When you developed your brand, did you take the time to consider your brand voice? People often get caught up in the visual aspects of a brand and completely forget about the words that will accompany it.

Brand voice is the language and tone you use when creating any content for your brand. In every encounter a customer has with your product or service, they should hear your brand voice loud and clear. That includes your website, marketing, social media, printed materials and even, to a certain extent, your customer service communications.

In many cases, a brand’s voice is handled internally by a business, perhaps left to the owner or handed to someone within the company who is deemed to be good with words. The result is most often poorly thought out content which may be grammatically correct but lacks a clear voice.

Why does your brand voice matter?

The language you use is how you connect with your target audience. Choosing a voice that appeals to your audience and reflects your company’s values will help you to stand out and establish an emotional connection between them and your brand. Since people make purchasing decisions based on emotional connections, your brand voice has the power to make or break your overall success. However, it needs to be consistent across all mediums. Without consistency, you weaken that potential for connection.

So, how do you get it right?

There are a few starting steps to shaping the voice that is going to best suit your brand.

1. Identify your target audience

Since the only aim of your brand voice is to connect with your audience, it’s pretty important to know who you’re trying to talk to in the first place. Are you talking to other businesses, professionals or the general public? Consider characteristics like age, marital status, life stage, location, career path and culture as this will shape the language and voice you choose.

2. Turn your brand into a person

If you had to personify your brand, what kind of person would it be? Would they be charismatic, old, young, witty? Try to narrow it down as best you can. You may find using brand archetypes useful.

3. Use adjectives to describe your brand

How would you describe your brand? Fun, authoritative, playful, serious? How would you describe your brand’s culture? Get your team involved, if you have one, as everyone will have their own take on it but hopefully you’ll begin to see some patterns emerge.

4. Listen to your audience

All the best conversations start with listening. Get out there to wherever your audience is lurking (social media is a great place to start) and listen to how your customers communicate. Are they formal or informal, precise or casual? Take note of the colloquial language they use and weave this into your copy if you can.