What Is Brand Voice and How Is It Different from Branding?
A brand's voice is the particular personality it conveys to its audience through words and phrases. It includes the language and tone used in communications like text-based content, printed materials, verbal interactions, videos, and other multimedia content. However, it can also be part of the visual language the brand uses in things like infographics.
An easy way to understand this is to think of brands as people. When you first meet new people, you use certain language or discuss certain topics. The language you present is your "voice."
Brand voice is an essential part of branding but it's not the same thing as branding. Your brand is a collection of values, ideas, and associations that exists in your customer's mind. When they think of you, this is the image that comes into their mind. The voice, on the other hand, is the actual language you use in order to convey your brand image to your customers.
Voice is important because it’s a key part of identifying your brand. You know what your organization stands for, but how do you get your target market to understand that? You do that through speaking to them using this voice.
To help further clarify, here are a few key features of a brand voice:
It uses language that's appropriate for your target market. It speaks in a way that the customer expects it to speak. A coffee shop's voice should sound like a coffee shop.
It conveys the organization's values. Through the words and tone used, it explains the organization's core values. Your audience members know that you're on the same team, as these values should resonate with them.
An organization's voice is unique. It sets one apart from others in the market. When your audience members hear your voice, they know without a doubt that it's you.
An organization's brand voice is consistent. It never strays from its consistent tone, language, and values. This creates trust in the minds of your audience. If a person encounters marketing materials from an organization that are "off" from their brand image, this can create a disconnect.
Businesses large and small, and in every field or industry, have to purposefully define and implement their own brand voice in order to successfully create an image in the mind of the customer. A strong, clear voice allows an organization to cut above all of the other noise, and also clearly explains to people what it is all about.