Thinking of elevating your brand presence? Building your brand voice could be the key.
With so many brands competing in the same niche, standing out is a challenge. That’s why brand building isn’t just an endeavor of large companies – small businesses are working hard to build their brand’s reputation as well. And creating a unique brand voice or brand persona is essential.
What is a brand voice?
To put it simply, a brand voice is your brand’s personality. It affects how your audience feel when they interact with your brand across all channels. Whether it’s social media marketing, web copy, your blog – your brand voice is how your brand sounds to your audience online.
The goal of creating a brand voice is to make your brand easily recognizable. It feels unique. And it sets the tone of your relationship with customers.
Does brand voice really matter?
Is it a make or break for your business? Not necessarily, but a unique brand voice sets you apart from your competition. And that’s what every business wants, to be seen by their customers and not get drowned out by the noise.
The impact of a consistent brand voice isn’t just fluff. Statistics have shown that content plays a big part in making brands more identifiable to consumers.
In the survey, 40% of consumers said that “memorable content” was the key reason why some brands stood out more than others. 33% said it was due to “distinct personality”, while 32% said “compelling storytelling”.
Having a brand voice plays a part in all three aspects. It’s impossible to have a distinct brand identity without a distinct brand voice.
Steps to develop a brand voice for your business
1. Identify your target audience’s persona
Why do we forge closer friendships with some more than others? Why do we feel like we resonate with them a little better than other acquaintances?
It’s because we feel like our closest friends get us. They speak our language and understand us better than the rest. This concept is crucial when you’re building your brand voice.
Before you decide how you want your brand voice to sound, you need to know the audience you’re appealing to.
Here are some questions to consider when you’re identifying your audience’s persona:
1. Who are they?
2. What are their wants, needs, and fears?
3. How do they express these concerns?
4. Where do they express these concerns?
These questions help you gauge the ‘personality’ of your target audience. A great way to learn more about your audience is through joining interest groups on Facebook or reading threads on Reddit and Quora.
Here’s an example:
If your business is in the essential oils niche, consider joining essential oil Facebook groups. Observe the topics that are raised and take notes on the language used in discussions. This will tell you your audience’s key concerns and the types of solutions they are looking for.
Researching your target audience doesn’t just apply to forums and Facebook groups. They could very well be on other social media platforms too. Make sure to look through various channels and see where your audience is most active.
2. Find inspiration from existing brands you aspire to become
Now that you know who you’re speaking to, it’s time to research other brands. These brands don’t necessarily need to be in your niche. They can simply be brands you look up to and aspire to become.
Being clear on how you want to position your brand is crucial and having a few role models to look up to can help you find your brand voice. Here are some examples to consider:
Skittles has a fun-loving brand voice that sounds a little tongue in cheek. Just check out their tweets. It’s filled with humor and pop culture references:
Their brand voice sounds witty and a little mischievous, and makes their customers feel like they’re having a casual conversation with a friend.
2. Fenty Beauty
Fenty Beauty’s brand voice is bold, confident, and direct.
On the About page, Fenty Beauty’s founder Rihana states that makeup “should never feel like pressure. It should never feel like a uniform. Feel free to take chances, and take risks, and dare to do something new or different.”
There’s an emphasis on #girlpower and clearly speaks to the modern woman who believes in female empowerment. If this is the tone of voice you’re looking for, Fenty Beauty is a great brand to study.
3. Louis Vuitton
Luxury brands like Louis Vuitton tend to have a sophisticated brand voice. There’s an emphasis on exclusivity – it’s not just for the masses or anyone.
Notice that unlike Skittles, Louis Vuitton’s tweets are lengthier. The vocabulary is more elaborate and paints a dream-like image.
3. Create your own style guide as a reference point
Having a reference point is crucial. It’s easy to forget key characteristics of your brand if you don’t note them down. Here are some aspects to consider when you’re creating a style guide for your brand voice:
1. Start with a vision and mission statement
Think about the change your brand will make in your customer’s life. Does your essential oil brand seek to bring comfort and peace to the busy individual? Or perhaps you run a home baking business. Do your bakes seek to bring happiness to every special occasion?
Having a vision and mission statement gives your brand a sense of purpose. And that will be the guiding principle behind your brand voice.
2. Make a Dos and Don’ts list
A Dos and Don’ts list is great for times when you feel unsure about your copy. It’s a cheat sheet you can fall back on when you’re working on something new – like revamping your About page or adding new product descriptions.
If you’re building a brand voice that’s friendly and approachable, a Dos and Don’ts list could like like this:
- Use informal language
- Use short sentences
- Adopt the tone of a close buddy or best friend
- Use long sentences
- Sound aloof
- Use complex jargon
3. Use adjectives to describe your brand persona
List down some adjectives that can help you nail your brand voice. If you want to build a brand voice similar to Skittles’, some adjectives like “fun”, “humorous”, “witty” can make your list.
If you’re building a brand voice for a tech business and want to sound credible, adjectives like “confident” and “authoritative” could make the cut for your list.
4. Use a consistent tone in all your content copy
Now that you’ve researched your audience, other brands, and even created your own style guide, it’s time to start writing!
Consistency takes practice. Sometimes, it could be a hit and miss. Don’t feel overly pressured to get it right the first time. In fact, it’s important to revisit old content and make adjustments whenever necessary.
And when in doubt, refer to your style guide to help you figure it out!
Start writing copy for your very own website
You can’t build your brand voice effectively if social media is your only channel to reach your audience. From the about page to your FAQs, having a website gives you the chance to build a consistent brand voice to connect with your customers.
If you’re looking to build your brand online, there’s no better time to start. Create your website with Cococart and build your brand presence online right away.