What is a brand voice?

I have a voice, James Bond has a voice, Stevie Wonder has a voice, and you my friend have a mighty fine set of pipes. We've all got our own unique tone and style. But, if your brand doesn't have a voice, then how will it stand out? Answer: it won't.

So, what is a brand voice? Simply put, it’s the consistent style that your brand uses to communicate with words. This voice gives every piece of content that your brand creates an injection of its personality. It also makes the content compelling, appealing, and exciting. The content itself will get people to start reading, but your brand voice is what will get them to keep reading and make them hungry for more.

Some people think that a brand voice is just part of your brand identity. It’s just like any other element, like a logo or letterhead. But, that’s not the case. A brand identity is updated and adjusted every few years to keep it fresh. It’s a commodity in this sense. But, a brand voice comes from a much deeper, more powerful place. Where is that place?

MailChimp understands the power of a brand voice

MailChimp can help you do anything email related. They have great products. So great, that I’m even a customer. But, another great thing that they have is an amazing brand. They take branding so seriously, that they’ve even made custom reaction gifs (see for yourself here: http://blog.mailchimp.com/mailchimp-is-on-giphy/). Like this one:

We can also see their brand voice in every piece of content they create. Take their old 404 page as an example:

MailChimp is clever and appealing because it has a brand voice. They go so far in making everything they do unique, that you can’t help but be entertained by their brand voice. They’re truly a great example of how a brand voice can work in conjunction with a brand identity.

So, a brand voice is part of my brand identity?

Not really. A brand voice is separate from a brand identity. Many times your brand voice will even influence or dictate your brand identity. This is because brand voices come from a very genuine place, whereas brand identities are more easily influenced by customers and competitors.

A lot of small and mid-sized companies don’t have a unique brand voice because they think their brand identity is more important. This means they focus on visual designs because they think it’s the most valuable use of money, or because they don’t understand why they should have a brand voice. Don’t fall into that trap.

In recent years, large companies have shifted their focus from solely worrying about the visuals and have started creating a unique voice. This unique voice isn’t something that just touches their major advertisements, it reaches its hands into every way the company communicates with consumers. They recognize that to be easily identified, they need to communicate in a way that’s special to them in everything they do.

Why do I need a brand voice?

Why does this matter to you though? Your company has worked out OK so far. Will a brand voice really make that big of a difference?

It’s true that many businesses do just fine focusing on brand identity or creating great products. But, if there’s a way to strengthen your brand identity or better highlight your products, why wouldn’t you do it?

A brand voice is a supplement to what you’re already doing right. It’s a performance enhancer that’s 100% legal and proven to benefit businesses. It takes everything you’re already doing, website, email, ads, etc., and pushes them a step further. In this way, your content will be working with your brand identity instead of detracting from it.

What will my brand voice look like?

Traditionally, companies keep their brand voice pretty simple. They come up with a few top qualities, slap together some topics and examples, and then let their content producers run wild. This is a good start. But, it’s not enough for us at Brand Voice Marketer. After all, our goal is to be the leader in brand voices.

To us a brand voice is the unique style that your company uses when it communicates with words, whether these are written or spoken. We like to compare this to an author’s writing style. You can identify Dr. Seuss by his whimsical rhymes nearly immediately. His style is unique and associated with him.

Similarly, brands need to develop their own voice. This will be based on three main factors:

  1. Your brand’s core values.
  2. Your brand’s products and services.
  3. Your brand’s target market.

By taking these into consideration, your brand will communicate in a way that’s appealing and compelling. It will connect with your market on an emotional level, adding more heft to everything you have to say. It can also build fierce loyalty in consumers, making your brand even more sustainable.

Think of a good friend. They understand you, are good listeners, provide you with just the advice you need, and make you laugh. You won’t abandon that friend. You’ll stick closer to them because you feel a real connection. Having a brand voice will help customers to view your company as a friend. They won’t abandon your brand for another. 

How can I create a brand voice?

Here at Brand Voice Marketer, we specialize in helping other marketers to create a brand voice for their company. The absolute best way to learn this process is by signing up for our course. This will give you a series of valuable video lessons, exercises, and feedback from real experts. Our mid-tier option also gives you access to a community that will support you as you create and implement a brand voice for yourself or a client.

If you want some quick help to get started creating a brand voice, then check out our article Reverse Engineering Your Brand Voice. This will give you a simple project for starting to create your brand voice.

That’s it for this post. Stay tuned for more big ideas from this little site. Happy brand voice marketing!

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Alex Hughes