Finding your Brand Voice is More Important than Ever

The easiest way to describe brand voice is that it’s the way people recognize you, both in tone and content. Think about when you read a quote and think “That sounds like something she would say.” Or if you overhear a conversation and can identify the speaker by their cadence and sound.

The same goes for companies. And in this digital landscape where so many companies are fighting for your customers’ attention, a clear brand voice is an important way to cut through the noise.

Among the many realities marketers have had to face in 2020 is that the relationship between businesses and customers has changed. It’s changed physically – more than 90% of B2Bs have transitioned to a virtual sales model.  It’s changed strategically – digital interactions are twice as important as they were before COVID-19. But perhaps most importantly, it has changed personally.

Forbes magazine cited research from March that revealed a majority of B2B leaders reported struggling to meet customers’ needs and expectations, even before the pandemic: 71% said they have a customer-centricity gap, and 54% said their customer relationships are strained, developing or non-existent.

The bottom line is that companies have never needed to connect with customers more. And a critical aspect to that is developing an authentic and consistent brand voice.

Here are some examples of companies who achieved an effective, unique brand voice:

Dove

According to Zen Media, “With just a single glance, you can tell what Dove is about: women, girls, beauty, and self-esteem. As you read through their tweets, you see posts on topics like body-shaming, negativity online, and how to talk to your daughter about self-esteem. Dove’s brand voice, we see, is empowering, uplifting, and inspirational.”

Dove’s messaging sticks to clear choices about tone and audience. Their down-to-earth, positive tone shifts the focus of skin and hair care products from achieving standards of beauty to highlighting diversity of the same.

Mailchimp

An B2B email marketing service doesn’t need to be uplifting or rebellious. It needs to be clear and conversational. Mailchimp is proof that that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. The brand’s tone strikes a perfect balance between chatty and professional.

Slack

According to Slack editorial director Anne Pickard, Slack’s brand voice is “sometimes funny, sometimes serious, sometimes just plain and informative, but throughout, it should feel like nothing more than a person, talking to another person.” This casual tone doesn’t come easy. Slack uses a comprehensive style guide and encourages writers to think about every word to make sure Slack sounds “Slacky.”

Pickard: “As almost all our growth so far has been organic and driven by word of mouth, we want to make sure that every single interaction you have with us feels not only recognisably Slack in nature, but also something that would help you want to recommend Slack to others.”

An effective and consistent brand voice helps every post and interaction build on the one before it to create strong relationships with exactly the audience you want to reach. Digital interactions are more crucial to this effort than ever before. From Twitter to email, audiences understand and respond to brands that feel personal.

Skillsoft

Skillsoft, a global leader in cloud-based learning (and we’re proud to say a Cramer client), has a lot to teach the market about brand voice. The company has done a great job in both describing and amplifying its brand voice. Just take a look at how the qualities of  “Human, Empowering, Inspiring, Confident” are carried through in words and images on their website and their international Perspectives 2020 conference.

An effective and consistent brand voice helps every post and interaction build on the one before it to create strong relationships with exactly the audience you want to reach. Digital interactions are more crucial to this effort than ever before. From Twitter to email, audiences understand and respond to brands that feel personal.