Brand Voice: A Step-by-Step Guide to Developing Your Company’s Unique Personality
In today’s crowded and competitive market, it’s more important than ever for businesses to establish a unique brand identity.
A powerful brand voice can help you catch people’s attention, earn their trust, and make your brand unforgettable.
What is a brand voice?
Think of your brand voice as your brand's unique personality and tone of voice consistently applied across all communication channels. It includes the language and words used, the emotions a brand conveys with its content, and the image and personality it portrays in its marketing efforts.
Over the past fifteen years, our team has helped thousands of entrepreneurs and small businesses build and grow their businesses with unique and memorable branding. And we’ve mentored thousands of entrepreneurs in creating a unique brand voice through design, content, and other methods. This guide shares the actionable insights, tips, best practices, and expertise we’ve developed after helping over one hundred thousand brands.
In this ultimate guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about brand voice. Whether you’re a small business owner, marketer, or entrepreneur, this guide will provide actionable insights, tips, best practices, and examples of outstanding brand voices.
Let’s dive in!
Brand Voice: The Ultimate Guide
Why is brand voice important?
A good brand needs a strong personality to endure and stay relevant to its audience. A powerful brand voice ensures that your presence is felt, helps you convey your message clearly and effectively, and builds trust with your audience.
Your brand voice should resonate with your target audience, be consistent across all channels, and reinforce your brand’s values and beliefs.
Developing strong brand recognition and trust with your audience leads to increased customer loyalty and sales.
The difference between voice and tone
Your brand voice is the unique personality and tone consistently applied across all communication channels. It represents your company’s character and values.
On the other hand, your tone is the emotional inflection added to your voice, which adjusts according to the message being conveyed. For example, social media posts promoting new products might be fun and encouraging, while messages addressing social issues might have a more formal and serious tone to appeal to the audience.
We just emailed the info to you.
Creating a strong brand voice: A step-by-step guide
Developing your brand voice can be challenging, especially if you don’t know where to start. Follow these eight steps to establish your brand voice:
1. Define your brand personality
To establish your brand voice, you must first define your brand personality. This set of characteristics represents your brand and makes it unique.
Brand personalities are driven by brand archetypes (human character traits that most accurately reflect a brand). There are twelve brand archetypes. Which best fits your brand?
Once you have a clear understanding of your brand personality, you can begin to develop your brand voice.
2. Define your brand’s mission and values
Your company’s mission is the heart of your brand. It’s the key to creating your brand voice, as it has the values your brand believes in to develop your brand personality.
Study and evaluate your company’s mission statement and list the essential core values defining your brand.
For example, crowdspring’s About Us page lists what the company believes most, including a powerful and affordable way for small businesses, entrepreneurs, agencies, and nonprofits to buy custom design and naming services. This value is ultimately reflected in crowdspring’s simple, straightforward, and casual brand voice to educate and provide businesses with reliable and actionable sources of information that people can easily understand. Ensuring that your brand voice reflects your business’s values is the key to making it unique and your own.
3. Conduct a content audit
Look at your existing marketing content and analyze what’s working and what’s not. Look for patterns in your most successful content, such as the tone of voice, style, and topics covered. This will give you a good starting point for developing your brand voice. Ask yourself these questions when reviewing your content:
- What types of content had the most impact on my audience?
- What characteristics did my best content have?
- What topics did my best content cover? How can I replicate this in the future?
- What tone of voice did I use when writing this content?
- What key characteristics of my top content did my audience resonate with?
Identifying the fundamental elements of your content and the best traits that make up your top-performing content can help you develop a strong foundation for your brand voice.
Additionally, you must research the best content format that suits your industry to deliver your content and message to your target audience effectively.
4. Leverage buyer personas to tailor your brand voice
Developing buyer personas can help you better understand your target audience and tailor your brand voice to their needs and preferences.
Ask questions such as:
- What are their pain points?
- What motivates them?
- How do they communicate?
This will help you create content that resonates with them and speaks to their needs.
5. Leverage your brand’s unique selling proposition
One of the best ways to create a powerful brand voice is to confidently use your strengths as a brand and your unique value proposition.
Think about what makes your brand stand out. What does your brand have that other brands don’t? And how can your brand voice reflect this to make it stronger?
6. Develop a style guide
A brand style guide is a set of guidelines that outline the rules for your brand voice. It covers tone of voice, language, grammar, and punctuation. A style guide ensures consistency across all your communications and helps your team members stay on brand.
7. Train your employees
Once you have a style guide, you must ensure your team is trained to use it. This includes everyone from content writers to social media managers. A brand voice is only influential if consistently applied across all channels.
8. Refine and evolve your brand voice
Your brand voice is not set in stone. It should be regularly evaluated and refined as your business grows and changes.
Monitor how your audience responds to your content and adjust your brand voice. This will ensure that your brand voice remains relevant and effective over time.
