How to Create a Brand Voice + 4 Examples
Your brand has a personality, and you express it through its voice!
Your brand has a personality, and you express it through its voice!
When it comes to building lasting relationships with the target audience, you must use a unique brand voice.
In a world filled with thousands of businesses desperate to make an impact, a compelling brand voice is your point of differentiation and the backbone of a strong brand personality.
It captures your clients' attention and adds substance to your marketing efforts.
Naturally, creating a distinct brand voice does a lot more than just guide a company's communications in the right direction.
Also Read: 7 Customer Loyalty Email Examples That You'll Love
Dive in to explore how you can build a strong brand voice and wow your audience. But before that, let's cover the basics.
Every individual has a distinct personality that influences their style of communication. For a business, its brand's voice is a reflection of the brand's personality. This voice is then used for interactions with clients and partners.
For instance, one brand may adopt a strictly professional voice in their marketing material whereas another chooses a completely informal tone. It's all about the image a company wishes to project. At the end of the day, everything boils down to this phrase:
It's not just what you say, it's how you say it.
Then, the goal is to align with the company's mission and resonate with the intended audience. Thus, brand voice refers to the way a business expresses itself.
To elaborate, let's take the example of Mercedez-Benz. The car manufacturer is known for its luxe range of high-end automobiles.
Its brand voice is denoted by elements of prestige and quality. Therefore, all communications from Mercedes-Benz are expected to be sophisticated and professional.
A powerful brand voice helps expand the bottom line. But to reach such a point, companies must first strive to get noticed.
The way your business talks to customers affects its brand identity and client perception. As a result, how frequently people buy from your business or recommend it to others is directly related.
Here’s how a solid brand voice breeds business success.
Customers should be able to identify your brand as effortlessly as possible. This is exactly what popular companies like Mcdonald's and Apple have achieved through years of effort.
The art of getting recognized within seconds isn’t just about perfecting a brand’s visual identity. A consistent brand voice is equally important.
In the information age, customers are wary of brands they choose to trust. Those who manage to create a genuine and reliable brand voice benefit from greater sales.
According to a report published by Salsify, 46% of customers exhibit a willingness to pay higher for brands that seem trustworthy.
Flaky brands hardly manage to sustain their clientele. They send mixed messages that confuse the target audience and create doubtful customer perceptions.
On the other hand, brands exude authenticity when they maintain a consistent brand voice. By staying true to the business’s core value proposition and preferred communication style, you can strengthen your company’s value.
Now, let's move on to how you can create your own brand voice!
Take these simple steps to create a distinct way of communication for your brand.
Is your company's current voice cohesive across all channels? Answering this question allows you to update any content that doesn't meet desired guidelines.
Be it a rebrand or onboarding of a new content creation team, there are plenty of reasons to conduct a brand voice audit. Even if nothing notable happens, companies should treat the audit as an annual inspection to keep marketing communications on track.
Doing so highlights hidden issues with the brand voice and prepares them for correction.
Here's one way to go about the process.
Assuming there are existing brand voice guidelines available, sift through them carefully. The older this document, the likelier it will be outdated. As companies evolve and customer preferences change, default brand voice instructions must be adjusted to avoid complacency.
From blog posts and social media posts to landing pages and CTAs, each piece of your content requires deep overviewing. So, before you start analyzing, make sure that everything is properly organized.
Pro tip: Create a categorized Google Drive document and share its access with key personnel to encourage maximum input.
Use updated brand voice guidelines and put existing content to the test. Mark pieces that don't align and 'pass' those that do. Even if you don't plan to redo previous content, establishing a distinction helps clarify the brand voice for future purposes.
Create a list of misaligned content with priority given to items at the top.
When audit results reveal a lot of discrepancies, you should focus on high-value pieces first. That means content that's currently receiving the most attention. Perhaps a high-ranking article on the website or a landing page.
Also, work on one piece at a time and divide the content into portions before assigning the latter to team members.
Your mission statement should be as clear as day since it lays the groundwork for your brand personality.
If you are unsure about your own brand's voice, use the company's mission to identify essential characteristics that make it stand out. This step is especially important for emerging companies navigating a completely new brand voice.
Understand that a mission statement isn't myopic. It talks about the solutions being offered and the pain points being addressed, rather than specific products.
Take Google for example:
Although there is no mention of a search engine per se, the message is clear. Your goal should be to come up with something just as meaningful.
Use these tips to write great mission statements.
Mission statements provide the essence of what a company hopes to achieve. They do not talk about every day or short-term objectives. So, make sure that yours is only a few lines long.
