Of course what you say still matters, but if you aren’t saying it the right way, your message will no doubt fall on deaf ears.
This is why your brand voice is so important. Your brand voice consists of all of your marketing, and therefore should be presented in a style and tone which reflects both what you do and the business you hope to attract. As this encompasses all the messages you send out, you better make sure you’re targeting the right people with the right voice.
How do you find your voice?
We can all get a little lost for words sometimes but it should be easy to find your brand voice. Your voice should be made up of the core values of your business for starters, though should also be intriguing and unique enough to ensure you stand out from competitors. Your brand voice represents the personality of your brand, so it’s important to find distinctive and easily recognisable elements which can automatically be associated with your brand, whilst being completely appropriate for your target audience and industry.
Think about what makes you unique and how you can present that in an interesting way and you will soon find yourself with a stronger customer engagement, and therefore a greater chance of pulling in repeat business.
Examples of good brand voices
Here are just a few companies which have nailed their brand voice, and the values they have set out at the heart of it:
Virgin – warm, honest, fun, engaging
Apple – inspirational, personal, innovative, delight
Innocent – friendly, cheeky, simple, delight
BrewDog – edgy, cheeky, fun, entertaining
With these brands, we instantly recognise them and can almost instantly associate their marketing with them, all without them having the need to sell at the heart of their voice. As we all know, when it comes to effective marketing, one thing we should never do is sell to our audience as this rarely offers results. When you start to sell through marketing, you effectively engage in a price war, which only ends well for you if you are willing to become the cheapest. However if you offer something different, with a clearer and more effective brand voice, you will find that people will still buy from you even if you are not the cheapest around.
An important part in building brand voice and one which the above have managed to cement, is a recognisable consistency. Consistency in your voice builds trust in consumers as they come to know what to expect of you. In addition, the familiarity becomes easier to process mentally, meaning people will not only feel at ease with your brand but make connections instantaneously when they see your marketing either online or offline.
As the old saying goes, people may not remember what you say, but they will remember how you made them feel. The feeling customers get when they come into contact with brands is what either keeps them coming back or what turns them into the arms of competitors.
With this in mind you need to be careful about the impressions you’re forming on your customers. People are prone to changing their mind once they hear what you have to say, so be sure you’re not giving them a reason to turn to a competitor.
You don’t have to have the same sort of voice as relative competitors either. For example take BrewDog and Stella Artois – both brands fighting for the same space within the drinks market, but both with a completely different voice.
In BrewDog’s brand message, they trash the establishment by saying...
"BrewDog is a post Punk apocalyptic mother fucker of a craft brewery. Say goodbye to the corporate beer whores crazy for power and world domination... Ride toward anarchy and caramel craziness. Let the sharp bitter finish rip you straight to the tits. Save up for a Luger, and drill the bastards."
Compare this to Stella Artois, who talk about their roots and origins, stating...
"At Stella Artois, we are extremely proud of our Belgian roots. Our story can be seen on every bottle of Stella Artois. If you look closely, hints of our origins are proudly displayed. So next time you see a bottle of Stella Artois, take note of the rich history paired with the rich flavour on and in every bottle."
You can see that the two have very different tones whilst effectively marketing to their target audiences.
Both are extremes, though they can instantly be recognised in their own right thanks to their effective brand voicing. Whichever tone of voice you use, remember that the point is to stand out whilst offering something interesting and memorable.
It’s not always about he who shouts the loudest, especially if he doesn’t have anything memorable to say.