How to develop your unique brand voice

Posted by Lani Fouche | August 20, 2021

Your digital brand has its own personality. But it wasn’t just born with it – someone had to give it its unique blueprint.

We’re not talking colours, logos or fonts. We’re talking about its distinctive voice, and how important your brand voice is to break through the ocean of digital chatter.

But how do you determine your brand voice and where do you start?

Well, let’s start by opening the conversation about who and what your brand really is.

What is brand voice?

Do us a favour.

Think about that one friend of yours who’s always the life of the party… who tells terrific stories by using compelling words, facial expressions, body movements, eye contact… your friend’s entire personality engages those listening and creates a memorable experience.

Now, think about the last story this person told and how you would share this with people who’ve never met your friend. In delivering the message, your charismatic friend will be front of mind and you’ll try your hardest to keep the story true to its owner.

This brings us to your digital brand. If your brand was a person, what kind of person would that be?

Your brand voice is the distinct personality it takes on in all its communications. It’s the way you make your audience feel when you talk to them… by using (and avoiding) certain words and talking in a certain tone.

In a digital world overflowing with content, it’s now more important than ever to break through the noise by pinning down your brand voice and consistently applying it to everywhere your brand speaks.

When your readers see you online, they should feel a hint of warm familiarity – like reconnecting with an old friend.

How do I identify my business’s brand voice?

This approach is fun and creative. Each person or company will use their own unique methods to find their distinctive brand voice. Here are some guidelines to start with.

Find your ‘Sam’

Round up your team, get some snacks ready, put away your phones, grab a whiteboard and some markers… and set aside any ‘official’ existing information about your brand identity. This is out-of-the-box-thinking time.

Talk about the following:

If you could describe your target audience as one person, who would that person be? Give the person a name you feel is best suited. Let’s say it’s Sam.

Answer specific questions like: How old is Sam? Where does Sam live? Does Sam have kids? What are some of Sam’s hobbies and interests? What work does Sam do? Where does Sam shop? What makes Sam happy/sad? And so on.

Dive deep to really get to know your Sam.

Talk to your ‘Sam’

This might sound silly and feel awkward initially. Role play! Have someone be Sam, and enter into a conversion with them.

Make notes on the tone of voice, words and overall demeanour you use when you talk to Sam. Whatever comes naturally. Also, what would you talk about?

For example, would you say things like: “Hi old friend, how’ve you been? I immediately thought of you when I saw this – check it out!” Or would it feel natural to say “Good morning, Sam. This is a brilliant solution that has the potential to increase your work efficiency.”

This exercise will help you organically find your brand voice.

Make your brand voice official

As your business grows and your employees come and go, you’ll have different people touching your content, adding their own flavour to it. While this is not necessarily bad, it’s still important to decide who your brand is and what you sound like… and document it for future use.

Your brand voice document will become a go-to tool for anyone who writes content on behalf of your brand. It keeps all your digital marketing copy in check and consistent.

This brand voice document can include all sorts of information you feel is relevant to your brand, like which high-frequency words you use, phrases that compliment your brand, words you’re actively avoiding and general copy lengths for different document types.

Grow, adapt and change

Your brand voice should not be set in stone for years and years to come. Your team might look slightly different each year, and so does your business as a whole.

You should review and adapt your brand voice annually or during branding overhauls.

If you remain current and accept that you always have to put the long yards in to stay well connected with your market, your business will thrive.

Let the experts find your 'Sam'

If you partner with a team of digital marketing experts, like us here at Brilliant Digital, you’ll have confidence in knowing that you’ll reach your target audience… and you’ll speak their language.

Sometimes it’s better to step away from your brand, which you are deeply invested in, and allow fresh, expert eyes to take a good look at it.

Contact us today to discuss how we can help refine your digital brand.

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