If your company were a person, who would it be? What would it look like? What style of clothing would it wear? How would it walk, and where would it be going? What would its personality be like? Would it be bright and bubbly or nurturing?
And, most importantly, how would it talk? What would your brand’s voice be? What kind of tones would it use?
While your brand will never casually stroll around the street, it already talks to your customers, target market, and employees every day. It has its own voice and different tones to suit the various situations it faces.
But which one is more important: brand tone or voice? Are they the same thing? If not, how are they different and how can you develop them for your company?
In this post, we’ll make sure you know the differences between brand tone and brand voice. Then we’ll help you to understand the most effective ways to define your unique company personality through voice and tone.
If you’re ready to help your brand stand out from the competition, make stronger connections with your customers, and have a lot more fun creating future content and customer communications tools, read on.
Brand Tone vs. Voice: Know the Differences
If you want to connect with your customers, you also want to make it easy for your target market to find and identify with your business. To increase your brand recognition as a whole, you need to make sure you know how to talk to people.
Your company’s voice and tone will come out in website and blog content, on social media, in customer emails, in your marketing videos, and even in your product descriptions. A common mistake that too many companies make is assuming that voice and tone are the same thing. While they both contribute to building your brand’s identity, each of them has its own part.
What is Brand Voice?
Your brand voice is an extension of your brand’s personality. It is consistent over time because it is a reflection of your values and goals. It is how you share your unique point-of-view with your target market. Your brand voice encompasses the full range of communication tools that you use – your words and language, both spoken and written, as well as your brand imagery, from logos to banners and advertising content.
What Is Brand Tone?
Brand tone is all about the specific ways in which you use your brand voice to express your brand personality and build an emotional connection with your audience. While your brand voice stays the same throughout all your communications, your tone changes to suit the particulars of the situation you are dealing with and the type of persona you are addressing. It embodies the nuances required for the context, but always remains on-brand.
Brand Tone & Voice – Using Them Together
When you create content for your brand, you should do it in your brand’s voice, always. Be it lighthearted and humorous or clever and poised, the full range of communications created for your company must reflect this voice.
However, your brand tone must be in line with the type of content, event, or communication you are creating. While remaining lighthearted and humorous or clever and poised at the core, your tone will be different depending on the situation.
For instance, if your brand voice is humorous and lighthearted, when addressing customers to congratulate them on their client anniversary with your company, you can adopt a happy and engaged tone. But when you’re notifying them that they have outstanding bills, there is little room for humor.
In the case of accounts receivable, a serious tone is required. While a grave tone would not be in line with your voice, you need to be serious when notifying your customer of the situation and to let them know what the next steps are. Then, when the situation is cleared up, you can loosen up and shift towards a lighter approach.
In both cases, your customers will associate the communication with your brand’s identity because there is consistency even as you shift tones in each situation.
Instead of focusing on brand tone vs. voice, use your brand tone & voice together to enhance the communications you create. Be clear on the differences between them, work on defining your company’s voice, and then develop the range of tones that you can adopt in various situations.
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How to Define Your Brand Voice
The very first thing you need to do to define your company’s voice is to do some deep-dive research into your market as a whole. It’s especially useful to develop buyer personas that represent a different segment of your market.
Then, for each buyer persona you have created, you must identify their major needs and determine how your company responds to them. Are you the superhero who comes to help them? Or are you the lighthearted sidekick who is always at their side? Who do your customers respond to – the superhero or the sidekick?
Answer these questions for all your buyer personas and then explore the complexities of what your customers expect. Identify the common ground because that will be the basis of your company’s personality. Based on this, develop your brand voice.
How would your customers want the superhero or the sidekick to sound ? Would they respond to the lighthearted and humorous voice or to the knowledgeable and poised one? Choose the voice that works for your full range of buyer personas.
How to Develop Your Brand Tone
In most cases, the definition of brand tone leaves a bit more room for fluidity than brand voice does. If you change your brand voice all the time, your customer base is likely to get confused about who you are. But if you switch up your brand tone to fit the situation at hand? Your market will still recognize you — they’re just seeing other sides of your brand.
You should think about what sort of content you’re creating at the moment. What’s your segmented audience? Are you communicating through video, where tone comes across much more easily? Or are you communicating in writing, which may require a more detailed explanation of your tone?
Let’s say your brand voice is lighthearted and humorous: you’re the resourceful sidekick. If you’re making a meme for a social media post, go for a tone that’s quippy and clever. If you’re drafting a company memo, your tone can be a bit more authoritative, but you can still sneak in humor here and there when appropriate.
Also, make sure you develop consistent brand tone guidelines for employee communication with your customers. This should also reflect your established brand voice but employ the correct tone for each communication type.
After all, a playful tone might work for a silly social media post. But when a client is calling in with a direct question about why their order is late? That playful tone can make the customer angry and may even suggest to them that you don’t care about the issue. They need to feel heard and walk away from the conversation confident that you’re handling the problem.
Create a few examples of different tones for your team members to rely on based on the specific customer service situation at hand. This helps you to retain your customers and makes your employees’ jobs much easier.
The Right Software Makes Implementing Consistent Brand Tone and Voice Easy
Staying consistent with your brand voice and tone across your full range of communications can seem quite challenging, but with the right software in place, consistency can be easily maintained.
Our customer communications management software enables companies to enforce their brand voice across all channels at all times. With Ecrion’s communication template and asset management features, it’s easy to create content that is entirely in line with your brand voice and tone.
Want to see how that works?
Contact us and talk to our experts about what Ecrion can do for you. Request a demo today and try out our CCM solution for yourself!
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