There’s a lot of branding buzzwords floating around nowadays, and it can be hard to decipher what “a brand” truly is unless you’re in the branding field. I’m here to break down the four elements of a solid brand voice. You’ll be off to the races in no time, designing your dreamy, perfect brand!
First off, I want to share this incredible four-part formula to brand voice created by Stephanie Schwab from Social Media Explorer.
We are often preached to about designing customer personas for our brands based on the people who buy from us and who we wish to target. While customer personas matter a great deal, it is equally important during the branding journey to map out a brand persona that guides your marketing efforts.
Each brand is unique and was created for a specific purpose by a unique individual (you!). When thinking about what you want your business to sound and feel like, you are crafting your “brand persona”. Start by asking yourself a set of questions about your brand:
- What personality traits does it possess?
- What’s your relationship to the customer (example: coach, teacher, mother, etc.)?
- Which fictional characters or celebrities would you want to be like?
- Which real people in your life are similar to your brand?
In addition, it matters what it sounds like when you address your audience. Are you humorous? Sarcastic? Cheeky? Do you use romantic, rich language that inspires? Or factual, to the point language that is short yet sweet? Through this element of characterization, you create the overall sound of your brand that will stick out prominently in marketing messaging.
Explained by Marketing Land, the “Three C’s of Brand Voice” are important to keep in mind:
- What do you stand for? What do you talk about? What makes you stand out? This makes up your organization’s personality and therefore your culture. The core of your brand voice must come from your culture.
- Practice social listening, an emerging trend in the marketing landscape in 2019. By listening to the conversations your audience is having (and not just when they’re talking about YOU!), you can figure out their pain points and where you could be of service to them.
- Conversation is all about communicating what you have to offer through your unique personality and authenticity. Think about what you would like to bring to the conversation and lead from that.
Somewhat of a subset to your brand voice, your brand tone is situational and can be different across platforms and settings. You can choose to implement different tones based on the audience or situation where you find yourself.
Some examples of tone as showcased in Stephanie’s graphic above include:
Similar to tone, you can change up the language you use depending on the situation, but overall you want a solid, consistent direction. It’s a marketing best practice to not use words that are too big, or, to use words that are easily digestible for about a 6th-8th grade reading level. So, keeping that in mind, when you go to pick the language you are going to use consistently, make sure it isn’t too jargon-filled and high-level.
However, that being said, if you want to come across as more exclusive or expensive, using a bit of jargon may be just the ticket to elevating your presence! If you want to come across as relatable, even hip, maybe you’ll decide to throw in some harmless slang (but be careful not to overuse). How you wish to be perceived should ultimately relate to the types of language you generally choose to use.
The most important piece of the puzzle is your purpose – the reasoning behind why you do what you do and the specific magic that you bring to the party!
- Who do I serve?
- What do I offer?
- What is my inspiration?
- What is the cause or root meaning behind what I do?
- What started the business and why does it exist/why is it needed?
- What is the pain point I am helping to reach and resolve?
Above all, consistency matters. When you craft your ideal brand voice and go to execute it, make sure you are always leading with core messaging. Your fans will come in droves and you will create followers for life.
Have further questions about branding or social media? I’d love to connect! You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @positivequation and Facebook @PositiveEquation.