Do You Know Your Brand Voice?
Does your brand have a distinct brand voice? Would your customers recognize you just by the way you speak to them? Voice is a crucial part of your brand’s identity, so if neither of the two is the case, read on to see how to change it.
What is voice, and what is tone?
First, let’s define the notion. Voice is the way your brand communicates in general. It’s a reflection of your brand’s personality. It’s a combination of certain attributes – like fun and conversational, or maybe professional and very business-focused – and certain types of words and expressions you use, along with the way you use them across all channels. It’s one of the key factors that makes the experience with your brand cohesive and whole for your customers and prospects.
Tone, on the other hand, is how you apply that voice in certain types of communication. So you might use a lighter tone when you talk to people on Twitter or Facebook, but a more serious tone when you’re sending an email to an upset, enterprise-level customer.
You might also decide to use a very similar tone across the board (which I think becomes more and more common these days as we all communicate online, and are also trying to become more consistent and transparent as brands). But essentially, you could call the tone a variation of your brand’s overall voice.
Why should you bother with creating a voice for your brand?
Well, to put it simply, your voice expresses your brand’s personality. It completes your visual identification, and helps people recognize your brand by just the copy in your marketing materials. It’s one of the elements that make your brand stand out from the competition. Finally, it helps communicate the values behind your brand.
Your voice defines your brand in the eyes of your audience (just as your personal voice defines you in the eyes of your friends or colleagues.) People generally don’t care whether they’re chatting with you on Facebook, or calling your customer support line. They’re talking to YOU. And if you use a voice they can recognize, and get used to, they’ll trust you more (as opposed to being confused and disoriented).
So how do you define your brand voice?
Before you define the voice, you need to do your homework in defining your brand strategy. Your brand voice will follow from it naturally.
Know who you’re talking to.
First, you need to define your audience. Customer research can help. Develop Personal vs. Professional Pt. #2: How Successful Brands Communicate on Facebook
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