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Brand Identity

What Makes a Brand Voice and How it Affects Your Customers

Your brand’s voice is a conduit for communicating your company’s value and messaging. Learn how to develop your voice in an authentic and engaging manner

Matt Duczeminski
January 07 2020

Every business large and small has a brand with its own unique voice. Your brand’s voice refers to the ways in which you communicate with your customers at various moments throughout their relationship with you. Brand voice includes the language used in customer-facing communications, as well as the emotions and personality conveyed. For a brand’s voice to have a positive impact on customer experience and the company’s bottom line, it must be:

  • Intentional and consistent
  • True to the needs and expectations of the audience
  • True to the company’s mission

In this article, we’ll discuss what goes into developing your brand’s voice so you can effectively communicate your company’s values and engage your target audience. First up, the components that make a brand’s voice:

Intentionality and Consistency  

It’s vital to develop your brand’s voice with intentionality. This means developing a clear strategy for customer-facing content. To maintain consistency in your brand’s messaging, you need to create all content purposefully and with a solid strategy in mind. As multi- and omni-channel marketing are now the norm, it’s essential that the messaging on each of your channels follows one uniform strategy.

More from PostFunnel on brand voice:
Nuts & Bolts: How Voice Marketing Works In 2019
How Voice Recognition Technology Is Changing the Way We Bank
Voice’s Role In Customer Retention

Meeting Customer Expectations

If your brand messaging doesn’t align with the audience’s expectations of what your voice should be, there’s a good chance they won’t engage with your brand. To keep consumers engaged, tailor your voice to your target audience. If your target audience feels your messaging is off or tone-deaf, you’ll come across as phony and inauthentic.

Communicating Company Values

Your voice should authentically communicate your company’s values, as well as its overall mission.

By “values,” we mean:

  • The value you provide your audience via the products or services you offer
  • The values your company holds that enable your team to focus on its mission

Note: your brand should stand for something more important than itself. Read more about how to develop these values.

If your voice doesn’t communicate who you are as a brand, your target customers won’t see what you’re bringing to the table. By clearly indicating your values, you’ll maintain your target audience’s interest—and keep them coming back for more.

4 Key Steps to Developing Your Brand’s Voice

To develop a solid voice for your brand, you’ll need to go through the following process:

Focus on Your Company’s Mission

First, clearly define your company’s mission statement and consider the following:

  • Why you offer the products or services you do
  • Why your organization operates as it does (e.g., focus on sustainability, workers’ rights, etc.)
  • Why the above is important

This step is essential for developing a brand that stands out and rises above your competition. Before creating a voice, you need to know what you stand for, right?

Determine Your Audience’s Needs and Expectations

Next, you’ll need to figure out what your customers expect from your brand—both in terms of the value you provide, and how you communicate this value.

Here’s what you need to think about:

  • The language and style your audience uses
  • Your audience’s interests and overall lifestyle
  • The voice and style of existing brands within your niche

To gather all this information, go straight to the source: your target customers.

First, you’ll want to be where your target audience is. This may mean checking out various social media channels, industry blogs, and niche forums—as well as any offline equivalents (such as trade shows or non-digital publications). Get a good feel for how your target audience speaks and engages with other brands.

While you can gather a lot of info from observing, you also want to actively engage with your target audience. When conversing with potential customers, analyze their responses to your prompts.

The goal isn’t just to tell your audience what they want to hear or use a style of voice to trick them into engaging with your company. Rather, it’s to develop your own voice, using your inherent personality and what you know about your customers.

Define and Describe Your Brand’s Voice

Once you determine what your company stands for and what your customers are looking for, you can begin creating your brand’s voice. Brainstorm a list of adjectives that describe your intended voice. Don’t censor yourself too much.

For example:

  • Excitable vs. calm
  • Serious vs. quirky
  • Forceful vs. relaxed

From there, you’ll want to get a bit more granular.

A few examples:

  • Calm, but not complacent
  • Quirky, but not obnoxious
  • Forceful, but not threatening

10 Actionable Insights for Online Retailers

Your aim is to identify the “sweet spot” where you can effectively communicate with your audience while remaining authentic.

Create a Plan to Inject Your Brand’s Voice into Your Content

Once you’ve nailed down these “sweet spots,” the final step is to create a documented and systematic plan for how to inject this voice into your customer-facing content. To get started, write a couple of sentences explaining how each adjective you came up with describes your brand.

A hypothetical example:

“Our voice instills a sense of calmness, while not appearing aloof, careless, or complacent.”

Each statement should be accompanied by a list of ways to embody the adjective in question, as well as a list of don’ts, such as:

  • Do use more subdued language and imagery; don’t be flashy or over-the-top
  • Do use your customers’ own words often; don’t overuse industry jargon
  • Do draw your customers to your brand; don’t make them feel forced to engage

These clear guidelines will help you create new content and engage with your audience. A careful strategy can guarantee that your brand’s messaging and overall voice remain consistent at all times—making for a cohesive and seamless experience for your customers whenever they engage with your team or product.

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Matt Duczeminski

Matt is a professional writer specializing in helping entrepreneurs improve relationships with their customers. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Sarah, and he'd probably get a lot more work done if his cat would stop bothering him.

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