The formula for success
by Darlene Veenhuizen
Brand voice is how you communicate as your brand. It’s the language you use, but also the tone and style of your voice.
Brand voice is specific to your brand. That means, it’s not your own personal voice, but how your brand would communicate with your audience.
That’s where most people get brand voice wrong: they confuse it for being the same as their own voice. It’s not!
What is Brand Voice?
Here’s more of a deep dive into explaining brand voice. Think back to high school English class when you learned about voice, tone, and style. Here are some definitions for you:
Voice: Who the reader hears talking in the piece of writing. It’s where the unique worldview comes to the forefront through word choice.
Tone: The idea of expressing feeling through writing, your tone can create intimacy, formality, or remain objective.
Style: This more technical term is the effect a writer can have through consistent pattern and word choice to convey a particular feeling or mood. Is the piece more relaxed? Is it more educational or scientific? Your brand voice can have more than one style depending on context and audience.
Voice, tone, and style are all slightly nuanced tools used in writing that are connected and play into each other. In professional writing, they are considered separate things.
I know you must be wondering why this all matters and how it affects your bottom line, sales figures, or social media following. I’m going to jump right into the answer:
Why does Brand Voice matter?
…your writing is a reflection of your business. The WORDS you use for your brand are what make money, sell products, and connect with customers. The designer in me would like to say that visuals are what sell — but I know that is only part of the story!
…headlines, website copy, packaging copy, emails, social media posts, and blogs are what continue to reach your customers and make sales.
… If your VOICE is inconsistent, or not considered at all, it hurts that connection with your audience and therefore hurts your brand.
Think that last point is stretching it a bit? Consider this:
What would happen to your opinion of a friend if they suddenly started talking completely differently? Say they went from being causal and authentic with you to be being more serious and formal? You’d probably ask them what was up, right? It would seem strange, out of place, and like something is wrong. Humans respond to brand voice and develop an idea of what to expect. If they don’t know what to expect, or your voice is all over the place, they’ll stop listening to you.
Inconsistent brand voice will result in losing your audience.
“Stay true to your brand and true to your voice and audiences will respond to that authenticity with enthusiasm and passion.” -Kevin Spacey
When we think about brands and marketing, the brand is thought of as a separate entity – it is a living thing all on its own. The brand should be treated like a person: it has its own personality, attributes, attitudes and style. Just as we spend time thinking about how a brand should look, it’s important to carefully craft how a brand should sound.
When you designed your logo or went through the visual branding process, there’s no doubt you thought about the shapes, colors, and fonts your brand uses and thought about how they make others feel, what they stand for, and how they relate back to your brand attributes. I know that when I lead my clients through a logo design or re-branding exercise, this is a huge part of the process.
At the end of the branding process, I present a document called the brand guidelines. This document has a section that outlines how to write for the brand. This writing guidelines section is a general rule book for how to verbally express the brand. I’ll list the brand attributes or values that the brand holds, and then some examples of how to convey those through writing style. This section may also include writing conventions or special branded language, but the most important part of the writing section in the brand guide is outlining the tone, style, and VOICE of the brand.
Brand voice is important because it continues to express your brand through words. It furthers the integrity of the brand and keeps the connection to your audience seamless. For example, if you saw an ad campaign for the famous “Got Milk” slogan, but the line was instead written “Do you have any milk?” it wouldn’t quite be the same feeling or attitude as the original line, would it?
Brand voice and copy is a reflection of your business.
Stay consistent to win the trust of your customers.
Consistency = Trust
Trust = Sales
Need help with brand voice? Reach out for our prices and get a free call with DASH.
If you prefer to DIY it, we have a Brand Voice Guide that would be perfect for you.
DASH Content Co.
Marketing, Strategy, Design, UGC and Content
115 NW Oregon Ave, #7, Bend OR 97703
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