brand stand out can come down to the words you use to define your brand’s product and position. What you say is just as valuable as how you say it. So, what is a brand voice, and why does it matter so much?
In this article, we will talk about brand voice and how to make your brand’s voice stand out in the turbulent sea of competitors. Your words should inspire your audience to engage with your product/service and generate loyalty; your brand voice helps with that.
You will also learn
- Why attention to your brand voice matters
- How brand voice consistency builds brand equity
- How to develop a brand voice your audience will love
Let’s dive deep into the words behind your brand.
Building a brand voice and why it matters
Who are you? The art of personifying a brand takes shape when we transform it into a romantically crafted superhuman that executes on its characteristic profile 100% of the time. Tackling the wishlist of traits your brand will ooze when communicating with your customer will help guide you in just about everything.
What kind of characteristics should your brand possess? So glad you asked! That is entirely up to your intended audience. Your brand persona should share and exude the traits you want your audience to feel when engaging with your brand.
You want these traits to come through in your content, from marketing to deeper product messaging.
Confidence. Knowledgeability. Cleverness.
You choose but identify the ones that are most important to your organization and check your content against those as you form your product messaging, campaigns, and strategy. These key characteristics will bring your brand back to itself and keep you honest about your content goals. They will help your team creatively concept messaging with a clear guide on how your brand communicates. These characteristics will be your brand’s key pillars and should start there. As you continue to develop content, consider a regular cadence for brand audits to ensure you are maintaining consistency in your brand voice.
Consistency in your brand voice is important because your audience will come to expect these traits as they interact with you. Over time, consistently delivering content builds brand equity- when your customers can repeatedly depend on the same experience, you build loyalty over time.
Brand Voice Development
Like Meryl Streep and her cold-hearted method with her co-stars in the execution of her role as Miranda Presley in the Devil Wears Prada, running your brand’s character through various scenarios will bring your unique voice to life.
Take a look at these important questions as you develop your brand voice or tweak the one you already have.
- How does your brand communicate?
- How does your brand voice share your product/service with your target audience?
- How does our brand voice inform website copy?
- How does your brand voice come alive in your email communications?
- How does it respond to an internet troll? [We’ve all been there].
As you think through each of these channels and situations where your brand voice will have the opportunity to shine through, you may revise your character traits, making it easier for your team to deliver consistent copy. This crucial part of your brand development process, as “method” as it may be, will help you land on brand voice traits that will truly resonate with your audience.
Humor only works if it is smart.
Confidence only works if it isn’t all ego.
If going 'method' with your brand means you and the brand become one and the same, we highly encourage it. Dress in your brand colors and role-play in the office. Document it. We absolutely want to see it. Around here, new Marq puns surface every week, and our entire team feels invested in the Marq brand.
The Importance of Brand Tone
Tone is that thing we attempt to smooth over with emojis when we are chatting via text message. Your mood when you say the things you say will give your audience an impression of who you are and what they can expect from you. It should be noted that if you ever feel like you need the help of a smiley face in your marketing copy, you are in trouble.
Your tone is different from your brand’s personality. Your persona may be confident, but you don’t want that confidence to sound cocky or egotistical. Balancing your brand’s tone alongside its characteristics will help you deliver your message with clarity and precision.
When you say, “we know what we are doing,” make sure your tone isn’t going to alienate your audience. Does it sound off-putting? Do you wish you could include a wink? It may sound crazy, but the emoji barometer is one you should listen to.
Examples of tone in practice (one of these is better than the rest)
- Our solution is the best.
- You would benefit from working with us.
- Partner with us, we promise you won’t regret it.
Brands that deliver well in tone are the brands that we want to hear from. The kind of brand marketing you look forward to clearly indicates that their tone hits the mar(q). As you communicate with your audience, your tone should also be consistent.
Some modern brand management tools that can help you deliver consistently on brand voice are available. Grammarly, for example, allows you to input tone profiles so you can check for sounds of confidence and enthusiasm while also receiving feedback if your tone sounds negative or unsure.
Before we released the Marq brand, we had months of exercising with copy and editing. We tested it and made new rules based on how we felt after reading and re-reading the brand copy. We thought about how we could relate to our audience and what words we would use to personalize the message while staying on brand. Your brand voice will come alive differently depending on the channel. Your brand’s words should always stay true to your voice profile, but the layers of personality may appear in varying orders depending on the platform and the message's intention.
Defining this balance will help dictate your brand messaging across all channels and will make it easier for your team to implement your brand as they execute their various initiatives.
For example, your website will inform and educate your audience. It should be clear and concise, so visitors to your website immediately know who you are and what you do. You may utilize more playful language in subheadlines while keeping your main headlines more clear. Your social content might reverse this formula in favor of going bold to grab your audience’s attention faster, with supporting copy delivering the confidence and informative language that you want to ensure your audience consumes. The balance in brand voice should prioritize the audience outcome you want to drive.
How to measure brand voice success
Your brand voice out in the wild for consumption is exciting. As you publish on your content channels, follow it closely. You will know if your voice resonates with your audience through engagement and metrics. Don’t be afraid to test your wordplay and recognize that not everything needs to be measured. Sometimes, you trust your gut. Other times, you follow the data. In both cases, the groundwork on brand voice should allow you to confidently execute your messaging. Hopefully, you put the voice through the wringer and came out on the other side, confident that you’d be friends with your brand.
Admire how your brand’s words bring your product/service to life. Celebrate its cleverness and take opportunities to be creative with its persona. Just like humans, your brand can evolve; but stay true to your core traits. Let those traits guide your messaging, and be sure to measure your content effectiveness by focusing in on the outcomes you hoped to achieve.
Success can be found in your brand metrics, but you also may notice success in the comments of a social post or a reply to an email. When your customer is happy to hear from you, entertained by how you shared your message, and excited to hear from you again, you know that you’ve done it. After all, words matter.