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The tone and voice that your brand uses help to give it a unique personality all its own. When developed correctly, a brand voice can help convey the business’s values and what it stands for. It can also help to set it apart from its competitors and make it more memorable with its audience. Let’s explore what brand voice is and how you can learn from other companies with unique brand voices to develop your own.

What Is a Brand Voice?

Brand voice is the personality that a company takes on when communicating with its target audience. A brand voice can take on any style, although it works best when the brand voice is in alignment with the company’s values and persona. The brand voice encompasses everything from the language and words that the organization uses to its images and the personality that it aspires to invoke.

A strong brand voice can help to build brand recognition with consumers. Developing a personality and style that’s exclusively yours can also help your target audience more easily relate to your brand.

Examples of Great and Well-Known Brand Voices

Here are five examples of great brand voices to help you understand how impactful brand voice can be with your audience:

1. Slack

Slack has a brand voice that’s friendly, clear, and approachable. They maintain this same voice throughout all of their communication with customers, including their release notes and customization options. They also use the same consistent voice and tone at every step in the journey with customers, using thank you notes and inspirational quotes.

2. Dollar Shave Club

The Dollar Shave Club embraced humor as a part of its brand. They acknowledged that shaving wasn’t a luxury and that it actually can become a chore for consumers. The bullet points for their product descriptions are friendly, professional, accurate, and funny. Even their social media feeds feature a combination of fun facts and humorous polls to engage and entertain their audience.

3. Mailchimp

Mailchimp communicates with its customers and website visitors using you-focused language. Their homepage is written in a way that speaks directly to their customers and what they need, feeling more like a one-on-one conversation than sales copy, which helps it resonate with customers. Website visitors feel like the content is written specifically for them, reassuring them that Mailchimp has the solutions that they need to support their business.

4. Target

Target has a brand voice that’s pleasant, playful, upbeat, and often humorous. There’s an energy to the brand that’s designed to get its customers excited, setting it apart from its competition. When watching commercials, most viewers recognize Target ads long before the iconic logo appears on the screen. The poppy feel of the Target brand is carried throughout all of its marketing channels, pulling customers in whether they need a gallon of milk or a toy for their child.

Image via Unsplash by drivemyart

5. Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson has a brand voice that’s rough and aggressive. The tone of their copy is boastful, and the headlines challenge the reader to prove that they can handle a Harley as opposed to trying to convince their audience that they need one. One of their ads, for example, boasts the headline “Don’t wannabe,” and then encourages fans to take a test ride at their nearest dealership. The people in the ad are rugged and fully clad in leather. Everything in the ad speaks to the toughness of the brand.

Tips for Developing a Great Brand Voice

Ready to work on developing a brand voice for your own business? Here are some tips you may want to try:

  • Identify your unique identity: Whether you’re building a startup or rebranding your established business, you need to start by identifying your values, mission, and vision. This helps you to understand who you are as a business and why you exist. After identifying your core identity, you can then begin to explore how you want to communicate who you are to your target audience.
  • Establish your target audience: Identifying your target audience means understanding their demographics (like age and gender), where they live, and what their interests are. You also need to identify how they communicate with one another. Understanding who you’re talking to and how they talk to others can help you create a brand voice that will speak to them personally.
  • Set your goals: Outlining the goals you want to achieve with your messaging can ensure that your tone and voice are in alignment and that your content is created with those goals in mind. For example, if you’re an e-commerce company that sells clothing, your ultimate goal is to communicate the quality of your apparel and sell clothing. You can focus your messaging on the quality, construction, and attractive style to better appeal to your target audience.
  • Create a chart: As you’re developing your brand voice, it can help to create a chart to organize and elaborate on the ideas you came up with. While you can format your chart in a variety of different ways, one way is to use an adjective to describe your brand, add a brief description for that adjective, and then add lists of do’s and don’ts to describe what your brand voice is and what it isn’t.
  • Share your brand voice with your team: Explain the new guidelines for your brand voice with your staff. Give specific examples of your brand voice in action. You may even want to consider publishing the guidelines, or perhaps your brand voice chart, online so they’re easily accessible by all.
  • Update your brand voice as needed: Your company’s tone and voice may evolve over time as your business grows. Periodically revisit your brand voice guidelines and adjust your style of communication if necessary.

If you’re not quite sure where to start, think about some of the other brands that you admire and follow. Consider what they do well and what elements resonate with you and what you envision for your own brand. While developing a unique brand voice for your company can take some time, it can help you better connect with your audience and have a big impact on your company long-term.

Knowledge Base: Content Marketing

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