Defining Your Brand Voice: Why It Matters & Where to Start

So, you’re working to develop your brand and, as part of that, you know you need to define your brand voice—but the truth is you have no idea where to start when it comes to developing one. Sound familiar? One of the most common requests I get from small business owners is: “Help! I need to define my brand voice….like, yesterday” In fact, my brand voice guides are one of the most popular copywriting services I offer, and defining a brand's voice happens to be one of my favorite things to do (aside from going ham on a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in my backyard hammock on Friday nights, of course). Today, then, I’m talking my top tips for defining your brand voice. You ready to dig in? Let’s get to it.

What is a brand voice is, and why does it matter?

Just like with humans, your brand voice is something that is unique to you. It is how your brand sounds, the words it uses, the attitude it exudes. Your brand voice may be playful and punchy, or it may be informative and concise—but, either way, it should be uniquely yours.

You use a consistent brand voice in all of your communications (on social media, in your sales materials, on your website) so that, overtime, your audience begins to recognize you by your voice alone—similar to the way you’re able recognize a famous actress’ voice without seeing her face.

Your brand voice should be unwavering and unique to your brand—and you should stick to it steadily throughout all of your communications.

Start with research.

Ugh, research? Yes, research. Before you can begin to define how you want to sound, you need to know what works with your audience and what doesn’t. What does your competitor’s brand voice sound like, and how do you want yours to differ? Are there other websites and social pages with a voice you'd like to try to mimic (while adding your own personal touch, of course #saynotoplagiarism)? 

Developing a strong and effective brand voice starts with a deep understanding of your audience, your market and your competition.

Once you know what’s going on externally (with your audience and your competitors), it’s time to turn your eye inward. The product or service you offer will have a ton to do with the type of brand voice you ultimately decide on. Is yours a product or service that can stand to be playful and light, or should you keep things professional and buttoned-up? Do you want to come across with some energy and a cheeky attitude, or do you want to be strictly professional?

Hire a pro to develop “evergreen” copy.

If you’re serious about defining your brand voice, it’s time to bring on a pro to help you develop some evergreen copy. “Evergreen” copy is copy that never grows old—it’s content that isn’t time-based and, as such, remains relevant year-round.

In the brand voice guides I develop for clients, I like to provide a few pages that offer phrases, headlines and body copy they can pull from time and time again. That way, the client doesn’t need to hire a pro every single time they need to run an ad or post on social.

Instead, they can turn to their evergreen “bank” of copy, and pull different words and phrases I’ve written on their behalf—ultimately allowing them to create content on the fly, with the peace of mind that what they're writing isn't straying from their defined brand voice.

Overall, developing a brand voice takes research, time and strategy...and the help of a seasoned professional writer who can ensure you sound your best (not that I’m biased or anything). Ready to start defining your brand voice and moving your audience to action in your every communication? Reach out to me today and we’ll get started.