Brands are like people, with their own distinct voice, personality, values and visual identity. A brand’s voice is the crème de la crème of its messaging and communications. It’s the unique personality it conveys to the world and its audience.
Your brand voice should resonate with your audience, align with your values and differentiate you from your competitors. A form of expression that should be cohesive from channel to channel. Across all of your social media platforms, email campaigns and product packaging right down to the tiny banner you’ve set up on google ads. While a brand voice is mostly about specific words, unique terminology and tone, it’s important to remember that it encompasses visual elements too (typography, colour and imagery/visuals).
When you think of brand tonality, think emotion. Are you happy, annoyed, curious, interested or upset? The message you give can create a completely different meaning in the minds of your consumers depending on how you say it.
A youthful fashion brand might convey a voice that’s fun, bold and daring. Engaging with consumers through copy that inspires and excites them. However, when talking about more heavy-hearted subjects, for example, social issues, their tone would change according to the message. Perhaps, taking a more sincere approach, whilst still conveying their bold attitude against it. Tone focuses on the expression and mood of the topic whilst consistently aligning with the brand’s voice.
Magic Mind on the left labels the scientific name of their ingredients and then explains what they do with simple copy e.g. Matcha – Gives you energy, Adaptogens – Helps you relax. Their minimal approach creates a tone that’s both calming and reassuring to read.
Throughout our lives, our social circle fluctuates, changing as we meet new people and inevitably getting smaller as we get older. We distance ourselves from those we don’t feel aligned too and focus on the people we really connect with.
A brand’s voice is virtually about making those meaningful relationships; not a 3-month gym bromance. Your brand voice is about connecting personally with consumers through a personality and language they can resonate with. In turn, developing long-lasting connections. Like your best friends, brands have the ability to become a similar embodiment; someone they can trust and recognise. Hopefully, keeping you within their inner circle for life.
Through a carefully crafted brand voice, predetermined by a set of clear guidelines, your brand voice tells everyone loud and proud who you are. What you do and how you can solve their problems. Allowing audiences and customers to get to know you. Emphasizing the importance of understanding ‘who’ your audience is so you can create a method of communication they can relate to. Knowing their persona, to know yours. Their wants, needs, likes, dislikes, lifestyle, and buying behaviours.
By being consistent with your brand voice you’ll develop a more recognisable, memorable identity. The more memorable and consistent your brand, the stronger your identity. Consistency aids reliable content customers can trust and are comfortable with. Giving you an authentic appeal necessary to standing out in a crowded marketplace. Through authenticity, you’re more likely to attract trusting relationships.
Lululemon is a trendy fitness apparel brand inspiring its customers to be well in every aspect of their lives. Their brand voice is light, positive, and empowering representing their core values of wellness, health and sustainability. They use brand ambassadors such as yogis and athletes who personify everything they stand for, evoking a cohesive language. The use of different people, from different places, sports and cultures, embodies their focus on empowerment & community.
Perhaps a personal favourite, but I’m not biased. Spotify’s brand voice encompasses the diverse, playful, inclusive world of music that we all love and adore. They’ve adopted a friendly, cool, concise and dry-humoured tone that’s fitting for its millennial target market. If you just joined Uni, and Spotify was at your first party – they’d probably be someone you want to be friends with. Edgy, hip and knowledgeable on all things pop culture, whilst not taking themselves too seriously.
If Apple Music, Deezer, Soundcloud and Spotify created an ad strictly of words and no visual input. Spotify would stick out like a sore thumb. By being consistent they’ve created a voice that is instantly recognisable from a single piece of copy.
Image credit: FamousCampaigns
In an industry that often focuses on science, razor-blade technology and health, the Dollar Shave Club have distinguished itself against their competitors by taking a complete U-turn. Their brand voice is witty, sharp and humorous.
For example, their website banner says ‘Beard & Balls Revolution. As well as releasing blogs with hilarious titles that are as intriguing as they are informative; ‘Sitting on the toilet for too long will wreck your butt’. By diverting themselves from the formal tendencies of their industry they’re engaging with the audience and attracting attention.
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