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What is a Brand Voice? Why Does it Matter?

Think for a moment about your family members. Each person has a different type of personality.

You might have a crazy uncle or a shy cousin. Your brother might be very strong-willed, and your father might be very calm. Whether or not you realize it, the way you interact with each person in your family is different.

It’s the same thing when it comes to brands. Each product or service out there in the market today has a unique personality that creates a feeling of connection.

Think about some very well-known brands:

Apple: fresh, young, inclusive, easy to use, advanced
Nike: confident, powerful, challenging, cool
Tesla: innovation, breaking the rules, changing the world

These brands don’t have to explain their personality. Their brand’s tone has been built over years of interacting with and serving their customers. Now, they are in a relationship with the customers because of their brand personality.

If you own or are hoping to start your own business, it is very important to consider the ‘voice’ you want your brand to have. Many people who work with us on their digital marketing ask the same question: what is a brand voice? Why does it matter?

 

Nike is an excellent brand voice example. They adapt and evolve their messaging as their target audience evolves. (Source)

What is A Brand Voice?

What is a brand voice? It is essentially the personality of the company. Brand voice (sometimes known as brand tone or brand personality) is the way the world thinks of you and relates to you.

Brand voice can be represented by images, music, colors, words and also the people working in your business. It is a part of all social media posts, and your company’s content strategy. Having a distinct brand voice helps customers to naturally qualify themselves for your products and services, and makes the entire sales process much easier.

In this article, we will give you some brand voice guidelines that can help enhance your advertising and content marketing.

How Do You Relate To Your Customer?

A great way to start defining your brand voice is to think about the people it serves. Who are they? What is their typical demographics (age, gender, location, profession, etc)?

Next, you can start to talk about how your brand bonds with them. How does your brand show your customers that you are relatable to them? Do you use the same words they use? Do you have a similar look and feel to other companies that they already use?

 

The hat company Melin are a great example of matching the rugged, adventurous values of their customers (Source)

 

Look at the social media posts and interests of your target audience. What are their core values? Do they have a consistent voice? Most importantly, do your company values align with your target audience?

A company’s brand voice must be in alignment with the customers they want to sell to. If there is a disconnect, the potential customers won’t be attracted to or interested in learning more.

Create a Word Cloud

You’ve probably seen those images online with a bunch of words all grouped together into a cloud shape. This is a word cloud, and its a way of trying to encapsulate a bigger idea on one page. Sit down for a few minutes and write out every word you can think of that relates to your brand voice and brand personality. You can reference the product, but try to stick to the benefits.

For example, if you sold sunglasses for young adults, your word cloud could look something like this:

FUN
VIBRANT
YOUTHFUL
ADVENTUROUS
ENERGETIC
EXPRESSIVE

Or, if you were an investment firm servicing high net worth clients, it might be something like:

WISE
PREPARED
KNOWLEDGEABLE
UP-TO-DATE
CONSISTENT
CALM


Can you see the difference here? Just with the words you use, you can start to get a feel for what each brand will provide for you. And you as a person will instantly start to relate to them, or you won’t.

Don’t Be Everything to Everybody

One of the biggest mistakes a lot of new companies make is to try to appear to service every person in the world with their product. Too many websites and marketing campaigns use words like ‘service, value, impact, leverage’ etc. They sound fancy, but they have no emotional or personal impact.

You are far better to relate to your demographic with honest words that they say than to try to be generic. When someone feels like you speak the same language as them, they are intrigued to know more. One of the benefits of working with a marketing agency is that you can start to define the customer that you serve, and create a brand voice that really works to reach them.

The Apple watch brand voice has evolved to focus on health and fitness rather than just another communication tool. (Source)

Shift Your Brand Voice Over Time

As your brand evolves, and you introduce new products and services, you need to keep shifting your brand voice. Your company’s tone, and visual identity can also shift with changing times. For example, in 2021 a lot more brands focus on altruistic and inclusive values as a part of their messaging.

A good way to do this is to look at your company’s mission statement every few years and see if it still fits the times that you live in. Very often a brand’s voice may start to move away from the initial mission and focus of the company.

Of course, like anything, you can do this yourself. It’s just a matter of sitting down and deciding how to help the world relate to you.

 

Hopefully, this article gives you some basic insights and gets you thinking more about the importance of brand voice and sharing your true personality with your customers.

If you do it well, they will hopefully invite you to become a part of their lives, and someday relate to your brand with the same trust they do to a family member.


Brandastic is a digital marketing and advertising agency with offices in Orange County, Austin, and Los Angeles. We work with businesses to enhance their branding and customer reach. Talk to us today about stepping up your online marketing game.

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