17: How to Find Your Brand Voice (& Why You Need To!)

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We all know those people who act differently in different situations. It can be annoying and confusing to see someone totally change based on who they’re talking to and what situation they’re in.

Obviously certain occasions call for modifying your behavior (like: you might crack a joke at a party with your friends that you wouldn’t at a funeral) but your essence shouldn’t change. Your identity is your identity.

It’s not just some people that have an identity crisis - brands can have it too! I’m sure we’ve all seen those brands that portray a certain image on Twitter that’s totally different than the image they portray on their website. Maybe they use a super fun, light-hearted voice on their blogs but a really serious/boring tone on their sales pages.

What these brands need is to unify their brand voice.

What is brand voice?

Brand voice is a framework for what a brand says and how they say it, based on the foundation of a brand’s unique identity.

That breaks down into three parts:

  1. Brand Identity

  2. Message (What you say)

  3. Tone (How you say it)

Defining your brand identity

This goes back to our very first episode: the branding and marketing roadmap. Identifying your brand voice is all about knowing who you are.

  • Brand identity: how a business presents itself to, and wants to be perceived by, its customers.

    • Questions to ask to help you ID this:

      • What does my product or service do? And who is it for?

      • How does my product or service benefit my customers?

      • What will my customers look like before/after working with me?

      • Who needs what I offer and what are their pain points? (Voice needs to not turn off your audience!)

      • Who are my competitors and how do they portray themselves?

  • What about if you’re a solopreneur whose personal identity is tied to their brand identity? Should you separate personal brand from professional brand? Why/how?

Creating your brand’s messaging strategy

Once you know how you want to come across to your target audience, you can start crafting a messaging strategy.

  • Brand message: What you say to communicate your identity to your target customers. I’ve also heard this broken up into different types of messaging, so:

    • Brand promise

    • Positioning statement (what makes you different)

    • Your mission

    • Your elevator pitch

    • Your main benefits

  • Phrases that capture who your brand is, what you do, and your unique value to customers.

    • Not necessarily slogans or taglines, but phrases that encapsulate your brand identity. One of mine is “full-stack content: content that ranks, engages, and converts”

Nailing your brand tone

  • Brand tone: If message is what you say, then tone is how you say it. Tone involves the personality you want to use to talk to your audience.

  • Your tone will also impact how your audience feels about your brand.

  • Think of adjectives that you want to describe your content:

    • Helpful

    • Fun

    • Honest

    • Witty

  • Think of adjectives that you want to describe how people feel after interacting with your content:

    • Relieved

    • Happy

    • Confident

Brand voice in review

  1. Identity + Message + Tone = Voice!

  2. Don’t be forgettable! Establishing a brand voice can help you stand out in the fight for clients.

  3. Inconsistent voice = your customers are confused, turned off, and might trust you less. Stay true to your brand voice!

Franzine Mackley