One often-overlooked aspect of your brand’s personality is your voice. Today you are going to learn how to find your brand voice and how it can help you express your unique personality and point-of-view.
What is Brand Voice?
Your brand voice is the style you use to communicate your message to the outside world. It’s your unique point-of-view or perspective on your topic. Ann Handley says in her book Everybody Writes, “…your brand voice is simply an expression of your company’s personality and point of view.”
It’s important to understand that it’s not just what you say but how you say it that matters. You might be an expert in tax preparation with years of experience, but if you sound like every other tax preparer on the planet, your brand just gets lost in all that noise. Not many businesses take the time to develop a unique voice for their brand so there’s a real opportunity here for you to stand out.Not many businesses take the time to develop a unique voice for their brand so there's a real opportunity here for you to stand out. Click To Tweet
Examples of Brand Voice
Below are a few examples of brands with clear and consistent voices. They each express a unique perspective and a consistent brand voice in all of their communications. I grabbed a few screenshots to show you how they’re using brand voice effectively on their websites.
Whole Foods has a simple mission, to be “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store™”. Their voice is authoritative yet approachable and always reflects their mission.
Brass Taxes is “Tax help for freelancers, artists & other nice people”. Their voice is unexpected, irreverent, a bit quirky, but always smart.
Patagonia’s mission statement says a lot about their brand: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” Their voice is adventurous, down-to-earth, caring, and a determined activist.
How to Find Your Brand Voice
Finding your unique brand voice can take time, but there are a few things you can do to get yourself moving in the right direction.
Start with your manifesto. What do you believe in? What does your brand stand for? Look over your brand manifesto and pull out the key ideas or phrases that exemplify your personality or perspective.
Listen to your audience. What words or phrases do they use? How do they communicate their questions or problems? How can your brand voice compliment their communication style and their personality?
Speak through your brand archetype. Imagine you are your brand archetype. What would you say to your customer? How would you greet them? How would you express empathy? What words or phrases would you use to relate to your audience?
Developing Your Brand Voice
As you work to develop your brand voice here are some things to keep in mind:
Remember who you are talking to. With everything you write or say always speak directly to your ideal client. Remember that photo of your ideal client you printed and hung up next to your monitor? Talk to her!
Read it out loud. It should feel natural for you to read your writing out loud. If it doesn’t feel right to you, it won’t feel right to your audience either.
Consistency is key. A consistent brand voice builds trust through familiarity. Be consistent and consider your voice in every communication you have with your audience.
Your brand voice won’t come into being fully formed. It takes time to develop a consistent and compelling voice. Over time your brand voice will develop naturally and feel more comfortable to you and to your audience.
Day 11 Action Item—Find Your Brand Voice
Sit down with your 21 Days to Build a Better Brand Workbook and consider the suggestions above.
Write down three words or phrases that describe your brand voice. For example:
Next, define each word a bit more and how it might convey your personality: “Approachable—I’m friendly, anyone can come and talk to me at any time, I’m always here to listen.”
If you’re feeling stuck, try this little exercise: Imagine your brand walks into a cocktail party and strikes up a conversation with her ideal client. What would she say? How would she sound? How would she come across?
These ideas are a great way to get you started communicating a consistent and relatable brand voice.
Coming up: Tomorrow you’ll learn how to choose the right images to use for your website, social media, and marketing materials.
How to Get the Most out of This Series
Subscribe to The Brand Sketch Blog and start receiving daily emails for this series as well as future tips and teachings around building your remarkable brand.
Subscribe to The Brand Sketch Podcast where I expand on the daily teachings and share more brand-building examples and helpful insights.
Join The Brand Sketch community on Facebook where you can ask questions and get help and support from me and your community of fellow brand builders.
Download the 21 Days to Build a Better Brand Workbook. This ebook is a valuable resource that contains all of the teachings and printable worksheets for this series. Download your workbook today and save all your work in one place!