What is Brand Voice?

 

Picture this. You have an amazing business plan and you just launched a high-quality product that can shift the market. However, a year into the business and your expectations are far from reality.

So what do you do when you have an innovative product and a good business plan, but not an engaged community of loyal customers? Look at how you use your brand voice.

What is Brand Voice?

We often hear the term brand and branding in the early stages of building the product, service, or concept of your company. But what is it?

Any product, service, or concept in the market has its own brand. This brand is the overall look and feel of a specific product, service, or concept, and it is important in having your product, service or concept stand out among its competitors. The process of creating and establishing your brand that is unique to your company is branding. Branding encompasses your brand name, visual elements, and personality.

Now, the common mistake in establishing a brand is focusing all of the resources and effort on creating the brand’s visual identity and forgetting the personality as a whole. This creates a big problem in the future when the brand looks visually pleasing but cannot connect to its audiences.

This is why you need to pay attention in creating your unique brand voice.

Brand voice defines the overall personality of your company. It is the way the brand communicates to its target audiences, and it is one of the key factors to connect and build communities with loyal customers.

There are multiple similarly-crafted brand voices in the market, but your brand voice stays true to your brand’s values and goals. Just like how every individual has a unique personality and voice, your brand should too.


Why does it matter?

“A brand is a voice and a product is a souvenir.” – Lisa Gansky

A company’s branding should not end with its logo and visuals. Have you ever wondered how the biggest companies are identified by the market even without seeing their logos? How did companies such as Nike, Apple, and Louis Vuitton become the face of motivation, innovation, and luxury respectively?

Admittedly, a lot of factors contributed to their reputation. However, their brand voice and how they effectively used it is one of the key strategies that contributed to their multi-million success.

Consumers are often loyal to the companies that they feel emotionally connected to, and the visual branding of the company falls short to create that connection and loyalty. Your brand voice matters not only because it contributes to the identity of your brand, but because that is how your brand speaks to your audience.

A company that does not have a distinct voice will not stand out in the myriad of businesses in the market.

Consumers look into how you use your brand voice in various areas of communication more often than you think. If your brand fails to create a connection with your audience through emails, blogs, website copy, customer service communications, and in your social media platforms, you are not using your brand voice effectively.


How to set your brand voice?

A strong brand voice cannot be established without asserting who you are as a brand or your brand identity. Before even thinking of communicating to your target audience, you must first know and understand your brand’s vision, mission, values, and unique qualities and strengths that set you apart from the other businesses in the market. Without your brand identity, your brand will be a hollow entity.

In establishing your brand voice, it is important to know whom you are talking to. As much as you aspire, you cannot communicate with everyone all at once. The key to good communication with your audience is to know and narrow down their demographics, who they are, what they look like, how they talk, what they possibly need and want, what they can be interested and not interested in, and more. This is important in establishing your brand voice because not everyone can relate to various content.

For example, an 18-year-old woman who is interested in GenZ content might not relate to professional and serious content. On the other hand, the 40-year-old man who is interested in Bond films and crosswords might not relate to feminine and quirky content. Oftentimes, people are interested in the content that people in their demographics consume and that should be the starting point in establishing your brand voice.

After researching and establishing this, you now have to decide how you want your audience to perceive your brand.

Do you want to be a minimalist and clean-cut brand? Do you want to be the serious and professional one? Do you want to be funny and quirky? Do you want to be informative? Do you want to be feminine? Or masculine?

Now, this might be the hardest part for some brands because they want to mix and match various qualities and identities. However, a tip we can give you in making sure you are on the right track is to write three to five strong descriptions that ultimately define your brand.

For example, if a makeup brand’s descriptions are colorful, fun, and feminine, then its brand voice can focus on feminine and quirky content that targets younger audiences. Another is if a travel agency’s brand descriptions are fresh, simple, and luxurious, then their brand voice can be sophisticated and minimalist.

After establishing the overall brand descriptions and voice, the next step in establishing your brand voice is setting the tone of your brand voice.


Brand tone and types

Brand voice and brand tone may sound the same, but don’t let their similarities confuse you and how you use these two.

Remember, brand voice is your brand’s overall personality. It encompasses what your brand wants to say and whom you want to communicate with. On the other hand, the brand tone is the actualization of your brand voice. This focuses on how you communicate and connect with your audience through various customer interactions. This can be seen in your brand’s emails, blogs, website copy, customer service communications, and content on your social media platforms.

There are numerous brand tones in the market, especially because the way brands communicate to their audience should always aim to be unique to their brand voice. However, to help you start with establishing your own, we have narrowed down the most common brand tones in the market.

