Where would the WWE or Google be without their brand voice?
What about Rockstar Games or Monster? Or Disney, Sony, Google?
Every single one is immediately recognizable and identifiable by its specific brand voice and brand tone.
Difference Between Tone and Voice
Brand tone and brand voice may seem similar and interchangeable, but they fit together a little differently. They work in tandem. Brand voice is essentially the personality of your. Your brand could be family friendly, jovial, refined, steadfast, loud, excitable, etc. Brand tone is a subdivision of brand voice. The tone you use adds a little spice to the voice and is how it interacts with the public.
What Is Your Identity?
To settle on a brand voice, first figure out your company’s identity. Step back from the day-to-day administrative things and look from a distance at what your business is and isn’t. What personality can you apply to it? The first thing a business will want to market about itself is information. That’s fine, because customers need to know what you offer. But HOW you present that information forms a huge part of your brand voice and tone. If you’re selling fun, then you wouldn’t want your image and voice to be plain, factual, boring, too intellectual, aloof, etc.
How Far to Take Your Branding
Would Google be Google without a skateboard park on its property or an arcade in its office? Yes, but it wouldn’t be Google as we know it. Branding should embody the identity of your company. In Google’s case, they provide amazing information and services, but love fun, value their employees, and aren’t afraid to do things differently to encourage creativity and success. Who you are and how you want customers to feel about you should be evident. Are you the kid who loves Star Wars and his BB-8 backpack and Kylo-Ren hoodie? Are you the sports fan who wears a jersey every day? That’s branding. People learn to associate things with you. So be sure your brand voice says what you want it to say. Get it wrong and people will associate the wrong ideas with your business.
Written Tone of Branding
When communicating with the consumer the tone needs to reflect the voice. This is more difficult than you think. Although, it must be said, if a serious, formal, “legal” tone is required, that’s not so difficult. Most businesses want to be friendly and provide useful information. To do that, the brand voice should be regarded like the “friend down the street” or a “kindly neighbor”. So the brand tone is light, conversational and real, instead of loaded down with too much jargon (not without an equally conversational explanation). Your brand tone should reflect the company in everything you do – website content, website design, written correspondence, etc..
Get Advice and Set Some Rules
Your brand voice and tone are your identity and everything you do is a reflection of that. Once you set your company’s voice and tone, create limits and make sure everyone knows them. So much damage can be done by one “loose cannon”.
If this isn’t your forte, contact skilled marketers who study the data and excel at voice, tone, image and so much more about business reputation and marketing.
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