In this article, Charlotte Ferris, E-Commerce Copywriter shares five steps you can put into practice so that you can find your brand voice and be confident with what you want to say and how you want to say it.
Your brand needs a voice, but knowing what tone to use, the right words to choose and what kind of writing style your audience will respond to can be a lot to work out – especially when you’re also doing a hundred other things as a small and mighty business owner. Not to mention once you have defined your brand voice, you then need to make sure your customers can hear you; and when the online world is full of noise, this can feel like a pretty big task – one that somehow always seems to find its way to the bottom of your to-do list.
Brand voice refers to your writing style and tone. Its purpose is to ensure your communications as a brand are clear, consistent and showcase your brand personality. From your website to your social media pages, your audience will experience your brand voice at every touch point, making it incredibly important for engagement and marketing your business online.
An effective brand voice will ensure your messaging is both meaningful and memorable, so how do you go about finding your brand voice?
This may sound like an obvious one, but it really is the best place to start. From your list, you’ll start to see a natural pattern to the words that reflect your brand values and identity; you’ll also identify how you don’t want your writing to sound, which is of equal importance.
Your brand has a personality, so consider how you’d define that personality to somebody. For example, is your brand honest, friendly or inspirational? Maybe it’s all three. Once you have your list of words, take a look at some of your existing brand copy and review whether this sounds the way you want it to based on your list of brand adjectives. Reflect on whether your brand voice evokes the emotions you want your customer to feel and represents your values as a brand – if not, it’s time to rewrite and work in your brand personality.
If you’re a small business owner and it’s you and only you running your brand or shop, then write as ‘I’. Your customers and audience will build an affinity to you and if it’s very obvious on one platform (like Instagram for example) that you’re running the business on your own, then writing as ‘we’ across your website will result in a blurred brand message.
Many times, I’ve heard my clients say they’ve written their content talking as ‘we’ to make their business sound bigger than it is, but, this really doesn’t achieve anything. You’re part of the small and mighty business era and this is something to be proud and confident about! Communicate your brand story – your audience will feel so much more connected to you and your brand by writing in this way and over time, this will build that all-important brand trust and loyalty.
Look at your competitors and how they speak to their audience. Not only will it give you an understanding of the tone and vocabulary your target audience responds to, but it will also highlight things you perhaps don’t like and things your competitors aren’t doing, thus presenting you with an opportunity to ensure your brand voice stands out from the crowd.
Just like you did with your own brand, read through some of your competitors content and list how their tone and writing style comes across to you as a potential customer. It’s also worth taking note of non-competitor brands that fit your target customer’s lifestyle, as this will give you a more in-depth understanding of the brand voice your customer wants to hear.
The overall aim of defining your brand voice is to ensure that no matter where somebody encounters your brand, the communication style that person experiences, is consistent and coherent from one place to another. You want somebody to effortlessly be able to recognise that they are engaging with your brand.
Begin by applying your brand voice across all your online content offerings from your website, to your social media and any other touch points you may have. Your brand voice should also be adopted for any offline content like printed marketing materials, or copy on physical products – again ensuring a consistent brand experience; just like you’d have the same branding design and look across your business, your brand voice should work in the exact same way.
Your brand voice will naturally develop over time so it’s important to sit down and review it every now and again. Ask yourself if your voice is still consistent; if it doesn’t feel so to you, it won’t to your audience either. As your business grows this is when your brand voice can often get lost, especially if you take on employees who are working on your communications too.
Create a document that you can refer back to again and again, outlining your brand tone, vocabulary style and any rules, along with your values and communication objectives. This document can then be easily updated each time you come to review your brand voice and you can use this as a guide for any other team members to ensure your brand voice remains clear and consistent.
I’d love to know if you’re going to put these steps into practice, come over and say hi on Instagram @medialuxe_ and let me know how you’re getting on finding your brand voice.
If you’re still feeling lost and need somebody to help define your voice, please take a look at Charlottes’ website to see how you can work together.
With an affinity for words and a passion for beautiful brands, Charlotte runs Medialuxe, providing content writing and communications services for luxe brands and businesses.
Since launching Medialuxe in 2017, Charlotte has been elevating brands one word at a time ever since, making it her mission to share the stories that make brands meaningful, right through from concept to creation.