Every brand has a voice, and you need to find yours. Your voice is the heart and soul of your brand. It’s how you speak to and connect with, your customers. This guide will help you when you’re finding your voice and show you how to make an impact on your branding.
Finding Your Branding Voice Is Important
It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Your branding voice determines how you communicate with your customers. It’s an essential part of any business.
Your Voice Is an Expression of Yourself
Your voice represents you, as well as your brand. It embodies the values and personality of you and your brand. It is how you show the world what matters to you, and what you want to do.
Your brand’s voice is an extension and representation of yourself, so you want to get it right.
Your Voice Makes You Stand Out
Your brand’s voice makes you different from everyone else. Although we may use the same language, we all use it in a different way.
So, use your voice to make people pay attention to your brand.
Your Voice Builds Trust
The more familiar your customers are with you, the comfortable and confident they’ll feel in your brand. This means they’re more likely to trust you, and use your products.
Because of this, it’s important that your tone of voice is consistent. Customers – both existing and potential – won’t trust you if you’re always changing.
Your Voice Can Change What People Do
The way that something is said creates certain feelings.
It’s the difference between “Please could I squeeze past you?” and “Move out of my way”. The way you’re asked determines how you feel.
Your brand’s voice works in the same way. The way you talk to customers will affect how they think of you and what you offer. Be very careful to communicate in a way that will encourage your customers to do what you want them to.
What You Want to Talk About
Before you can decide how to talk to customers, you need to decide what you want to talk to them about.
Ask yourself some questions:
- What do you want to say to people?
- What does your brand stand for?
- What does your brand offer to people?
- How would you describe your brand?
- What makes your brand different from everyone else?
The answers should give you an idea of your brand’s values. This is what you want to talk to people about.
Who You Want to Talk To
You’ve got an idea of what your brand is and what you want to talk about. But who do you want to talk to about it?
- Who are your customers?
- What do they want from you?
- What do they like?
- What do they dislike?
Understand the perspective of your customers, and you’ll better understand what you need to offer them. This will help you to develop a tone of voice that will resonate with your customers.
How to Talk to Them: Your Voice
You know what you want to talk about, and who you want to talk to.
Now it’s all about finding your voice; how you’ll talk about it.
This is what gives your brand a unique personality. This is what makes your brand special. This is what makes your brand matter to people.
Based on your brand’s values, as well as what your customers want, you have some decisions to make.
Do You Want to Use Formal or Informal Language?
Your brand’s tone of voice could be quite formal. You might send out letters starting with “Dear Mr. Bloggs”.
A formal voice shows that your brand is professional, respectful and authoritative. But be careful not to sound like you’re unfriendly, unapproachable or soulless.
Alternatively, your brand can use informal language, sending emails that start “Hi Joe, how have you been?”
It’s easier for this voice to sound friendly and warm, but don’t go too far or seem unprofessional.
What About Technical Language?
Whenever you can, it’s best to use everyday language that your customers can understand. You don’t want to use language that is confusing, alienating or frustrating. If you do, your customers just won’t read it.
Using clear and simple language helps to build trust with your customers. It suggests that you’re open and honest, and you’re not trying to hide anything behind riddles.
On the other hand, don’t oversimplify things if you don’t need to. You don’t want to patronize your customers.
Is It Ok to Use Slang?
Using slang can be great for your brand’s voice. It makes it a bit more informal and adds a bit of personality.
But make sure to only use it if it’s appropriate. Try not to use any terms that are, or quickly will become, dated. And don’t use anything that makes it sound like you’re trying too hard (unless that’s part of your brand voice, of course).
There’s No Right or Wrong Answer in Branding
You can use a formal voice, or an informal one if you’d prefer. Use some technical language and slang, but don’t do too much of it. And if you want to, be a little bit outrageous.
You know your brand, and you know your customers. Use that knowledge to make your decisions.
Use a voice that honors what your brand stands for, and is appropriate for your customers.
Things to Help with Voicing Your Brand
There are some things out there that can help you when you’re finding your voice.
Look at What Other People Are Doing
Check out your competitors, or just take a look at what other brands are doing.
What things do you like? It’s ok to take inspiration from others and build that into your branding voice.
Remember to find what you don’t like, and make sure you’re definitely not doing that.
Ask Other People for Help
Whether you’re asking friends or family, or creating a formal focus group, asking other people for their opinion is always helpful.
- What brand voices do they like and dislike? Why is that?
- What do they think your brand stands for?
- What type of voice do they think your brand should have?
- What do they think of your voice ideas?
Ask for feedback from other people as you develop your own voice. It’s always refreshing and helpful to get new and different perspectives.
Create a Tone of Voice Guide
Once you’ve developed your brand’s voice, write it down. It’s helpful for you as well as others who represent your brand.
Write the guide in the tone of the voice itself, cover as much as you can and make it memorable.
Making the Most of Your Voice
Finding your voice is an essential part of creating your brand. Follow this guide, and you’ll be well on your way to finding yours.
Then, make sure you use it in your company’s branding. Whether you’re building your website, writing to customers or launching marketing campaigns – make sure that you do it all using your brand’s voice.