In any case, your mission statement should not drag. It should be concise, to the point, and valuable.
Strike a balance between achievable goals and a limiting point of view. While your mission shouldn't sound unbelievable or unrealistic, it must reflect a plan for the future.
A strong brand voice confidently reflects future endeavors. Being too specific and narrow-minded can lead to your unique voice getting diluted as the company's scope expands.
Every business needs a little inspiration. Remember, your mission statement isn't just for company documents. It will be read by customers and investors. So, use the right words to elicit a desired response.
Go over what your brand stands for. And later, refer to this when optimizing or changing your current voice.
Don't be afraid to ask for feedback. If co-founders and employees point out potential improvements, address them consciously.
At the end of the day, how your customers feel matters most. Similarly, if people at the company think changes are needed, implementing them can create a strong voice in line with your brand's unique personality.
A solid brand voice reflects company values. Needless to say, identifying the qualities your business desires to be associated with is crucial.
For example, an interior design firm that strictly sources recycled materials to make furniture may have eco-friendliness, innovation, and quality as its core values. Ideally, these three should be highlighted in the marketing materials to establish an authentic voice.
The opinions expressed will also complement business values. So, if the company posts about its adherence to top-quality standards on social media, the purpose is met.
Just like the mission statement, you must carefully consider your company's core values before finalizing the brand voice.
Research direct competitors
Investigate values preferred by your target audience
Hold dissuasions with your team
Rather than figure out what type of brand voice suits your business, do the opposite. Jot down a list of brand voices you seek zero association with.
For starters, you want customers to think your business is easy to approach. In this case, you don't want your business to come off as unfriendly or hostile.
Or, if you pitch your brand for its affordability, an expensive or luxurious voice automatically becomes a no-go.
This practice is simple yet effective. Once you have compiled all the undesirable attributes, reverse their meanings to find your business's optimal voice.
Successful businesses are successful because they bring something different to the table. Or, they market themselves in a way that achieves a point of differentiation.
Therefore, an exceptional brand voice encapsulates how a business outshines the competition.
Having said that, your competitive advantage isn't a replacement for company values or vision. It is complementary.
Oftentimes, company values and competencies will intersect. In the example of the interior design firm quoted above, adherence to quality is a value whereas superior quality is a competitive advantage.
Another thing to be careful about here is perceived competencies. Sometimes businesses and customers answer the question 'Why is brand X better than brand Y and Z?' differently.
Know that a solid understanding of why customers love your brand is what really matters. Your brand voice should reinforce the clients' positive emotions toward your business.
Meeting client expectations is integral to developing the right voice.
However, as brands evolve with changing trends and market dynamics, it can be easy to lose sight of the buyer persona. Even in the context of a new business, formulating a clear-cut image of the target audience and their motives deserves top consideration.
A buyer persona defines the features and aspirations of your ideal customer. It is created by analyzing research data on business clients and refined to represent the target audience.
Let's say your customer is a 19-year-old college student who values sustainability above other factors. With this knowledge, you can flaunt your eco-friendly practices in recent blog posts.
In the same example, assume that this customer is a heavy social media user. This will also give you a hint about how to reflect your brand voice through social media platforms.
Here are a few simple steps to creating a buyer persona.
Unless you plan to move away from existing customers completely, your current clientele is the perfect place to start. It is also the easiest since you have all necessary information about your consumers.
So, use gathered data to identify recurring patterns and buyer behaviors. Fortunately, marketers can gain valuable insights through a variety of tools these days.
If your audience mostly comes from social media platforms, consider integrating Facebook Pixel with your website. This plugin will track your traffic and extract information related to visitors' online behavior. You will get information on the patterns of lookalike audiences as well.
You can also view Google Analytics reports for specific demographics and psychographics.
Direct competitors serve the customers your business wishes to steal. If you are unsure about your audience's preferences, analyze the competition.
While you're at it, pay attention to their brand voice. When businesses can't afford paid tools to conduct this form of research, spying on competitors' marketing materials is the second-best alternative.
The results of such research will guide your own brand voice. Of course, it should have a taste of its own, but inspiration is always welcome.
Employees directly in contact with customers have all the dirt on what's happening. So, don't be shy to bring them into the boardroom.
To understand what the customer wants, you must also know what they don't desire. This is what customer complaints reveal. When you know what you should steer clear of, it becomes easy to create a voice that makes your brand unique.
Businesses that formalize marketing efforts later down the line can find their brand voice by analyzing published content.
Such that, a medical health blog may find that they have a professional yet expressive brand voice. Whereas, an online movie review website might have an informal voice loaded with offbeat humor.
