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Four essentials to define brand voice.

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

There are four essential ingredients that define your brand voice strategy in the digital age.

Brands, just like people, have a voice– the distinctive tone, manner and personality of communication that distinguishes one personality from another.

Brand Voice is a discipline for business leaders and communication teams to create and manage the unique voice of their brand over every customer interaction. Developing the foundation of your brand’s voice guides everyone within the organization to tell your brand’s story in a consistent and compelling manner.

In the clutter of our 21st century marketplace, there are three essential hurdles all brands, large and small, must overcome with their audiences to enjoy competitive advantage:

Your brand must be heard.

Your brand must be recognized.

Your brand must be remembered.

More importantly, your brand must tell the right story. A story based in purpose and the shared values that shape how everyone within your organization will deliver on the brand’s promise.

Aligned with the brand’s identity (who the brand is), brand voice establishes the distinctive tone of your brand’s verbal communications.  To build deep emotional connections with consumers, customers, employees, strategic partners and stakeholders, brand voice strategy determines what you say and how you say it that will resonate with your audiences.

Tone of voice in brand communication helps brands stand out from the competition. Brand Voice is a strategic discipline that should reach into every area of business communication and every communication channel.

In today’s social media driven world where attention is a scarcity, formality and jargon should be replaced with a more authentic, conversational language that reflects the personality of your brand. Words have always held the power to transform the way customers will perceive your culture and shapes the experience you provide to increase your impact and influence in the marketplace.

If you’re thinking about how to define a brand voice strategy that earns the attention and action of higher value customers, here are four essential components to consider:

The brand’s archetype. Archetypes outline “familiar” characteristics and narrative themes that enables your brand storytelling to be mythic and memorable. Within the context of your brand’s archetype, map all the relevant archetype associations to your brand’s identity, brand purpose, and brand expression.

The brand’s personality. A brand without personality is a brand without soul. Brands with a distinctive personality typically share values that bond your brand to its audiences. This is an expression of the values that shape your organization and the perception of audiences–not only through messaging and content (what you say), but also by emotional and empathetic expression (how you say it).

The range of your brand voice. Map the dynamic range of your brand voice–how far your brand voice can extend and still remain relevant and adaptable to marketplace conditions. What mood, tone and manner are required to communicate the right messages, the right way, at the right time?

The specific language used in brand communications. The language your brand speaks in must be the language your audience speaks in as well. This requires far more than just clever copywriting. Clear and effective communication begins with understanding and comprehension. Are your messages clearly heard, instantly recognized and easily remembered?


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