In a perfect marketing world, all content would be easily identifiable and aligned with its particular brand without logos or context clues. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, and as such, we cannot understate the importance of brand voice. A brand’s voice is the tone, phrasing, and cadence of all communications and helps your customers (and potential customers) come to know and identify with your brand. Ideally, a brand’s voice would be defined before any content creation, however, if you are not sure of your brand’s voice, here are some tips and ideas to help.
Who is your target audience?
It is important to know your target audience because once you know who you are addressing you can then ascertain how to communicate with them (note the with, not to, we will cover this in another blog).
What is the primary purpose of your brand’s communications?
This question is one of the harder questions you will need to decide. Is your primary purpose of communications educational? Entertaining? Thought provoking? Sales? Again, when determining the main objective of communications, you don’t have to work to encompass all aspects of communication, just the most commonly used. Once you understand the why you can help create an appropriate and useful tone.
Research other brands
Take some time to watch other brands (both in and out of your industry) and see what voice they use. Are they consistent? Do you like that voice? Do you not like that voice? Take the time to listen and watch. This research will help you finalize what you like, don’t like, and what might work well for your audience.
Define your voice
This sounds harder than it is. Take time to firm up the thoughts in your head and then put pen to paper or finger to keyboard. This document does not have to be fancy, nor does it need to be elaborate. Feel free to use single words, like “enthusiastic”, “welcoming”, “warm”, “relaxed”, etc. The important part is to get those thoughts in a format that you will review and keep in mind when creating any collateral materials.
Remember, a consistent brand voice will not only help your brand become easier to identify by your customers and potential customers, but it will also guide you in creating effective collateral material.