If your brand were a person, what type of personality would it have?
Is it the life of the party? The trustworthy, understanding and wise-beyond-its-years friend? The free-spirited girl next door? The geek-chic whiz kid? Perhaps it's the crazy single aunt who drinks one too many vinos with lunch.
Whatever type of personality it has, it should be authentic - because your brand's personality is a direct reflection of its voice.
Brand voice is not exactly a buzzword, but it can be a little tricky to define. In simple terms, your brand’s voice is not what you say, but how you say it. It expresses your personality, humanises your brand and lets your audience connect with the ‘who’ as well as the ‘what.’
A well-considered voice makes your brand stand out in a crowd of lookalikes. It’s the conductor of your brand’s choir, and as such, it should reflect who you are as a business – your values, characteristics and quirks.
Brand voice is a powerful tool for building trust with your audience and should be consistent throughout website copy, brochures, advertising, social media and email communication.
Finding the right voice for your brand is something all businesses (regardless of size) should prioritise. If you’re unsure of where to start, here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing…
Look at any successful brand and you’ll see it has a highly distinctive voice, for example:
Apple: innovative, inspirational, tech-driven, sleek
Red Bull: adventurous, wild, energetic
Buzzfeed: humorous, light-hearted, fun, entertaining
Ask yourself the following questions:
· Why did I start this business?
· Who’s our target audience (what do they like/dislike, what are their characteristics)?
· What value does this business bring to our audience/what problem do we solve?
· How are we different from the rest?
· What are our values?
· Why should our audience trust us?
· Do we prefer formal or informal language?
· What do we want our audience to think and feel when they read about our brand?
· If this brand were a person, what kind of personality would it have?
Once you’ve answered life’s big questions about your brand and audience, it’s time to have a play with language to see what feels right for you.
Do you want to get your message across in a clear and direct manner, or is witty banter (with the odd slang or mild swear word) all part of the fun? At the end of the day, it’s about figuring out what works for your brand, and what sort of tone and language will enable you to cut through. When you've found a voice that brings your copy to life in an engaging and relatable way, you're on the right track!
If you’re having trouble getting started, try to create a ‘this but not that’ list. Mailchimp does this really well, they’re:
Fun but not childish
Confident but not cocky
Smart but not stodgy
Cool but not alienating
Informal but not sloppy
Expert but not bossy
Weird but not inappropriate.
You get the idea. The only major rule to follow? Be consistent.
So, there you have it, folks. A memorable brand voice can strengthen your brand’s positioning by gaining the trust of your audience (enabling you to get that all-important first foot in the door!).
If you’re having trouble nailing yours, give me a buzz and I’ll chat you through the process.