Branding 101: What is Brand Voice?
The heart and soul behind the brand. Yes, brands are living, moving creatures and companies pay BIG bucks to ensure their brand grows into a valuable entity that captivates you. The main way they achieve this is through brand voice. All brands have a voice. It’s the personality of the brand. It’s what’s left standing after you take away the logo, packaging, tagline and jingle. In a very corporate-y sentence, the brand voice is a consistent tonality expressed through a specific style of writing. Whether through a script or headline, companies pay close attention on how they carve out the voice of their brand.
In my young and humble opinion, the voice is the single most important factor when developing a brand. Here's why:
Remember when I said brands are "living, moving creatures"? Ok, I could've been a bit hyperbolic; but with a good brand voice, it gives the appearance of human qualities. Because you're creating a personality through brand voice, you're giving the brand a set a values that consumers can relate to. Brands can have shared interests and tastes with consumers that elevates them from "bland brand" to friend.
Makes You Different
We briefly talked about parity products when covering spec work. When a brand has a product with literally dozens of other companies boasting the same product, it can get tricky breaking through the clutter. With a strong, unique tone consumers will be able to pick up on your specific brand through voice alone. I mean, even though it's all chicken, you'd never mistake "Finger Lickin' Good" with "Love that Chicken from..."
People Trust Friends
That whole human element thing comes back into play here. People trust things they are familiar with. A consistent tone builds recognition with the consumer allowing them to get to know the brand. Instead of seeing the brand as just another product or service, they can see it as a trusted, old friend.
David Ogilvy's philosophy is – and I'm paraphrasing here – if it ain't selling, it ain't working. How we speak can be very persuasive. Opinions start forming the very second people hear or read the brands voice, and how it speaks can elicit all sorts of emotions that can either get more items in carts or completely turn them off.
So there you have it. What are some good examples of brand voice you've seen? Share if the comments!