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How to Create a Voice for Your Brand

Smart. Friendly. Hip. Like people, all brands have personalities. And that personality shines through in your brand’s voice. What does the content you create say about your organization? And how can you make it more authentic and engaging?

What is Brand Voice?

Brand voice is how you convey your business’s personality to your audiences through words. The key to brand voice is consistency. You want every interaction a customer or prospect has with your company — from advertising to emails — to be consistent.

When considering your brand voice, it’s also important to understand brand tone.

  • Voice: This describes your company’s personality. It’s consistent and unchanging.
  • Tone: The emotional inflection applied to your voice. It adjusts to what’s suitable for a particular message.

Examples:

    The Harley-Davidson voice is strong, confident, and aggressive.

    The Coca-Cola voice is positive, friendly, and down-to-earth.

    The Skittles voice is clever, original, and youthful.

    Finding Your Brand Voice

    If you need help establishing a brand voice, here are some places to start:

    • Think about your target audiences and what type of content they’d be likely to interact with. Are they more likely to engage with copy that is fun and friendly or expert and authoritative?
    • Consider your mission, vision, key values, and internal culture — be true to your foundation.
    • Talk to your stakeholders, employees, and, most importantly, your customers. Ask them what words come to mind when they think of your brand and build from what they say.
    • Invest in a “We’re This, Not That” exercise where your team fills in the blanks to this sentence: “We’re _____, but we’re not _____.” Repeat the process until you have three or four agreed-upon examples that best describe your brand.

    We’re This, Not That Examples

      We’re

      AUTHORITATIVE

      but not

      ACADEMIC.

      We’re

      FUNNY

      but not

      SARCASTIC.

      We’re

      PLAYFUL

      but not

      IMMATURE.

      Once you have a thorough understanding of your brand voice, it’s important to document it. Create a style guide that explains your brand voice, tone, and other guidelines, such as punctuation usage. Style guides keep everyone in your company on the same page and improve consistency — so even if many people are creating content, it sounds like it’s from the same brand. 

      Using Humor To Build Trust

      Consumers today are losing trust in brands. In fact, only 34% of consumers say they trust most of the brands they buy. An authentic and engaging brand voice connects brands with their audiences, creates memorable interactions, and builds trust.

      One of the most common ways to set your brand apart and win back some of that trust is with humor. And there’s a good reason — people will like you more if you make them laugh. If you’re going to use humor, here are some tips:

      • Use the right kind of funny. Remember, you’re representing a business. Always stay classy and clean.
      • Stay away from sensitive subjects. The wrong joke at the wrong time can make your brand look unprofessional. Do your research before posting.
      • Make it sharable. Americans are more likely to share funny content than important content on social media, so think about creating sharable content such as infographics and videos.

      Refining Your Brand Voice

      If you need help developing a voice for your brand, or finding new ways to use the voice you already have more effectively, let’s get started. At inConcert Web Solutions, we help businesses of all sizes show off their personality, gain trust, and get more engagement with their marketing.

      inConcert Web Solutions