Do you find writing a brand voice style guide difficult? Well, if you are new to business and just starting, it can be complicated. But what if I say that it is quite easy if you just think differently?
Imagine your brand as a person. Now you are entering a party where you don’t know But you wanted to make good friends, so you went there. Now, how will you make some loyal friends?
Well, here comes the role of a brand’s voice, which, in terms of a person means their personality, communication style, language, etc.
So let’s help this person make really good friends!
Step-by-step guide on how to create a brand’s voice style guide: Lessons to learn from a party!
Let’s start by comparing a brand with a person. The person, just like a brand, wants to make some really good friends (loyal customers). So here are some tips you, as a brand, can follow to draft a perfect brand voice guideline.
Understanding the people at the party (knowing your customers)
Before you enter the party, you want to first do some background research on the people who will attend the party. It will give you an idea of what kind of person you are interacting with. This is the same case for your customers. Before you define your brand’s voice, have a proper understanding of your audience.
The first question you should ask yourself is: Who do you serve? Remember, the brand voice is not just about you. After all, everything you do is to get connected with the customers you serve. As a brand, you should always try to align your brand values, positioning, and messaging to the values that your customers are seeking. To do so, you need to create a detailed customer profile.
To create a detailed customer profile, you need to thoroughly research and analyze your target audience. You need to understand their needs, preferences, and behavior. You can also look for age demographics, income, etc.
Confused? Well, let us break the whole process into multiple steps
- First, begin by collecting existing customer data that includes demographic information purchase history, social media insights, etc.
- You can also directly approach them to ask questions about their preferences, pain points, motivation, interests, etc.
- You can review your customer reviews, comments, and feedback on your product and service to understand what the common challenges are and what features they appreciate.
- Divide your customers into various segments based on their behavior, demographics, and preferences.
- Now create a detailed customer persona based on your research. Remember that you cannot create a persona for each customer. But you have to create a persona that represents a distinct segment of your audience.
Define your values (Be clear with your brand value)
Another thing you should be clear about before approaching anyone is your values. It acts as a guiding principle for you that dictates your behavior and decisions. Similarly, a brand value serves as a moral and ethical compass that guides business decisions, actions, and interactions with customers.
Much like an individual, your brand values and plays an important role in shaping your brand’s voice. Values help the company understand what kind of language and tone they will be using for the brand.
For example, Nike has an energetic and motivational brand voice because it is deeply connected with sports and athletics. It celebrates the achievements of the athletes and values their excellence.
Make a long-lasting impression (Brand personality)
Do you remember the first time you met your friend? What was their first impression of you, or what did you notice first about them that helped you stay connected with them? Or how do you decide whether you want to talk to a person or not?
Probably, the answer would be personality—the way a person talks, behaves, acts, etc. Similarly, having a cool and cheerful personality at the party can help you attract the attention of people.
But what about a brand? Does it also need to have a distinct personality? Well, just like every individual has a unique personality that defines who they are and who they can connect with a brand personality has the same purpose for a business.
It makes your brand stand out from its competitors and makes it unique and relatable to the audience.
Here are some examples of brands with different personalities
- Apple has an innovative, sleek, and sophisticated brand voice. It uses a minimalistic and clear design approach to attract people.
- On the other hand, Nike depicts an energetic, empowering, and motivational personality.
- Similarly, other brands like Coca-Cola have funny, inclusive, and authentic personalities. Disney has a magical and family-oriented personality.
Now everyone learns things by observing others. There must be people at the party who already have friends or who are popular there. You can observe them and understand how they behave and interact with others. It will help you understand how you should interact with people to make friends
Well, this is the same case with a brand. A brand can observe its competitors. How that brand is communicating or engaging with the audience. You can learn from their successes and mistakes. Also, it will help you to understand your customer preferences, the latest trends, and gaps in the market that you can fill.
Speak the right language (Decide the language for your brand)
The next thing you should be very clear about is selecting an appropriate language and communication style for your brand. Just like an individual needs to understand and speak the same language as others to communicate properly, a brand must choose a language that resonates with its target audience.
