Have you ever answered the phone without looking at the caller ID and known who it was just from the way they spoke? The reason you knew was that you were able to recognize the person’s tone and associated it with them. The same happens with brands. We are able to identify and connect with brands based on the ways they speak to their consumers.

What is Tone?

The phrase ‘It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it’ has been around forever. That saying describes tone. Tone is defined as the consistent manner in which you speak. For a brand, this might include words, slogans, colors, fonts, and images. The tone of a brand might shift slightly based on the media outlet they are speaking on or the audience they are looking to reach but it should be consistent overall. This allows consumers to connect with the brand and remember them in the future to build recognition. The tone you choose to use sets you apart from other competing brands in the industry. 

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Why Brand Voice is Important

Brand voice helps reinforce the first impression that consumers have of you. The first impression allows them to decide whether or not they are going to continue with the brand or go in a different direction, so the brand voice matters a lot. It allows you to build an emotional connection with your consumers, making them feel like the brand is supportive of them and taking care of them. The brand voice can also reveal the personality behind a brand. It can determine whether customers see you as elegant, witty, serious, intelligent, and so on.

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Finding Your Brand Voice

Determining the voice of your brand can be challenging and time-consuming, but it is worth it in the end. The best way to do so is by first identifying your target audience. You would speak differently to someone who is 15 versus someone who is 75, the same way you are not speaking to an artist the way you would speak to a scientist. Identifying who you aim to deliver your overall message can guide your word choice, color choice, and overall tone

Once you know who the target audience is, you have to figure out what words you would use to encourage them to use your product or service. It’s possible that there are two tones that would work for the brand, and in this case, comparing and contrasting is crucial. 

There are many examples of very well-known brand voices. For instance, Nike is known for being positive and inspiring with its ‘Just Do It’ slogan. Tiffany & Co. is viewed as elegant and sweet with its Tiffany Blue color and tone in messaging and advertising. Ford can be seen as proud and exclusive in its advertisements. Every company is different, so streamlining your audience’s needs, preferences, and ways to entice them naturally, needs to align with the mood and tonality. Finding the right tone for your brand can be heavily dependent on what you aim your product or service to achieve, and most importantly, how you wish your users to feel.

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The End Goal

In the end, deciding what voice to use is not as important as staying consistent with it across the company. Implementing the same tone through all messaging and even within conversations between employees can establish a strong voice for the brand and build consumer love.