Elements of Brand Voice

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Elements of Brand Voice

A company’s brand voice speaks for the personality of the company and involves an embodiment of the company’s purpose. The ideal brand voice is authentic, relatable, and invites customers to engage with the brand.

A successful brand voice is part of a consistent overall awareness strategy and can drive organic traffic to a business through social media channels and the brand’s online presence. A well-balanced, authentic brand voice should come naturally from the brand’s story and put the customer first.

Why is Brand Voice Important?

A brand voice speaks directly to a customer and can set a company apart from its competitors. With a plethora of options to choose from, customers tend to select businesses that they perceive to have shared values. The brand voice communicates these. An effective voice of your company encapsulates the overall image you wish to project and speaks to your target market.

With the rise of social media, the face of marketing has changed and spotlights the importance of brand voice even more. Now, brands and customers have a more back-and-forth interaction, versus traditional advertising that spoke at the consumer. Hence the reason BROCSway uses the word ‘Awareness’ instead of ‘Marketing’; it speaks to what the customer does versus what the company does. Without a voice to your brand, you may miss valuable chances to build customer loyalty.

Know Your Audience

The right brand voice should speak the same language as the company’s target market. A good awareness plan identifies the primary customer persona, and the brand voice should be relatable to these people. If the target customer is younger and hip, then the brand voice can be lighthearted and even a little edgy. If the customer base is older and more conservative, a more formal tone is more effective.

Understanding your audience also includes understanding how and where they interact with brands and where they get media and information. Certain social media sites appeal to a different user base, so brand communication should follow the communication pattern of that platform. To use the Wendy’s and Target example, both replies are short and sweet, yet have that edge of snark that Twitter is famous for. Sites like Instagram and Facebook have the option for longer posts, which allow brands to give in-depth messages or insight into their company culture.

Tone

Think of a brand tone as the tone of voice that a person would use when speaking. Using a stern tone of voice may be effective for a more serious industry, such as life insurance or prescription medicine. However, other industries may choose to take a more light-hearted approach, subtly conveying elements of playfulness and fun with their user interactions.

Take, for example, the recent interaction between Wendy’s and Target social media platforms here. The brand tone for both is a little irreverent, yet funny and invites interaction from fans and followers.

Consistency

A consistent brand voice gives a “face” to your business and invites customers to develop a relationship with your business. The powerful buying generation, millennials  have shifted away from purchasing from monolithic, big-box brands and demonstrate with their wallets that they prefer local businesses or companies where they get a sense of transparency and a “human connection.” The consistency between the brand voice and the customer experience once this lucrative market makes the decision to purchase is often the key to building repeat business which, in turn, becomes brand loyalty.

When customers understand what they’ll get each time they purchase, it gives them confidence in the brand, leading to an organic following of “brand ambassadors.”

Speaking in a consistent brand voice helps build the overall brand. This includes your marketing initiatives and advertising campaigns, your social media presence, and even the way your employees and chatbots address your customers.

An inconsistent brand tone detracts from the overall branding message and makes a company look out of touch. Worse, an inconsistent brand voice doesn’t invite user engagement – there’s no reason for customers to follow a brand on social media if they don’t know what to expect.

Putting It All Together

Building a brand voice should be organic but have one clear goal: make sure that each customer interaction is aligned with the brand voice and building that voice should follow.

Now that you know the basics of a brand voice, it’s time for your business to have its own unique “sound.”

How Do I Create My Brand Voice?

What is the purpose of your business? Who are you talking to? Can you address their needs, wants, and values?

Begin building your brand voice by thinking about how you would talk to your target customer about your company’s purpose. You want to strike a tone that expresses your brand archetype. For example, if your brand is a Sage, you should convey expertise, authority, and trustworthiness, yet invites customers to interact with your brand. Remember, we’re engaging with our target market, not advertising at them.

Next, think about what your customers expect from your business. How does the way you communicate convey that you can deliver?

How you address your customers directly affects their perception of your business. For instance, you can mix playfulness with authority, but understanding the balance you need to strike with your brand voice ultimately relies on understanding the needs and personality of your target customer.

How Do I Manage My Brand Voice?

he key to managing your brand voice is consistency. When you’ve established the tone of voice you wish to use and your approach, it’s important to “speak” in the same manner throughout all your awareness campaigns.

This goes from your social media presence to your online business blog. It should even carry through any videos you post – a medium worth engaging in, as many people prefer watching a video to reading a longer article.

Your brand voice should remain the same when interacting with your customers, and to do so, consider having one person dedicated to managing your brand. This ensures that there’s consistent verbiage as well as a deeper understanding of how your business speaks, acts, and responds to questions, comments, and concerns from your customer base.

Managing your brand voice may include evolving and “tweaking” it a little bit. Engaging brands invite participation from their customers, whether back-and-forth interaction on social media or direct contact from a customer with a suggestion for a new product or a better way of doing business. Listening to feedback from your customers helps you develop your voice.

If you aren’t getting feedback and engagement from your target customers, they likely aren’t listening to you. In this case, take a step back and try a different approach.

How Do I Create a Brand Book?

Your Brand Book guides all aspects of your branding, an umbrella that covers, company logo, color palette, verbiage, and your Brand Voice. The brand book helps deliver a consistent message, from internal communications to marketing initiatives, ensuring that all communication is consistent and always “on-brand.”

To give you a quick example of a “brand book,” here’s a fun take. Animator and Looney Tunes creator Chuck Jones created “rules” for the character Wile E. Coyote. These parameters dictated how he interacted with his target customer (the Road Runner) and certain things to be avoided.

While your company likely isn’t in the business of catching cartoon road runners, there should be guidelines about the verbiage you prefer, certain words or phrases to avoid, and the tone that you use when speaking for the brand.

Your brand book is about managing expectations, a reference guide that helps your team make sure they’re delivering what your customer base has come to expect from your company. The consistency of the brand message from your brand book is what contributes to the trust your company builds.

Let's Get Started!

If you’re still not sure where to start developing your Brand Voice, we can help. At BROCSway, we’ve helped hundreds of clients, from small businesses to larger, multi-national brands develop their own perspective and unique voice.

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Chapter 1: Getting started

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Chapter 2: Coronavirus Cyberattack Statistics

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Chapter 3: General Cybersecurity Statistics

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Chapter 4: Phishing & Email Attack Statistics

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Chapter 5: Industry Cybersecurity Statistics

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Chapter 6: Privacy Statistics

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Chapter 7: Privacy Statistics

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Chapter 8: Privacy Statistics

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