You should also pay attention to tone and style so that your language aligns with the brand’s personality and audience. For example, you can choose a language that is formal and informative or casual and friendly.
Adding words and phrases to your conversation (creating memorable phrases for the brand)
The next thing that should come to mind is your phraseology. Yes, think about some common phrases, words, and sayings you often use with your brand messaging. It could be anything. For example, there are phrases that you always include in your newsletters and emails that help your audience understand that they are from your company.
Here are a few examples of brand phraseology
- Apple: “Think different.”
- Coca-Cola: “Open happiness”
- McDonald’s: “I’m loving it.”
- Starbucks: “Starbucks coffee, passion for coffee”
- Nike: “Just do it.”
If you don’t have anything yet, don’t worry; you can still think of a few words and phrases and include them in your brand’s voice guide. You can use this consistently in your marketing content and customer communication. It will help your readers identify you and engage with you.
Lastly, just like a person would prepare for the party based on their social etiquette, A brand should also develop a comprehensive guide that can guide them to make decisions while interacting with their customers or audiences.
A brand voice-style guideline is like putting everything together. It is a messaging manifesto that you can circulate throughout your organization to make your messaging consistent and cohesive. Think of it as a human design chart. It is the basic anatomy that helps you make effective decisions.
A good brand voice guide can guide you with,
- Informed marketing efforts and messaging
- Crystallize brand personality
- Shape your email marketing strategy
It acts as the backbone of all of your marketing efforts and strategies.
Implementation all across the business channels
Now that you have created a perfect brand voice guide, here are some steps you need to follow to make it a huge hit.
- After creating your brand’s voice, you need me to ensure that it is implemented across your business. You need to ensure that your communication style is consistent and reflects your brand voice across all channels and touchpoints.
- You will have to educate and train your internal team, including marketing customers, sales content creators, and content writers.
- You will also have to review the existing content on the marketing channels, such as social media and your website, to align it with the brand voice.
- You will also have to enjoy the fact that the all-new content that your organization creates adheres to the brand voice guidelines.
- You will also have to review customer support and salespeople. You have to provide call center training materials incorporating the brand voice.
Building a brand’s voice with a real example
Now that you are clear about how to draft a perfect brand voice guideline, let’s take you through a real-life example of a brand.
Here we are going to take an example of a retail store called “Urban Fashion”. Urban Fashion is a modern and urban-focused store that sells trendy fashion apparel. It wants to create a brand voice to stand out from its competitors and attract customers.
- The first challenge Urban Fashion faces is understanding its target audience. It has to be clear whether they are targeting youngsters or adults.
The one thing Urban Fashion is clear about is that it is targeting young generations, basically tech-savvy millennials and Gen Z.
- The second thing urban fashion has to decide is its values. For example, if it values innovation, trendiness, and convenience, it has to reflect in its brand voice.
- The third thing is brand personality. Urban Fashion focuses on selling trendy and contemporary styles, so its personality is more modern and fresh.
- The next thing Urban Fashion should focus on is its competitors. If there is any similar retail store that is grabbing people’s attention, they could take lessons from it.
- Urban fashion should also be clear with its brand language. Whether they speak English or other regional languages, In that way, they can connect to people well.
It should also come up with various words and phrases to use consistently throughout its marketing channels. For example, some Gen Z phrases like drip, pop-up, fresh, BOGO, swag, dope, haul, etc.
Now that Urban Fashion has a brain for all of the things it needs to ensure consistency across all communication channels, from social media to in-store signage,
It also has to keep an eye on the engagement metrics and customer feedback to keep on modifying things then and now.
Final words: Connecting the dots together
A brand voice is a unique and consistent personality style or tone of the communication a business uses. No matter what the size of your business is, your brand voice has the power to make you or break you.
Brand voice is a clear reflection of the brand’s identity, values, and the way it wants to be perceived by the target audience.
A well-defined brand voice can help businesses connect with customers, establish trust, and differentiate themselves from their competitors.
We hope that you now know clearly how to identify your brand voice and create a style guide. For more such informative content, we recommend you keep visiting the Icegram website.