This article was written by Michelle Weger.
Are you saying what you think you’re saying?
If you’re not careful, your brand’s personality might be sending the wrong message to your customers.
I know what you might be thinking.
“My brand isn’t a person. It can’t have a personality.”
Trust me, your brand definitely has a personality.
If you’re not careful, it might end up with the personality of that one person no one wants to sit with at lunch. If you want to make sure your brand always has a spot at the popular table, you have to establish two very important things: your brand voice and your brand tone.
What is a brand voice and why is it important?
Your brand voice is how you show off your brand’s personality.
It should be consistent and unchanging, just like your own.
It’s also one of the most important elements of your business. If you don’t have a set brand voice, your business idea, no matter how amazing and revolutionary it may be, likely won’t stand out in a sea of your competitors.
Not only does it set you apart from your competition, it helps your customers identify you. And if your customers can identify you, it makes them feel connected to you and like they are a part of your brand.
Take Nike for example.
You’re not just buying the “swoosh” or the slogan when you purchase a pair of shoes.
You’re buying into their messaging: power, elitism, positivity, and athletic greatness.
Without that branding, Nike would be just another athletic-wear brand in a crowd of many. But they’re not. They’re one of the largest and most recognizable brands on the planet.
Even if you aren’t a fan of athletic-wear, you’re still bombarded with the importance of strong brand voice in your daily life.
When you go shopping for skincare or body wash and you come across one of the many Dove products, what do you think of?
Like most people, their messaging comes to mind.
They’re all about making you feel motivated, uplifted, and empowered to take on the world.
Why is brand tone important?
Have you ever had “don’t use that tone of voice with me” said to you?
Or maybe you’ve said it to someone else.
Regardless, it was a very quick lesson in how important tone is. And when you use it incorrectly in your business, it can result in more than getting your mouth washed out with soap.
It can lead to you losing customers, money, and even your reputation.
To establish your tone, look at what you’re trying to sell and who you’re trying to sell to.
If you own a business making clothing for dogs and you want to target working professionals, you’re probably not going to say something like “Your dog will high key be the main character in these ‘fits.”
Now if you were trying to market to social-media-obsessed Gen Zs, they might appreciate the messaging a little bit more.
A better way to market that same product to your target audience would be “Shop the latest trends for your pampered pooch. Keep your dog in style anywhere, from the backyard to the dog park.”
How can you find your brand voice?
Take note of everything.
Make note of your business’s core values, mission statement, and commonly used words or phrases.
This should give you some insight into some important personality traits and act as a reference for anyone creating content.
Identify your target audience.
Observe how your audience interacts with you. What words and phrases are they using? That way, you can use language that is familiar to your audience when you’re writing for them.
However, avoid changing your brand’s current voice completely. If you shift from a straight to the point, only facts voice and tone to suddenly speaking like a Valley girl, your audience will leave.
In a Sprout Social report, it was revealed that 45% of consumers unfollowed businesses on social media because of irrelevant content. Staying true to your brand is the best way to avoid that.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to establishing your brand voice is to review it often. This is not a one-and-done task. It takes constant reviewing and refining if you want to stay on top of industry trends. Sometimes it even takes an outside perspective to tell you what you’re actually saying compared to what you want to say.