Your brand voice is an essential part of how your customers and clients perceive you. However, many tend to forget or overlook this important aspect. Some fear that it’s a complicated ordeal to define their verbal identity. These brand voice examples will help you on your way.
Step 1: Ask yourself how your brand speaks
Defining the essence of your brand can be a bit tricky. What are we? What are we not? The good news is that no one knows your brand better than you. So start by defining its personality. What does it do? What does it look like? What is your USP? Have a thorough look at your brand platform, your graphic identity and your conversations with customers and clients.
Then ask yourself: If my brand were a person, how would it speak. Witty? To the point? Poetic? Self-deprecating? Try to imagine yourself (or a client) in conversations with your brand. What would your brand say? How would your brand say it? Act out these conversations to yourself and take notes. It seems silly, but it works!
Step 2: Define your brand voice in three words
Now that you have an idea of your verbal identity, it’s time to pin it down. Find three words that define your brand voice. Make them substantial enough so that anyone in the organisation can easily follow them.
Our tone of voice is:
Define these words further if need be. Example: ’Concise – we don’t beat around the bush. We keep it short and to the point.’
A distinctive definition of your tone of voice is also very helpful when your content needs translation for international markets. It keeps your brand voice from being lost in translation.
Step 3: Set up Do’s and Don’ts
Find existing examples of writing and transform them according to your tone of voice. Document the changes and make them part of your verbal identity.
The following brand voice example ties in to one of the characteristics above, i.e. friendly:
• Don’t: ’Your call is important to us.’
• Do: ’We’d love to talk to you!’
Step 4: Implement and Ensure Consistency
Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves. Run through every piece of writing and change it according to your brand voice. Start with your most important channels and work your way downwards. Also, as it’s easier to change the words on a website than on, say, a package design, you might want to start with the website. A list of priorities could look something like this:
2. Social media channels
3. Physical products, business cards, etc.
4. Email auto-replies
5. … and so on.
Important notice: Every little piece of writing – down to the tiniest piece of micro copy – must be consistent with your brand voice if you want your customers and clients to perceive it as likeable. As always, the devil is in the detail.
For example, Swedish oat milk company Oatly has a consistent tone of voice, even down to their 404 page.
Another beverage-related example comes from Innocent, who let their quirky tone of voice show on the bottom of their packages.
Step 5: Keep on writing!
So you have defined and implemented your brand voice. However, one important task remains: maintaining your tone of voice in everything you write from now on. It might seem like a no-brainer, but this is where many brands fail. Their verbal identity gets lost in day-to-day routine, and ultimately forgotten.
The antidote is writing something everyday, even though you have no immediate use for it. A few sentences, a slogan that could be useful later on – anything as long as it is coherent with your brand voice. Good luck!
Sergio Arboledas is a Marketing Executive for LOVEUROPE and Partners