The voice of your business and why it matters18th October 2019
They say an image paints a thousand words. Well words themselves are just as powerful and important. When it comes to creating your business’s brand identity it isn’t just about what the logo looks like, the visuals or the colours etc. The words and tone of voice matter too, sometimes even more so.
Here at Tread we pay particular importance to all aspects of branding, including the voice of your brand, from the tone to the style of language used, punctuation and more. The voice of your brand forms part of your overall business identity and values. The words you choose, the way you use them, the vibe they create, it all counts.
We can relate it to how you think about your own identity. The way you dress, the way you wear your hair, the clothes you choose to wear and the language you use. In reality a business’s branding is very similar. You are in essence creating a personality that customers or clients can visualise, resonate with and get to know. Let’s face it we are all unlikely to go about our day naked and dressing your brand identity is no different. Of course, there is the logo, the colours and any visuals you choose to use, but there is also its voice. The nitty gritty, the language you use across all aspects of your business from marketing, to content, ads, social media, website, blogs, emails you name it. Number one it should be consistent, just as your logo doesn’t chop and change daily, neither should your use of language.
To break it down even further you can think of the voice of your business as your company’s personality and the tone as the emotional inflection applied to the voice. The voice of your business remains consistent and unchanging, but sometimes the tone may adjust slightly depending on the particular message, question or call out in which it is being used. Most of the time it should and will remain the same, but occasionally it might be more assertive or more informal for example, dependant on the situation. Bottom line though is that the voice, tone and language are key to your brands identity whether you like it or not. Just like a brands visual presence they also leave a lasting impression and you want to make sure that you get it right from the get-go.
A few things you might like to think about when establishing what is the voice personality of your brand, the predominant tone and style of language are:
- How would you describe your business persona publicly (it might be helpful to think about how you would describe a friend or colleague) examples might include is it formal, or informal, funny or serious, helpful but not pushy, direct but engaging, cheeky but smart?
- If you have any content to date, do an audit and see what language and tone you have used. Has it been fairly consistent or different? What comes most naturally? What has gained the most engagement?
- Research your customers/ clients- look at your top five existing customers or clients and see if possible what kind of other business’s they engage with, what social media they are drawn to and the language used by these business’s and other accounts.
- Look at your target customer and think about where they shop, their interests, style and what language they may use.
- Look at your branding and identity and the purpose of your business and create a brand voice list that would describe your identity. For example, we are modern, but clever, we are passionate about helping others, we love to laugh but we don’t like rudeness.
It may seem like a lot of work to figure out and create the layers of personality within your brand, especially the personality of your business’s voice and the tone and style of language. But trust us spending the time on this and getting it right will pay dividends in the future. Remember first impressions make lasting impressions, so make sure it is a good one! And just as we all hate flaky friends, flaky all over the shop business language and inconsistency is enough to send your clients running.