What’s the first thing you think of when you hear branding? Probably the visual stuff, huh? The pretty graphics and the logos and fonts and colors?
Betcha didn’t think about the “voice.” You know, the personality a brand uses to communicate with consumers. The way a brand speaks and the impression it leaves is just as important as how it looks!
Communicating with your ideal audience in a voice that speaks their language allows you to connect with them, establish a strong brand identity, and build an ongoing relationship. The more relatable your brand is, the more attached consumers get.
Imagine going to a party and chatting here and there with each of the guests. You’re bound to find a few that stand out to you just by how you relate to them and how much you gravitate to their personality!
So how do you create your own unique brand voice and use it to your advantage?
FIND YOUR VOICE
First thing’s first: if you don’t know what your voice is, try reverting back to your mission statement, your values, and your key brand points. All of these things make up the core foundation of your brand and make you, YOU versus the competition! Use them as guidelines for how your voice should sound at each communication touchpoint with your customers.
Take these clothing brands, for example—check out how their respective mission statements line up with their voices, and how their voices separate them from each other:
Patagonia mission statement: “We’re in business to save our home planet.”
On Patagonia’s site, we find a voice of concern that also warmly invites the reader to join their mission of saving the earth:
- “We aim to use the resources we have—our voice, our business and our community—to do something about our climate crisis.”
- “We’ve pledged 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment.”
- “Creating a culture of people who feel more at home in a base camp or on the ocean than they do in the office.”
Nordstrom mission statement: “To give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible.”
On Nordstrom’s site, we find a clean, professional voice that’s committed to each consumer’s individual style and elevating their shopping experience:
- “An incredible eye for what’s next in fashion. A passionate drive to exceed expectations.”
- “Whether you just want some quick advice or a whole wardrobe refresh, your stylist is always there for you to help you look great—and feel amazing.”
- “Introducing your new go-to destination for all things fashion, beauty and lifestyle at Nordstrom, from how-tos and style inspiration to exclusive interviews and more.”
FIND YOUR PERSONALITY
The right personality can do wonders for your brand, as it builds recognition with consumers, and again, allows them to fully relate to your brand and enjoy your content as it should be enjoyed.
Take a minute to consider your entire brand for this one, from the mission statements and core values we just discussed, all the way to the fonts and colors that make up the building blocks in your branding suite. In combining all of these elements, you’ll decide whether the personality of your voice should be professional, peppy, rugged, innovative, optimistic, and so on.
Let’s look at some candy brands this time. Take note of how each brand’s respective personality is noticeable, even in their short slogans:
Skittles personality: Wacky; Out of the box
Skittles slogan: “Taste the rainbow.”
This fruity, brightly colored candy is well-known for its quirky voice. The fact that we never know what to expect from Skittles next makes them even more memorable. Take this “Origin Story” snippet from their site as an example:
- “SKITTLES covered the land far and wide, high and low, as far as the eye could see. Every dinosaur was full and happy, and spent their days creating art and writing terrible love songs.”
Dove Chocolate personality: Wholesome; Indulgent
Dove Chocolate slogan: “Choose pleasure.”
Dove Chocolate hones in on “me time” with a tone that’s sultry and smooth to mimic their delightful product, and places importance on being rooted in the moment. Here’s some text from their site:
- “So find the things that make you feel relaxed and refreshed, whether that’s trying your hand at pottery, listening to a whole album or settling down with a great book, a cup of coffee and a bowl of PROMISES®.”
FIND YOUR INDIVIDUALITY
Alright, you’ve got your voice down—now here’s a couple of tips for you to keep in mind:
- Don’t be a robot. A brand that speaks the way you would in casual conversation with a friend is much more interesting and engaging than a bunch of jargon and cold, robotic language.
- Don’t lose consistency. When your brand’s voice and personality changes over different platforms and content, you risk confusing your customers into not being sure what your brand is all about.
- Don’t copycat other voices. A voice is one of the main elements that separates one brand from the next! If you try to be too much like others, you’ll essentially blur those lines and miss out on your chance to stand out.
FIND YOUR COPYWRITER
If you’re not sure how to jumpstart your own voice, or how to keep it going and boost it to its full potential, you might consider looking into a copywriting expert for help.
Surprise, surprise, we have one of those at Hive (we’re also poets and didn’t even know it)! Whether you’re in need of a brand new voice made from scratch, or even if your current voice needs some extra love, we’ll transform it into the well-oiled machine it should be, so you can attract the audience you should be.
Ready to get started? SAY LESS—we’re ready when you are!