Branding is not a logo. It is not a colour set. It is not a style guide and a choice of font. Nor is it a fancy business card. Or a website. A newsletter? Nope. It is not even a customer service policy (‘do you want fries with that?’)
Your brand is all these things combined. It is how your audience hears you.
What is brand voice?
“In the forest, hundreds of birds call out – a cacophony of noise. Yet, high in a tree, in a nest, a baby bird hears the call of its mother – a magic call, unique and distinct from every other birdcall…”
Voice is the way you communicate with your clients. It is the way your staff communicate with your clients. And it is not the voice of the CEO, or the CMO. It is the voice of your business. Written, spoken, visual or experiential – without a defined voice, your business voice will be lost in the noise.
Businesses with bold personalities, with a unique angle, the ones pitched at a different frequency to all the others – they are the ones who are heard.
The purpose of your brand voice is to attract as many of the right customers to your business as possible. So your brand voice needs to resonate with people you want to work with. Every metaphor, every example, the words you choose must all align with your brand voice.
Where is brand voice used?
Your brand voice is used EVERYWHERE.
- Website copy
- Social Media posts
- Marketing material
- Sales messages
- Phone calls
- Text messages
- Face to face
- Subscription sign-ups
- Invoices, including reminders and overdue notices
- On-boarding communication for both clients and staff
- Thank you emails
And even off-boarding communications!
As the business owner, you need to define your brand voice.
What is the tone of your voice – Upbeat? Serious? Humorous? Motivating? Can you maintain this tone across all the mediums above? Are your staff able to use your brand voice?
Define your core words? For example, we use Brilliant (for obvious reasons) and other big expansive words such as magnificent, as well as action sentences such as “will we see you there?” “is this the kind of strategy your business is looking for?”
Our voice is friendly, confident, personal.
Everyone likes to be seen as ‘professional’ and expert’ however these traits are a bit like saying, “the car has wheels!”
What are the traits which give your business personality – in other words, in amongst all the forest noises, how will anyone hear you above all the others?
Examples of great brand voices in crowded niches:
From these examples you can see, you don’t have to create a great big loud brand voice; however it does need to be unique and consistent across every channel of communication you use.
Create a Communication Style Guide so you can define and share your brand voice, everything you need is in The Content Strategy Resource Centre