In a previous article, we discussed the importance of strengthening your brand voice to resonate with customers and set you apart from the competition. In this article, we’ll address strategies and techniques for bringing your brand voice to life.
The tone and manner in which companies “speak” to clients and prospective clients convey more than just information. Your brand voice is an extension of your company’s personality, and it helps people decide whether to do business with you. Getting the tone of voice right – and using it consistently throughout your communications – is key.
Written copy is one of the most effective, intimate ways to engage with your audience. Aligning that copy with your brand voice, tone, and style builds trust, makes you stand out from competitors, and shows that you understand each customer’s needs and can provide solutions to their challenges.
Two Brands that Stand Out
With strong copywriting, people will recognize your brand by the voice even without your logo. Think, for example, about Southwest Airlines. Most airlines use corporate voices that sound so similar, you could swap out one logo for another and no one would notice. Southwest Airlines, however, has achieved a cult following, partly thanks to its warm, friendly, approachable messaging. It’s instantly recognizable.
“Wanna Get Away?” “Low fares. Nothing to hide. That's TransFarency!” “You’re Now Free to Move About the Country.”
This tone of voice comes across as a brand of people, speaking to people, making connections like humans instead of corporate entities. This is a great example of how emotionally connecting to customers can form a strong relationship, and how emotions often have more to do with decision-making than reason and logic.
Dove, known for its iconic white beauty bar, is on a mission to help women enjoy a positive relationship with how they look. The company largely does this by consistently using its tone of voice through both visual and spoken elements. “Branding the Blog” describes the Dove tone of voice as “friendly, supportive, inspiring, confident, sincere, genuine, reliable, and authentic.”
In contrast to other brands, which often use digitally enhanced images of what society considers the “ideal” body type, Dove uses women of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities in its communications. Dove does this to show “empathy towards women’s self-esteem/confidence issues and genuinely caring about building women’s self-confidence and empowering women to celebrate their authentic self and ‘realness’ through its visual and verbal language elements.”
Follow these steps to make the most of emotion in your writing and solidify your brand:
- Use emotional triggers that align with your brand’s values: Appeal to your readers’ strongest emotions — value, trust, fear, guilt, competition, belonging, and pleasure — and tap into their needs and desires.
- Use intriguing headlines: Articles, blog posts, and emails that begin with strong headlines will encourage your audience to continue reading.
- Include a call to action: After building up emotion, direct your readers to complete a specific action you want them to take (make a purchase, subscribe to a newsletter, fill out a form so you can contact them, etc.).
Consistency Is Key to Trust
Adhering to the same “rules” when writing, including tone, format, terminology, spelling — even punctuation and verb tense — makes your words appear polished and professional. This consistency creates a perception of quality and stability.
Risks of Brand Voice Inconsistencies — And How to Avoid Them
Being inconsistent in your branding can threaten your business and result in reduced sales, unmet goals, and customers leaving for other providers. An inconsistent voice is a missed opportunity to resonate with them.
So how do you ensure the various writers across your company align with the established tone of voice? You create brand guidelines and share them across the company. These guidelines should include:
- Tone of voice
- Capitalization guidelines
- Special grammatical concerns such as adjectives, compound modifiers, and introductory clauses
- Use of foreign terms
- Use of emotional triggers and intriguing headlines
- Incorporating calls-to-action (CTAs) in every communication to eliminate “dead ends”
Incorporating Brand Voice in Your Writing
Consistency in brand voice — across all channels — is important to building and maintaining relationships and helping people identify your brand just by the words you use. Where should you make an extra effort to be consistent? Social media posts, your website, and email campaigns come to mind.
- Social media
- Identify the appropriate social media channels for your business
- Choose imagery that aligns with your branding so when people see it, they easily identify it as belonging to you
- Write (and reply to) posts in your brand voice, conveying your personality in just a few words
- Establish your company personality and mission in words and imagery
- Ensure the content on your homepage and About page, especially, align to your brand guidelines and tone of voice
- Use consistent headers to make emails easily recognizable as yours
- Choose calls-to-action that show your brand’s personality and prompt readers to click the links
Weaving your brand voice into your communications, from podcasts to emails and social media to website content, can be the difference between keeping customers (and winning new ones) or losing your current customers to a competitor who presents a consistent, polished image.
About TA Digital
TA Digital is the only global boutique agency that delivers the “best of both worlds” to clients seeking to achieve organizational success through digital transformation. Unlike smaller, regional agencies that lack the ability to scale or large organizations that succumb to a quantity-over-quality approach, we offer resource diversity while also providing meticulous attention to the details that enable strategic success.
Over the past 20 years, TA Digital has positioned clients to achieve digital maturity by focusing on data, customer-centricity, and exponential return on investment; by melding exceptional user experience and data-driven methodologies with artificial intelligence and machine learning, we enable digital transformations that intelligently build upon the strategies we set into motion. We are known as a global leader that assists marketing and technology executives in understanding the digital ecosystem while identifying cultural and operational gaps within their business – ultimately ushering organizations toward a more mature model and profitable digital landscape.
Recognized in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019, 2020 and 2021 Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States, TA Digital is pleased also to share high-level strategic partnerships with world class digital experience platform companies like Adobe, SAP, Acquia, commercetools, Sitecore, and Elastic Path.