Understanding Your Brand Voice
If you were asked to describe your brand voice would you be able to? For many entrepreneurs, their brand voice is a vague and indescribable quality that they know they need, but they aren’t sure how to get.
If you weren’t able to quickly rattle off who you are as a brand, don’t worry. As a copywriter, I can tell you that many of the clients that come my way are not sure about their brand voice and need a little help figuring it out. Whether you are working with a copywriter, or writing your own copy, knowing your brand voice is key to making sure all your content is consistent. If you have struggled with brand voice, try out the following exercises to point you in the right direction.
Your Three Words
The first exercise I like to have clients complete when figuring out their brand voice is to ask them to come up with three words that describe their brand. These words should be descriptive like fun, sophisticated, intense, spiritual etc. Really think about these words and try to be as thoughtful about them as possible. Don’t just select three words you like right now, these are meant to be a long lasting reflection of your brand’s personality. Think of it as if you were to have these words tattooed in a prominent place on your brand’s body (too weird?). If you are having trouble with this step, you can think about brands that you feel are similar in style to yours, and describe them. What brands do you love? What words would you use to describe their brand voice and personality?
What Your Brand Is Not
Once you know what your brand is, it’s also important to know what your brand is not. Make a list of words that do not describe your brand. This can help to solidify those qualities that make your brand unique. Sometimes, like in dating, making a list of qualities that don’t work for you can be easier to put together than the list of what does. You can make a list of words that describe what your brand is not, and then even dive into your big three words by describing what you don’t mean by each of them. Connotation is key when it comes to really getting deep into the meaning of your brand’s three words. For instance, if you say your brand is fun but not silly, that paints a much clearer picture of your brand personality than if you just say fun.
Go Back In Time
Another way to tap into your brand identity is to go back through all the writing you have done for your brand, or had written for you and find those pieces you really like. Read through them and note any words or phrases that keep reoccurring. Start a brand language file so that you can really hone in on what makes your brand unique. For instance, if your brand uses language like awesome and dude, that will make for a very different brand experience than if your brand uses words like resonate and beautiful.
Another exercise you might enjoy is a word association game called “If Your Brand” Make a list of things such as car, phone, movies etc. and then write down the first word that comes to mind when you ask the question, “If your brand were a car it would be a (fill in the blank)”. This will help with figuring out your brand voice and style. A brand that can be described as a BMW is going to be very different from a brand that can be described as a Ford F150.
Don’t worry if it seems to take a bit of time to really figure this out. Your brand voice is not something you will have settled with just a few exercises. A brand voice can also develop over time, so enjoy the process!
Melissa Williams is a self-proclaimed word nerd and copy geek who absolutely loves working with dream followers, game changers, and people with passion. Although her copywriting experience technically goes back to her childhood, when she first realized she could persuade her own parents through dramatic letters, she thankfully moved on to professional work such as magazine articles, blogs, web content, and press releases. Melissa has written professionally for over 12 years. Whether she is writing an about page for a fun health and wellness coach, or a sales page for a swanky online business development program, Melissa loves crafting copy that makes her clients money, all while speaking directly to their target market’s hearts.