One of the biggest challenges that brands encounter when maintaining or launching an online presence is keeping a consistent voice and tone. A brand’s voice is the first experience a consumer has when they engage with you over social media. An inconsistent brand voice can turn a potential customer off.
Developing a brand’s messaging and personality/voice is just as important as the design of your logo. If you happen to be a start up or are considering building a brand, we recommend that you include your brand’s voice and tone in your branding guidelines.
The difference between using a voice versus choosing a tone
A brand’s voice is a reflection of its personality. Some adjectives to describe a brand’s voice include positive, professional, sassy, or playful. Remember that a brand’s voice should stay consistent.
What does change is the brand’s tone depending on the situation. If there’s a customer service issue, how does your brand react? If the brand’s voice is professional, the tone could be empathetic. If the brand’s voice is positive, the tone could be to educational. If the brand’s voice is playful, the tone could be humorous.
Finding your brand’s voice
Marketing Land has one of the simplest formulas for developing your brand’s voice and it works. They describe their process as exploring your brand’s three C’s: culture, community and conversation.
Your brand’s culture comes first. What do you believe in? What history formed your business? What type of environment does your company work in?
When you consider your brand’s community, think about your audiences and how they expect their interactions to be with you. Do they want to feel like they’re chatting with a friend? Do they like to make pop cultural references to explain their feelings? Do they use slang or industry jargon that only their friends know?
What are you posting about or what is your purpose behind your posts? Some brands may be looking to educate, provide customer support, product promotions or general fun. Now you need to find a way to communicate this purpose with personality, tone, and authenticity.
Try your hardest to answer all these questions in adjectives that would typically describe a person’s personality. Once you’ve answered all these questions, make sure to filter out the ones that only apply to certain situations – meaning your “tone adjectives.” Pick the top three words that resonate the most and see if you can expand on them.