If you have been in business for some time, sift through best-performing content and analyze familiar attributes. Remember, your audience already likes what's being done, which makes for a great reference point.
Naturally, you might spot some inconsistencies here and there. So, don't be afraid to eliminate them as you refine the brand's voice for future projects.
In case you don't have existing content to work off of, take a look at competitors' posts. If their style guide is something that matches your business goals, add a unique spin and make it your own.
This practice also helps create a brand voice chart. While there is no single standard template out there, the common ones connect values and customer preferences with different brand voices.
Another type of brand voice template describes the voice's characteristics along with its dos and don'ts.
These success stories are proof that a distinct brand voice helps companies exceed benchmarks.
Legacy brand, Old Spice, dates back to 1937. Over the decades, its brand image has undergone an evolution of its own. In 2010, the company initiated its most noteworthy rebrand to freshen things up.
Previously seen as an older men's deodorant brand, Old Spice altered its identity and tone of voice to include the young adult demographic.
Today, Old Spice is known for its quirky ad campaigns. The brand is one with a rugged masculine voiceover that constantly cracks jokes or makes sarcastic comments. This highlights Old Spice's reliance on humor.
'The Man, Your Man' is an old, yet hilarious TV ad, the deodorant giant has gone viral for. It depicts that men who wear Old Spice automatically become popular among the ladies.
Fast forward to 2023, the company now invests in influencer marketing. Despite creative control seemingly with the influencers, masculinity, and humor remain evident themes. Goes to show how meticulous the brand is about its image.
Coca-Cola's unique brand voice is one of the best examples out there.
For a company that has been around for over a century, its level of consistency is almost unmatchable. Coca-Cola's image centers around friendship and joy. In particular, the joy of spreading happiness.
A company slogan from 1979 reads 'Have a Coke and a smile'. 30 years later, the slogan 'Open happiness' maintains the brand voice in spirit. Their marketing social media posts follow a similar format. Just as the brand's visual identity is sustained, the focus still revolves around the happiness of sharing a Coke.
Moreover, Coca-Cola also launches in-person engagements from time to time. The brand's 'happiness' and 'hug' machines are internationally recognized for clever marketing.
Needless to say, the level of versatility here is vast. Yet, the brand offer, voice, and style guide seamlessly align.
Marketing automation platform, MailChimp, has a solid reputation in the blogging world. It produces a constant stream of informative content and social media posts.
In their own words, the company strives to be human and familiar. While the brand voice is informal and slightly leans toward sophisticated humor, it is also straightforward.
A quick skim of the website makes it clear that MailChimp prioritizes simplicity and clarity. This is evident throughout old blog posts AND new ones.
If we dig a little deeper, the motive is obvious. Part of the brand's mission reads 'to make Mailchimp the only place where marketers can effortlessly create content optimized for their brand.'
In that, this service provider targets newbies, seasoned marketing professionals, and small business owners. So, it makes perfect sense that Mailchimp speaks to them in their voice.
A world previously terrified of hitching rides with a stranger is now reliant on ride-sharing. For companies like Uber, converting clients after their launch was an enormous challenge.
Luckily, Uber was able to disrupt the global market to its advantage. So, the real question is: Would this have been possible without confidence? The answer is no.
Uber proves that brand voice matters significantly. Since day one, it has been reassuring, direct, and confident. The international giant doesn't beat around the bush (literally). Instead, it asks direct questions in order to provide a much-needed service.
Among other brand voice examples, Uber's campaigns are based on straightforward statements. In recent years, the ride-sharing corporation can be seen associating itself more with the emotional side of being human.
A while ago, the #UberPuppies campaign took Chicago up by storm when riders found they could pay to meet with cute doggos during their trip. Another one, 'Ride to Remember' focused on the importance of memorable journeys.
Today, Uber boasts operations across 71 countries. Naturally, its communications are also offered in the resident nation's native language but the message isn't lost.
No one brand is identical to another. That's why your brand voice should silence the crowd and make an impact. While maintaining an authentic and consistent tone of voice has amazing potential, remember to choose the right marketing channel as well.
Email remains one of the most effective choices for businesses, with 69% of marketers swearing by its worth. Verily, you need a reliable email marketing service to ensure that each message reaches the right inbox at the right time.
GoCustomer provides an all-in-one email marketing solution including A/B testing, drip campaigns, email verification, and AI-assisted writing. It combines essential features on one screen so users won't have to switch between multiple platforms.
Sign up today to showcase your brilliant brand of voice through effective email campaigns.
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