  1. Serious

Nike has been at the forefront of brands that focus on activeness, athleticism, and fitness. Their campaigns and ads have focused on the serious and goal-oriented mindsets of the athletes that they feature, and most of their motivational quotes and content are serious and powerful.

  1. Elegance

Tiffany & Co. is one of the biggest luxury jewelry brands in the market. They focus their brand voice on elegance and simplicity by emphasizing clear, crisp, and concise content across different marketing platforms. This simplicity exudes elegance in a way that consumers perceive high class and luxury: two things that you want in your high-end jewelry.

  1. Uplifting

As a beauty and self-care brand, Dove’s brand tone focuses on being uplifting and motivational. Their campaigns and ads often aim to highlight body positivity, women empowerment, self-love, and embracing the consumers’ inner beauty.

  1. Minimalist

Marie Kondo and KonMari are focused on minimalism and how to efficiently use minimalism in the fast-evolving maximalist society. This minimalism can also be seen in the content across all of their marketing platforms with a simple and concise tone of voice throughout the content.

  1. Warm and approachable

Jollibee is one of the leading fast food brands in the country. With their brand identity anchored on the importance of Filipino families and the values in the Philippines, their brand tone focuses on warmth and being approachable. They embodied their famous tagline, “Bida ang saya,” both in their traditional marketing strategies and now in their digital platforms.

  1. Funny

When faced with strong competition in 2010, Old Spice decided to rebrand to both masculine and humorous brand tones. Their content focused on the exaggeration of the idea of being a man to the point of being a caricature. The rebranding was often associated with the funny videos that they produced as part of a successful marketing strategy, but the brand tone is used even on their social media platforms such as Twitter.

  1. Confident 

Apple takes pride in having the most high-quality and innovative products on the market today. Mixed with an intimate tone, they used confidence as the main brand tone in promoting their products and services in all of their contents and communication channels, and in turn, their loyal customers, and even potential customers, feel a sense of reassurance that the product and service are nothing short of the best quality in the market.

  1. Feminine

Tala by Kyla is one of the jewelry brands that grew traction in social media because of its affordable but beautiful line of jewelry. Owned by Janet Kyla, the jewelry line is popularly known for its

  1. Masculine

Axe is a brand focused on male grooming products and is marketed to younger male demographics. Although they have been mixing humor in their tone of voice in social media content, they have utilized the masculine tone of voice in all of their communication platforms over the years through their commercials and overall branding.  

  1. Professional

Mindfuse is a brand and digital marketing agency that aims to deliver data-driven services to help business owners market their brands. For our brand tone, we focus on professionalism and informativity. By using a professional brand tone in all of our content and marketing platforms, we build trust and establish the credibility and quality of the service we provide.


How to effectively use your brand voice

Now, setting your brand voice and tone is important in establishing your brand, but how should you effectively use it? Here are a few dos and don’ts of effectively using your brand voice.

DO

1. Stick to your brand voice.

It can be so easy to lose track of what your voice is, especially when your voice does not fit the current trends on the market. But as tempting as it is, always stick to your brand voice. This will avoid confusing the consumers about what your true branding is, and establish stronger connections with the people that truly speak the same language as your brand.

2. Utilize your brand voice and tone on all communication platforms.

Your brand voice and tone should not only be used in the content you produce for social media. Always keep in mind that consistency in using your brand voice and tone in all aspects of communication, may it be traditional or digital, is the key to utilizing it. You should use this not only in content production but also in customer service and engaging with your audience.

3. Observe and study the trends.

The digital landscape will always be growing and evolving. As various content continues to be produced and consumed every day, trends change. Your brand should always consider riding the waves of trends, but of course, catered to how your brand relates to it.

4. Observe similar businesses in the market.

As they say, no man is an island. You would be surprised to know how many of the most successful and leading businesses in the market often observe their competition. It is not only because it is a strategy to know their strengths and weaknesses, but it can also be incorporated into your brands.

DON’T

1. Do not copy other brands’ content. 

Now, don’t get us wrong. Inspiration from observing other brands surely helps, but copying their content without catering it to your branding is not the way to go!

2. Do not stop observing your target audience.

A common mistake that brands do after researching and identifying their target market is to assume that the audience does not change. It is important to observe your target audience because it is ever-evolving. An audience’s preference today might not be their preference tomorrow, and as your target audience, you should learn how to adapt and cater to those changes.

3. Do not be afraid to try something new.

Change is often seen as a negative or worse a failure. But when it comes to changing your brand tone for the sake of producing specific content or seriously considering rebranding as a whole, you should not be afraid to look into these possibilities if they will make your brand better. 

4. Do not be afraid to ask for professional help.

Feeling lost or stuck? It is okay to admit that you are going to need professional help that can assist as you pick up these strategies along the way. If you are seriously considering asking for experts, don’t be afraid to give us a call.