A brand is more than a logo and signature style for communications. It’s also what people think about your organisation. In this way, a brand is alive. It’s constantly being recreated in real-time based on people’s perceptions.
For your organisation to succeed, you want to ensure that those perceptions align with your own beliefs about who you are and what you stand for.
Your brand voice plays a key role in achieving this. But how do you finesse your brand voice? And what is brand voice anyway?
Identifying your brand’s personality
Your tone of voice helps your brand become memorable, meaning that how you say something is just as important as what you say — and sometimes even more so.
But how do you make sure you’re consistently using an authentic and effective tone of voice?
Start by thinking about your brand voice as an extension of your organisation’s personality. If your brand were a person, how would you describe them? Humble and wise? Cheeky? Direct? Friendly and approachable? Compassionate?
Establishing personality traits helps you set parameters. If confidence is one of your company’s main traits, then your tone of voice may be bold, assertive and direct. If you consider your organisation to be visionary, then your tone may be uplifting and aspirational. A bit lofty even.
Guiding questions for refining your brand voice
Clearly personality and tone go hand in hand. But there are other factors to consider as well.
As you continue to refine your brand voice, here are some guiding questions to consider:
- What type of language will resonate with your key audiences? Casual language, including slang? Or more formal language?
- How do personality and tone impact the cadence of your written communications? Are sentence fragments ok to use? Or are you more academic?
- Are you conversational in your content, using ‘we’, ‘our’ and ‘you’, for example? Or do you strictly write about your organisation in the third person?
- Do you use contractions in written communications? (This links back to your target audience as well as the level of formality you’re aiming for.)
- How do you/your employees naturally speak about your organisation? How can this organic approach be captured in your written communications?
Making your organisation distinct through your unique brand voice
Finessing your brand voice means delving deeper than questions of style, such as punctuation preferences. It’s about communicating in a way that helps you effectively connect with your target audience and stand out from the crowd at the same time.