September 25, 2018
What Is a Brand Tone?
If your brand were a car, what car would it be? What actor or actress best represents your brand? Is it intellectual, motherly, or educational? Knowing what you want to say to your target audience is only half the battle. These can be tough questions to answer for many brands but they are an important step in identifying how you want to communicate with your audience.
Every time your business launches an advertisement, updates a website, speaks at a conference, or posts on social media, you showcase your brand voice. Branding is based on developing a specific voice for a company’s external communications, and that voice needs to be consistent across all of your marketing channels.
Just like you would concept several designs for your brand logo, it’s always smart to define and strategize the voice your brand uses to communicate to your target audience. In a perfect world, everyone would recognize your logo without any content, but unfortunately we know that’s not the case for most brands out there.
Why Is It Important?
Defining your brand’s tone is important for several reasons. The first is that it humanizes the brand and is an expression of the people behind the brand. It also builds trust. It’s a well known fact that there are strong ties between familiarity and trust, so familiarizing your audience with your brand’s tone of voice in addition to your key messaging, values, and aesthetics goes a long way to building that trust. Trust then leads to the ability to influence and persuade—which is what you are ultimately trying to do. Use your brand’s influence to influence the buying decisions of your target audience.
The good news is that there are a plethora of tools you can use to communicate your brand’s tone to your target audience. Companies can use publishing platforms like blogs and social media to help distinguish themselves from every other brand. Grey Matter can help you define your brand voice in this blog, so your tone is consistent and easily identifiable.
The first question to ask yourself is this: If your logo didn’t appear with your content, could your audience identify the content as coming from your brand? Would someone viewing your content on different channels know it all came from the same brand?
If you’re not careful, you can end up with a random assortment of voices and tones in the content produced across your marketing ecosystem that doesn’t provide a consistent picture of your brand, or even use the same language consistently.
Finding the right tone for your company is no small task. There are lots of factors to consider. Should it be contemporary or classic? Pragmatic or motivational? Sexy or cutting-edge? And what exactly do any of those characteristics even mean?
Values, Vocabulary and Personality
The first step is defining your values. What does your company stand for? Why does it exist? What is your brand’s mission and point of view? These are questions that should be easily answered. For example, Grey Matter’s core values are balance (#workhardplayhard), open-mindedness, metrics-driven, accountable, and love to work as a team. These values shape the copy that we create—it’s fun, irreverent and colloquial but also data-driven and filled with educational information.
A brand voice is about being consistent with the voice you are creating—positioning yourself as an easily identified and authoritative source for your area of expertise. Similarly, a consistent brand voice and vocabulary is essential to implementing localized content and intelligent content strategies effectively. Not only do you need to strategize about messaging, you also need to strategize your words, the range of your vocabulary and the rhythm and pace at which you expend it in your outbound communications.
In addition to values, you’ll also need to determine your vocabulary. According to your values, should you use formal or informal language?
Formal: We’re thrilled to inform you of a newly released infographic on defining your brand’s tone.
Informal: Check out this new brand tone infographic packed with tips and tricks for standing out from a crowd.
You’ll also want to think about the use of colloquialisms and slang, as well as technical language.
Brand Tone Exercise & Brand Tone Guide
A brand tone exercise can help you define the different elements of your brand voice from the get go. At Grey Matter, we always begin with the brand tone exercise before making any creative recommendations, and it is an important step in our process as it provides valuable insight into our clients’ desired brand voice on any given channel, be it patient collateral or social media graphics.
We're offering a FREE Brand Tone Exercise consultation exclusively to our subscribers. You can use the information you glean from the brand tone exercise to create a brand tone guide and ensure that your content presents a consistent and unified experience for the end user across all digital and traditional marketing channels.
Click below to set up your Brand Tone Exercise consultation today!