What does brand voice actually mean?

If you are like the majority of people out there – you may be thinking, “what the heck does brand voice actually mean?” I totally understand where you are coming from – when you think of branding you think of the visuals. You know, the logo, submark, colors, etc. But the truth is, your brand is so much more than just your visuals. Your brand is your business’s reputation. It is what people say about you when you leave the room, their interactions with you, it is everything.

So, when you think about your brand as a reputation, the term brand voice makes a little more sense. With a person, someone can develop a reputation from how to act, speak and carry themselves.

Your small business is no different! Your brand develops a reputation from how you interact with your audience, what experiences has your audience had with you and how you speak to them. And this is why your brand voice is so important. It is a key part to how people feel about your business + it should be taken very seriously.

When you don’t have a brand voice it can come off as

  • Inconsistent
  • Not real (avoiding transparency or honesty)
  • Just trying to push a sale

 

All things that will drive your audience out the door, with a bad story to tell their friends about. So, let’s talk about the components of your brand voice + then later we can dive into how to develop your brand voice to grow your business!

 

Your brand voice consists of 2 main categories:

Brand Values and Brand Tone

 

Brand Values:

Your brand values is your brand’s way of thinking and communicating. The values of your company should be defined as the core purpose of your company. Even though this seems like a very deep question – it can be as simple as identifying the basic human need you are trying to solve.

Think about the following:

  • What do you want to be known for?
  • What do you want to tell the world?
  • How do you do things differently than your competitors?

Thinking about your brand values really acts as the foundation to your brand voice. You can’t start building a home without a foundation, just as you cannot start writing and communicating with your audience before you know what to write about.

 

Brand Value Example:

Lush cosmetics – They are a cosmetic company that believes in making effective products from safe, organic materials. (a deeper social issue)

 

Brand Tone:

The way you speak to your audience matters. Think about when you are talking to someone in person – if they say something in a specific tone or use a specific word, it can change how you feel about that conversation completely. The same goes for your brand.

Think about:

  • What words are you using with your audience?
  • How are you talking to them?
  • How does your tone make your audience feel?

 

Brand Tone Example:

The LA Kings Hockey team is known for being very funny and sometimes controversial with their social media presence. They have set this tone + grown their audience very well because of it. Now, their audience expects it and even looks for their tweets because of their funny nature. But can you imagine if a more serious company – say a lawyer tried to do the same? I don’t think it would have a great response. Tone + words matter!

 

Now that we have talked about what your brand voice is, stay tuned for our post next week for step-by-step instructions on how to develop your brand voice.

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