If you receive a lot of texts or emails, you won’t need to be told that each of your friends, colleagues or family members, has a distinctive voice.
That voice explains their personalities. It’s no different from a spoken voice in that way. And, in a sense, it’s these personalities that we build relationships with. When people are funny, or kind, or intelligent, it’s their words that convey those characteristics.
If you want people to interact with your brand in the same engaged way they interact with an old friend – or, really, in any consistent way at all – you need to make sure it has a voice too.
This might seem like common sense, but ask yourself: if your last blog post or email had gone out without your logo or other visual identifiers, would anyone know it was from you? If the answer to that is no, then you have a problem.
It’s vital that your customers learn to interact with your brand as an individual entity, a personality – and that means giving it a voice. But what should that voice be?
At Kiss, we work hard to make sure that every company we work with has their own distinctive, engaging, brand. Voice is a big part of that.
To determine a brand’s voice, we focus on what a company does, how they do it, and why. These are crucial elements in any branding exercise, but they have specific uses in determining brand voice.
Broadly speaking, you talk about what a company does in a tone of voice that conveys why they do it. You save the how for individual, targeted, pieces of copy.
Once you have established the why behind your brand, you have to decide how that’s best conveyed. That’s simple, but it’s not easy: you have to establish brand values, like ‘innovative’ ‘friendly’ or ‘direct’. You can pick as many as you like, but we generally try to keep it to three – resist the urge to list of positive words, and focus instead on what is important to your brand, and what it honestly is.
From here, we explore how these values can be reflected in copy: if your brand is innovative, for example, that might be expressed through punchy sentences; it might involve surprising readers with unexpected answers to common questions; it might have a preference for modern language, over traditional.
We then brainstorm vocabulary: if your brand value is innovative, words like original, new, and disrupted, might be applicable (depending on the industry you’re in, and the other brand values that go along with it).
Once this is all done, we review your brand voice against logo, design, and everything else. We make sure that everything’s consistent, and then we put pen to paper and produce some example copy to pick apart with you and perfect.
The end result of going through a process like this is well worth the effort. It means ending up with a brand that people can actually talk to, and get to know. If you need help pulling your voice together, we’re always willing to help – just get in touch via the contact form on this website.
Need help finding your brand voice? Then get in touch with KISS.