Regardless of the size or industry of your business, one thing is for certain — brand voice is arguably one of the most essential elements in establishing your brand and marketing strategy. In fact, a Sprout Social study found that 33% of consumers say a distinct personality is what makes a brand’s social media appealing. Having this unique brand persona helps differentiate you from the competition while communicating your values and developing a personal connection with consumers.
However, determining your brand’s unique voice can be difficult, and maintaining that voice across multiple channels and campaign executions is even harder. Let’s take a deeper look at why having a consistent brand voice is crucial and a few steps you can follow to determine your own.
The Importance of Maintaining Brand Voice
The copy in your ads is only a small portion of your brand’s voice. It’s important to maintain consistency throughout all executions, from paid ads to blogs to social media posts. Doing so ensures there’s no disconnect with your audience. For example, if your social media posts are witty and edgy, your website content and paid ads should have the same feel.
It’s key to determine the tone and style of your brand’s voice as early on as possible. If you change up your style throughout the lifetime of the brand, there’s potential for distrust. Keeping a consistent brand voice will deepen consumers’ trust because they’ll value the honesty and integrity of your brand. By keeping your brand voice consistent, you’ll have the potential to resonate with your audience on a deeper level, securing lifelong consumers who will eventually advocate for your brand.
Examples of Great Brand Voice
Here are a few brands that have developed recognizable voices and do an awesome job of maintaining them across platforms.
Wendy’s is notorious for shamelessly roasting their competitor fast food companies on Twitter. They took a risk with their brand voice being so blunt, straight to the point, and sarcastic, but the risk paid off. Consumers enjoyed interacting and engaging with this type of content, as Wendy’s was one of the fastest-growing companies on social media. According to Unmetric Analyze, Wendy’s registered a 126.5% Twitter follower growth rate in 2017, a rate that far outpaces the 5.9% median growth in the U.S. restaurant industry.
Nike on the other hand has a unique, progressive voice that can cause a bit of controversy. However, Nike holds strong to their values and what they believe in, and it shows in their voice. For instance, Nike has made headlines in recent years for releasing ads with both Colin Kaepernick and the U.S. women’s soccer team. Taking risks with their socially conscious brand voice also paid off, as 63% of consumers now say they prefer to purchase from brands that align with their personal values.
Dr. Squatch is a great example of a smaller brand that has achieved a recognizable and consistent brand voice. Dr. Squatch’s mission is to change the world of men’s hygiene, one bar of natural soap at a time. They rose to notoriety with their viral comedic YouTube videos, solidifying their unique voice in the natural products space. Their consistently funny, no-nonsense voice has made their marketing efforts feel more approachable and distinct from competitors.
4 Ways to Master Your Brand’s Voice
To determine which tone and style of voice is right for your brand and will resonate with your target audience, keep these four tips top of mind.
Once you establish the voice and tone of your brand, maintaining consistency is key. You don’t want to confuse your audience with inconsistent or conflicting messages. Ensure that you’re expressing the same tone and values on all platforms. It’s helpful to create a brand style guide to follow, especially when multiple teams, agencies, or copywriters are involved in execution.
2. Appropriate Tone
You want to make sure you find the right tone to speak in. Certain messages, when delivered in different tones, can give off completely different feelings and make consumers react in various ways. Make sure you are as accurate with your tone as you can be and that it’s the same everywhere, including creative assets like digital ads and videos.
3. Audience Awareness
Knowing your audience will help you shape your tone and how the message is relayed. Brands that have great voices have clearly defined target audiences. For example, you want to speak differently with a younger audience versus an older one, as these groups receive messages differently. If you know who you’re trying to speak to, you’ll be able to accurately determine how to say your message.
Remember to stay authentic to your core values and mission. People don’t want a disingenuous voice or persona that isn’t representative of the true brand. Consumers will promote brands that they want to be a part of — if you keep the brand’s voice honest, people will follow and believe in it!
Start Determining Your Brand’s Unique Voice
Developing a distinct voice is essential in a competitive industry. It’s key to maintain a consistent, appropriate tone that is honest and keeps your audience top of mind. Try out a voice that feels most natural to the brand’s core values and see how that resonates with your target audience. Remember, Wendy’s didn’t uncover their wildly successful voice until they gave it a try.
Looking to use data to back up which brand voice is right?