A rebrand may be necessary if your voice has become disconnected from your audience.
15 brand voice examples to inspire you
Now that you know how to develop your brand voice, it’s time to draw inspiration from some of the best brand voices to help you create a voice that’s truly your own.
Apple’s brand voice is sleek, simple, and straightforward. It emphasizes the company’s design principles and focuses on clearly and concisely communicating its products’ benefits. Apple’s brand voice is consistent across all channels, from its website to social media accounts.
Takeaway: Keep your brand voice consistent and clear, emphasizing your unique strengths and values.
Skittles is known for its fun and playful brand voice. The brand’s voice is always upbeat and playful, reflecting the product’s fun and lighthearted nature. Its marketing campaigns and social media accounts are filled with bright colors and whimsical imagery.
Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to embrace a playful and lighthearted tone if it aligns with your brand’s personality and target audience.
Old Spice’s brand voice is humorous and irreverent. Its marketing campaigns often feature absurd scenarios and exaggerated claims, poking fun at traditional masculinity. The brand voice is bold, confident, and aimed at a young male audience.
Takeaway: Use humor to create memorable content that resonates with your target audience and sets your brand apart.
Slack is a communication platform that takes a casual, friendly tone in its messaging. The brand voice is conversational, approachable, and aimed at businesses of all sizes.
Takeaway: Emphasize a friendly and approachable tone in your brand voice to create a sense of trust and connection with your audience.
Everlane is a clothing brand that focuses on sustainable and ethical practices. The brand voice is honest, transparent, and aimed at consumers who value transparency and authenticity. Takeaway: Be open and transparent in your brand voice to appeal to a socially conscious audience and build trust.
Airbnb is a travel platform that encourages users to “belong anywhere.” The brand voice is friendly, welcoming, and aimed at travelers who want to experience new cultures.
Takeaway: Create a brand voice inviting your audience to feel part of a community or movement.
Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club is a subscription service for men’s grooming products. The brand voice is irreverent, humorous, and aimed at a young male audience.
Takeaway: Use humor and a relaxed tone to create a memorable and relatable brand voice that appeals to your target demographic.
Glossier is a beauty brand that focuses on natural beauty and minimalism. The brand voice is approachable, conversational, and aimed at women of all ages.
Takeaway: Use a conversational tone that makes your audience feel like they’re talking to a friend, making your brand more relatable and trustworthy.
Nike is a sports apparel and footwear brand encouraging athletes to “just do it.” The brand voice is motivational, empowering, and aimed at athletes of all levels.
Takeaway: Inspire and motivate your audience through an empowering brand voice that challenges them to take action.
Mailchimp is an email marketing platform that takes a friendly, approachable tone in its messaging. The brand voice is conversational, helpful, and aimed at businesses of all sizes.
Takeaway: Focus on being helpful and informative while maintaining a conversational tone to connect with your audience.
Lush is a cosmetics brand that focuses on natural and eco-friendly products. The brand voice is playful, whimsical, and aimed at consumers who value sustainability and ethics.
Takeaway: Embrace a fun and playful tone that aligns with your brand’s values, making your content enjoyable and memorable.
Patagonia is an outdoor apparel brand that focuses on environmental activism. The brand voice is passionate, informative, and aimed at consumers who value sustainability and the environment.
Takeaway: Use your brand voice to educate and inspire your audience on issues that matter to your brand, demonstrating your commitment to making a difference.
Innocent Drinks is a beverage company known for its friendly and whimsical brand voice. The brand’s messaging is often humorous and lighthearted, emphasizing natural ingredients and ethical practices.
Takeaway: Use humor and a friendly tone to make your brand approachable and memorable while communicating your core values.
Warby Parker is an eyewear company with an informative and fun brand voice. Its messaging is engaging and conversational, highlighting the quality of its products and its commitment to social responsibility.
Takeaway: Strike a balance between being informative and entertaining in your brand voice to keep your audience engaged and informed.
Spotify is a music streaming service with an energetic, youthful brand voice focused on the user experience. The brand’s messaging is aimed at music enthusiasts and emphasizes personalization, community, and discovery.
Takeaway: Create a brand voice that speaks directly to your audience’s interests and needs while fostering community and belonging.
Use these examples as inspiration, but don’t be afraid to experiment and find your unique voice.
With these tips and insights, you can create a powerful brand voice to help your business stand out and grow. Don’t be afraid to experiment, learn from your audience, and continually refine your brand voice to keep it fresh and relevant. Your audience, and your business, will thank you for it.
Finally, as you continue to build and refine your brand voice, consider crowdspring’s custom design service to help you bring your brand to life visually. Our team of experienced designers can help you create unique and memorable visuals that align with your brand voice, ensuring a cohesive brand experience for your customers.
Design Done Better
The easiest way to get affordable, high-quality custom logos, print design, web design and naming for your business.Learn How to Grow Your Business With Beautiful Design