When developing a brand, visual aspects often pull focus while brand voice and messaging can get overlooked. However, written content such as social media, website copy, internal training documents, pay-per-click ad copy all require the same attention and consistency you give to the other elements of your brand presence.
Your brand voice is the unique voice and personality that your brand takes on. Your brand’s storytelling style, language used, phrases and stylistic choices should all be evaluated and documented. If you were to only focus on your logo, brand colours, photography style but your written copy was not consistently showing off your brand's personality - you do not have a cohesive brand.
In this blog, we discuss what a brand voice is, how to develop yours, and how to implement it across every piece of content you create.
What is Brand Voice?
Brand voice is the distinct personality a brand takes on in its messaging. It is a consistent set of traits that consumers connect with, and acts as a through-line across all content. It can be any style you want as long as it stays true to your brand and remains constant across content.
Think of how you act at a party versus the office, you may have a different demeanour but your core personality remains the same. This is true for your brand as well, your brand has to communicate differently on different channels but its core persona should be unchanging.
People invest more in brands that they have an emotional connection with. With much of the world moving to automation and artificial intelligence, people are seeking that human tie now more than ever. Speaking to your audience with a well defined voice – consistently – give your brand that personal touch that people can relate with.
How Do You Develop a Brand Voice?
Thinking of your brand as a person can help you determine what your brand voice is. How do they speak? What types of words do they use? Are they the life of the party, or are they more reserved?
Placing your brand on a spectrum of characteristics like the one below can help you decipher what your brand’s personality is. We recommend completing these exercises twice - once thinking about how your brand is currently perceived and again thinking about what you want your brand personality to be.
How Do I Make Sure My Brand Voice is Consistent Across My Content?
Creating a voice tone and style guide is essential for keeping your brand voice consistent across your content. This includes blogs, emails, social media copy, internal communications, and website copy. Just as with visual guidelines, having standards in place for written content maintains uniformity across materials and mediums and allows multiple people to contribute to your brand without watering it down. Readers will become accustomed to the way your brand presents information and what to expect when they are consuming your content.
Your voice tone and style guide should include guidelines for vocabulary, formatting, and punctuation. These details play a key role in how the tone of your writing is perceived.. Readers will become accustomed to the way your brand presents information and what to expect when they are consuming your content.
Have a look at the way TD Canada Trust and Neo Financial discuss financial planning on their websites and social media. You can clearly see the differences in brand voice, even though they are both financial institutions, discussing savings strategies.
Neo’s voice is casual and youthful, while TD’s is more traditional and reserved. Their messaging is quite similar but they are presenting the information in vastly different ways. Even from these short examples you get an understanding of each brand’s personality.
How your brand speaks is just as important as how your brand looks. Visual branding catches the eye, but written content and messaging is where you make that deeper connection with your audience.
A voice tone and style guide will help your brand voice remain consistent across content types and channels; and build brand recognition, trust, and loyalty.
Remember – how you say it is just as important as what you say.