Finding Your Voice: What’s your brand’s signature style?

Estimated reading time: 6 minute(s)

Like Scarlett Johansson’s throaty coo or Gilbert Godfried’s nasal assault—a voice can come define you (for better or for worse).

This is also true for brands, whose use of diction, tone, and style determines how they resonate with audiences. How are you getting your message across? Should you be friendly, serious, or aloof? Let us help you peg the voice that best fits your business.

1. Clever

A fun, accessible brand voice helps you connect to readers on their level. Get creative with copy by weaving in colloquialisms, humor, and puns. E-commerce companies often use this voice to jazz up dull sales speak and capture customer interest.

2. Cool

Knowing how to “talk the talk” is important for fashion or lifestyle brands targeting tastemakers. Use trending terms and cultural references to highlight the aspirational value of your product (was Beyonce just wearing that on Instagram?). Keep it simple, of course—you wouldn’t want to sound like you’re actually trying.

3. Evocative

Beauty, food, and boutique brands have the luxury of waxing poetic in order to evoke visceral experiences and/or memory. Entice readers with sensual words and an inviting tone. Doesn’t something like “lilac and lavender float as in a field stirred by a spring breeze” simply transport you?

4. Compassionate

If you’re addressing real, human pain points, don’t come off like some soulless entity. Healthcare and human service brands can win audiences by demonstrating a little empathy. Speaking in second person using a nurturing, knowledgeable tone can secure readers’ trust.

5. Authoritative

Sometimes, being cute or colloquial can work against you. If I’m shopping for brain surgeons, for example, I’d take “a premiere group of experts advancing the field of neuroscience” over a “medical team that’s totally up on the trends.” If you’ve got the accolades, tout them; if you’ve got the technical jargon, use it (without alienating the average reader). Let your voice convey the expertise that your audience wants to invest in.

Cultivating a brand voice can be a process, but finding yours will help you connect to ideal audiences. If you’re having trouble, our MarketSmiths are here to help make sure you hit all the right notes!

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Janine Stankus

Janine’s passion for words is rooted in her lifelong study of literature. Following a stint in boutique publishing and a beloved job as a journalist, she discovered an aptitude for marketing that led to SEO work, marketing strategy, and copywriting for (then) startups like FAB.com and major brands like Aeropostale. When Janine found that she could expound on T.S. Eliot, pen a hard-hitting piece on vernal pools, and promote panties with equal éclat, she knew she’d found a calling.

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