Before we get ahead of ourselves, you must understand that ‘brand voice’ refers to your brand’s personality, which should always stay consistent and unchanging. It involves all of the emotions and interactions that are apart of your brand.
A lot of people may only think of your brand identity initially when building a brand, and unintentionally leave out a key importance, your brand voice.
The truth is that these two work together simultaneously, amongst other aspects to create a consistent brand. It is also important to keep in mind that ‘branding’ is an all encompassing term that involves many things, all of equal importance.
These five easy steps will help you establish an authentic brand voice:
The first thing you may want to do when trying to establish your brand voice, is to take a look at your target market, or your “audience.” Who does your brand exist to serve? Who are you targeting? What age are they? Are they female or male? What is their income? Where do they live? How do they speak? What do they like?
Once you have determined these things, it is important to take these factors into account when deciding how you will speak and interact with your audience. This will consist of your lingo/ dialect, and overall interaction between them. If you are unsure it is important to do your research. In order to successfully reach your audience you need to know them on a personal level.
If your brand targets an older, professional, female audience, it may be beneficial to have professional dialogue with proper English, and good grammar. However, if your brand targets millennial teenage men you may base your dialogue off of the millennial generation’s dialect with current slang words and humor. This is important in reaching your audience in an effective way, on their level.
What is your brand’s mission statement? You can use this valuable information when establishing your brand voice by taking into account what your brand stands for, and what your values consist of. Your brand MUST live up to those values in everything it does, especially in your personality, and dialogue. Keeping an authentic brand is important! One way of staying authentic is by staying true to your mission statement, and your values.
Based off of what you already know about your target market, and your mission statement, you can do a little exercise that consist of writing out 4 simple words that you would like to describe your brand. These words must be 4 of the strongest words that identify your brand’s personality and voice. You will use these key-words to keep consistency within your brand.
They might be: fun, hip, unique, free-spirited. Or they might be: professional, honest, successful, and dependable. These are two very different sets of Brand Voice Characteristics, because they are two very different brands, that serve and target very different audiences.
By Creating a Brand Voice Chart you are honing in, and narrowing down on exactly what your brand voice is, by using what you have learned above to list out exactly what your brand voice will consist of.
You can create a Brand Voice Chart by listing out a few of your brand’s most important ‘voice characteristics,’ a brief description of those, and then finally the ‘do’s’ and the ‘dont’s’ of those individual characteristics. Creating this in the format of a table is the easiest to do as well as look back on for future reference.
As mentioned earlier, consistency is key in all aspects of a brand. It is ultimately how you develop and maintain a cohesive brand. One way you can stay consistent with the brand voice you have developed is to document with clearly written guidelines. This may also be helpful when working with others, who may not be clear on your brands voice. This ensures consistency and fluidity.