How To Identify and Define Your Brand Voice
Have you ever walked into a room and instantly picked up on the vibe? Maybe it was a coffee shop’s chill atmosphere or a lively party’s energetic buzz. Just like physical spaces have their unique ambiance, your brand has a tone of voice, a personality that sets the mood for your customers.
But how do you figure out what that personality is, and how do you keep it consistent across all channels? In this post, we’ll explore how to identify and define your brand voice, so you can connect with your audience on a deeper level and build a strong, memorable brand. Plus, we’ll reveal the secret ingredient that strengthens your brand voice: teaming up with an eCommerce SEO agency specializing in eCommerce marketing and content writing. This power-packed combo will help your message reach even more peeps and create a genuinely remarkable impact.
What Is Brand Voice?
Brand voice is the personality and style you use when communicating with your target audience across channels like social media, advertising, web copy, and even customer service interactions.
Think of it like this: just as your tone of voice in a face-to-face conversation can convey a certain mood or attitude, your brand’s voice can shape how people perceive and relate to your business.
Having a well-defined brand voice is important because it:
- Creates a sense of familiarity and trust with customers
- Helps you stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace
- Differentiates your brand from the competition.
Examples of Brand Voice
Now that you know how to define brand voice, let’s check out examples from popular companies.
Target is a brand with a well-defined tone of voice that carries through all aspects of their marketing. The company’s identity is characterized by a friendly and approachable demeanor and a hint of playfulness that speaks to their core demographic.
We can see these elements of their brand voice in their advertising campaigns, website copy, and social media posts, which all feature conversational language, colorful visuals, and a lighthearted tone. For instance, Target’s social media accounts frequently use emojis and memes, and their site content is written in a way that feels like a friend giving you advice.
Using a consistent tone of voice, Target has developed a strong brand identity that resonates with its intended audience and fosters a sense of community.
Alamo Drafthouse, a popular cinema chain in the U.S., has a unique and distinctive brand voice that’s recognizable in all its marketing efforts, characterized by humor, wit, and irreverence, which helps the brand connect with its audience.
Alamo Drafthouse often uses pop culture references and puns in their messaging, making it relatable and engaging. For instance, their tagline “The Best Film, Food, and Drinks All in One Seat” combines the cinema and dining experience, showcasing the brand’s commitment to providing an immersive time at the movies.
Develop Your Brand Voice in 4 Steps
Okay, so we’ve covered the definition of brand voice and reviewed a few examples. Now let’s review four tips for developing your voice:
1. Understand Your Brand’s Identity
When you clearly understand your brand’s mission and values, it’s easier to cultivate a tone of voice that reflects your identity. For example, if your company sells eco-friendly products, adopt an approachable tone emphasizing sustainability and environmental responsibility. If you sell high-end luxury items, a more formal and aspirational tone of voice may be more appropriate.
2. Identify and Connect With Your Target Audience
Not only should your brand voice reflect your business’s values and personality, but it should also resonate with customers. You must identify and connect with your target audience to pull this off successfully.
Creating buyer personas is a great way to understand and identify your target shopper and their needs, wants, and behavior. Personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on market research and data. You can use tools like surveys, shopper feedback, and website analytics to gather relevant customer data and insights. An eCommerce SEO agency can help you create strong buyer personas and maximize shopper data to ensure your brand voice and messages reach as much of your target audience as possible.
If you are a local business and cater to activities specific to a location, it’s a good idea to have your marketing team identify cultures intrinsic to your state or city. For example, if you are based in a state like Colorado and sell hiking or skiing gear, you will want to identify things that are unique to your audience’s community. For example, outdoor enthusiasts have their own lingo and attitudes that are unique to them. Partner with a Denver SEO agency to help identify the micro-cultures that your target audience is a part of. Then, base your marketing efforts off an understanding of this culture.
Another way to identify and connect with target audiences is to analyze customer data. You can gain valuable insights into your intended shopper’s behaviors, preferences, and pain points by analyzing purchase history, shopper feedback, and social media engagement. This information can help you tailor your brand voice to better resonate with your audience and create messaging that speaks directly to their needs and interests.
3. Choose the Proper Tone of Voice
For eCommerce communications, tone of voice can make all the difference in how customers perceive your brand. We’ll cover three common types of tone of voice (formal, casual, friendly), their pros and cons, and examples of companies that successfully adopt each style, so you can better understand which approach might work best for your business.
A formal tone of voice is more serious, using proper grammar and professional language while avoiding contractions. Example: “Clients are kindly reminded to provide accurate billing information upon purchase completion to facilitate prompt order processing and delivery.”
- Pro: Can create a sense of authority and professionalism, which could be especially important when communicating with new or potential customers.
- Con: May be perceived as distant, which may not resonate well with younger or more casual audiences.
- Types of eCommerce companies that use a formal tone of voice: Medical supply companies, prescription medication providers, health insurance providers, healthcare equipment manufacturers, providers of health-related software or technology.
A casual tone of voice is more relaxed and conversational, characterized by contractions, slang, and a more informal language style. Example: “Hey there! Just a quick heads up – make sure you double-check your billing deets when you’re checking out. That way, we can get your stuff to you super fast!”
- Pro: May create a more approachable and relatable brand image, which can help build stronger connections with your audience.
- Con: Can be perceived as unprofessional or lacking in credibility.
- Types of eCommerce companies that use a casual tone of voice: Clothing and fashion retailers targeting young adults, online food and beverage vendors, cosmetics and personal care companies, music and entertainment retailers
A friendly tone of voice is another approach to eCommerce communications that can be highly effective. It is characterized by being upbeat, welcoming, and approachable. Example: “Hi there! We just wanted to remind you to please provide us with your correct billing information when you complete your purchase, so we can get your awesome products shipped to you as soon as possible. Thank you so much!”
- Pro: Can create a sense of warmth and empathy with your customers, which can help build stronger relationships and brand loyalty.
- Con: May be challenging to maintain consistency, and if not executed correctly, it can come across as insincere or overly familiar.
- Types of eCommerce companies that use a friendly tone of voice: Home decor and furniture retailers, online gift shops, subscription box services, online bookstores
4. Use a Consistent Tone
A consistent brand voice is crucial for building customer recognition and trust. It helps convey coherent brand messaging, stand out from competitors, and prevent confusion or alienation.
While implementing your tone of voice across different communication channels can be challenging, it’s much easier with a few tips:
- For website copy, using consistent language and style throughout the home page, product descriptions, and About Us section is essential. This helps create a cohesive brand identity and helps customers know what to expect from your brand.
- For social media, consider tone of voice in captions, hashtags, and comments, and ensure it aligns with your brand’s personality and values. In email marketing, use a consistent tone in subject lines, body copy, and calls to action.
- Finally, in customer service interactions, use the same tone of voice in your email responses, chat conversations, or phone calls to create a seamless and positive user experience.
With help from a team of eCommerce marketing professionals, you can ensure your brand voice rings loud and clear (and consistently) across all your communication channels.
Refine Your Brand Tone With Boxwood
Developing the right tone of voice for your brand is essential to help you stand out from competitors and make meaningful connections with potential customers. Though it may seem challenging, the process is freeing, giving your brand a personality it can share across channels. If you’re stuck or want feedback about your current tone of voice, Boxwood is here to help! Contact us today and kickstart your journey toward success.
About O’Brian Gunn
O’Brian Gunn is a copywriter at Boxwood Digital Marketing. With an insatiable curiosity and a passion for the written word, he enjoys helping brands uncover and convey their unique story. When not creating content, O’Brian enjoys reading, watching movies, fiction writing, and eating all the popcorn.