Your brand voice plays a vital role in how people perceive your brand. You may not think that this is important in the grand scheme of things, but without a clear voice, it will become far harder to develop a brand narrative. Without a brand narrative, meanwhile, it becomes far harder to create a brand that is consistent, reliable, and approachable.
Before I share a few simple tips on how to define your voice, what exactly do we mean by brand voice?
In essence, your brand provides a snapshot of your business, your ethics, your vision, your people, your website, and every other aspect of your company. Your brand tells potential customers...
+ What you offer;
+ What you stand for;
+ How you operate;
+ Who you cater to;
+ Who you are as a company;
+ Why you are in business;
+ And many, many other things.
Along with visual elements such as your logo, website design, and colours, it is your brand voice that provides an instant picture of your brand, answering all of these questions right away.
When you use formal language on your website, casual slang on your social accounts, friendly chatty language on your emails, and jargon in your client communication, it goes without saying that people will soon start to feel confused. When you have a clear voice on every single channel, on the other hand, people very quickly learn to know exactly what to expect from any interaction, whether it is via social media, email, online or even in person.
This is what makes your brand voice so important.
Defining Your Brand Voice
Now that you understand why you need a clear brand voice, how do you go about defining your voice? For starters, you can consider the following factors that determine voice.
What tone best suits your business? Whether it is approachable, fun, professional, friendly, down to earth, warm, technical or something else entirely, this should always be your first step. This will come across in every message, content, and description you use, so make sure that you know exactly what sort of tone you want to project.
Another important decision to make is whether you will be informal or formal. Informal voice typically uses language that is free of jargon and technical terms. Instead, it is approachable, easy to read, straight-forward, and friendly. Formal language is often more conservative, with language that may be more 'by the book' than relaxed.
On that note, you will also need to think carefully about the language you use. If you use certain language on one channel, it is best to continue using this language on every other channel. Using different language on every channel ends up looking very chaotic and discordant, neither of which is great for branding.
You also don't want to lose out on that all-important chance to show your personality. You can inject personality and show your fun side without sacrificing your brand story, however. The trick is to once again be consistent and clear in how you will achieve this, rather than trying to wing it too much.
That brings us to our final point. Consistency is by far the most important thing of all when it comes to your narrative and voice. You cannot mix and match tones, language, and personalities. You cannot try to be all the things to all the people. Without consistency, you are for all effects throwing glitter into the wind and hoping some of it will land in all the right places.
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One Last Note on Brand Voice…
Before you go on your merry way, there’s one last thing that I wanted to add about brand voice. As important as all of these tips are, what is even more important is being authentic. There is absolutely no point at all in trying to mimic some other brand’s style and voice. No matter how cool they seem to you, no matter how much you admire their vibe, remember that their voice is unique to THEIR business. Even if you are in the same industry, copying anyone’s voice will make you look bad. You will seem unoriginal and uninspired, which is no way to try and go about building your own empire.
Be yourself – whatever that may be. Be real, be genuine, be consistent and your brand voice will come together, I promise.