6 Steps to Develop Your Brand Voice (with Examples)

6 Steps to Develop Your Brand Voice (with Examples)

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This guest article was contributed by Alex Ratynski.

Developing a strong brand voice is one of the most important parts of marketing. Having a strong brand voice helps you reach the right people, build trust with your customers, earn more sales, and create a recognizable brand. In this article, we’re going to outline how you can develop your brand voice. 

For more help with branding, check out the Branding Briefcase from JUST Creative — they have hundreds of free resources, including eBooks, logo templates, and more.

How to Develop Your Brand Voice: 6 Proven Steps

1. Start by defining your audience

One of the most important steps in developing your brand voice is defining your audience — this is who you’ll be speaking to in everything you publish, so you should keep them in mind every step of the way!

To start, take a look at your website and social media analytics — most web hosting services and social media platforms have these built-in. They can give you breakdowns of who’s in your audience by gender, age, location, and more. If you would like more in-depth information, it might be worth investing in a specialist service. For help with choosing a social media analytics program, take a look at SocialPilot’s round-up of the best social media analytics tools. They outline the costs, pros, cons, and features of a variety of different programs so you can find what works best for your business.

Another great strategy to get similar information is to send out a survey to existing customers to get more information. Send out a survey to your email list and offer them a discount for completion. This will help you get information about your most active customers! 

Once you have this information, you can start to create your buyer personas. These act as representations of your ideal customers and give you a better understanding of who you’re marketing to. Look through your survey results and analytics to determine what is unique about your buyer personas — look for commonalities in gender, age, personality, location, buying style, and the like. 

Engaging your audience is a great way to get more information from your target customer, and therefore can help you define your buyer personas. Take a look at this article from JUST Creative for more strategies on getting your audience involved to boost sales! 

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2. Take note of what your competitors are doing 

Another important step in developing your brand voice involves looking at what companies similar to yours are doing. You want to be able to grab the attention of your target audience and have your brand stand out without straying too far away from industry standards. 

Let’s look at a few different types of industries, and the websites of companies in them, to give you some inspiration.

 

FreshBooks

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FreshBooks, an online accounting software company, serves as a great example of a business with a strong brand voice in the financial industry. For instance, on their free invoice template page, notice a few things — the page is clean and free of clutter, and their copy positions FreshBooks as an industry expert. It’s straightforward, to the point, and easy to understand without being too casual. 

If you work in the financial services industry, keep that in mind! Your target audience will be looking for professional advice and will want you to explain things to them succinctly and clearly.

 

Florin Roebig

Similarly, Florin Roebig, a trial attorney law firm based out of Florida, keeps things strictly professional, which is to be expected from anyone working in the legal field. 

On their website, they have professional headshots of their attorneys in business suits and generally keep the copy limited to the most important information. This type of professionalism is expected from anyone working in law — to showcase your brand voice in this field, stick to offering the most important information in a short and sweet way. You should also avoid any legal jargon, as your target clients won’t always understand the technical terms you might use when speaking to other lawyers.

 

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Excel Builders

Excel Builders, a custom home construction company, has a brand voice that’s warm and informative. Since they build new houses for their customers, they’re constantly working to show that they’re friendly and willing to help build not just a high-quality house, but a home. 

Companies in the property sector should focus on keeping their brand voices helpful, welcoming, and knowledgeable.

 

Best Value Schools

Best Value Schools, a website in the education sector that breaks down the best schools in just about any given category, has a strong brand voice, as well. 

Because they’re in the education field, they are knowledgeable, first and foremost. Their brand voice is also inspirational, ambitious, and helpful — people who read the website will be inspired to find the best school for their needs and achieve their career goals. 

If you’re developing a brand voice for a company in the education sector, be sure to convey how education can help the reader achieve their dreams.

 

Express

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Lastly, Express, a men’s and women’s clothing company, has a brand voice that is all about celebrating life’s everyday moments. 

Because they sell clothing, they want to show their customers that, when wearing Express, they’ll feel comfortable, confident, and ready to take on the day. Their copy is clever and humorous, but not overly formal. If you work in fashion, consider the different types of people you want wearing your products, and how they would want to be spoken to.

3. Conduct an audit of your existing content 

If your company has been around for a while, but you’re only just starting to think about your brand voice strategy, you might have already published a lot of content. It’s worth taking an audit of this — even if you haven’t had a clearly developed brand voice in the past, you might notice different patterns in your copy, blog, social media posts, and the like. Take a look through all of this and see what works and what doesn’t.

Make a note of what you like in your older content, and look through your analytics to see what was well-received by your audience. This will help you determine what you should do in the future and what should be changed. Keep in mind that you can always revisit and update old content when your new brand voice is set in stone, too. 

If you need help keeping your brand voice consistent across your different forms of content, take a look at the content strategy and content brief templates offered by Loganix. These templates can help you find the best keywords, keep track of what content you have published in the past, and give your writers a consistent guide to writing articles.

4. Create clear guidelines to ensure consistency 

Many businesses have multiple people creating their content — if this is the case for you (or even if it might be in the future), then you need to create clear brand style guidelines to ensure consistency. 

When developing your guidelines, consider how your target audience wants to be spoken to. 

It could be helpful to create a series of rules or statements that can give any reader an idea of the voice you’re trying to convey — this can make it easier to follow. Think along these lines:

  • Professional, but not stiff
  • Witty, but not silly
  • Relatable, but not too casual

Think of words that hit the brand voice you’re targeting on the head, then make exclusions. Use these guidelines when writing everything from your Instagram captions to your homepage copy.

5. Revisit and adapt your brand voice regularly 

As your company grows, you might decide to reconsider your brand voice. It’s worth revisiting whatever rules or guidelines you create regularly to ensure that they reflect your audience’s preferences and the voice you want to convey.

When trying to establish whether your brand voice is still suitable, there are a variety of different things you need to keep in mind. For starters, it’s natural for your target audience to change over time — if you find that your brand is attracting different types of people, you definitely need to refresh your brand voice to ensure you’re attracting more of the right customers. 

Check over your guidelines every six months or so to ensure they still work for your company — keep an eye on your analytics to see what types of posts or phrasings work better than others and refresh your style from there.

6. Take inspiration from other brands with strong voices 


It’s a good idea to look at how other brands have adopted a strong brand voice. This will help you determine who has reached their ideal audience and is making sales, providing you with great inspiration to develop your own. Furthermore, it will help you develop the most relevant and effective brand voice to suit your needs.

Let’s look at a few examples of companies that have strong brand voices for inspiration.

Ketoned Bodies

Ketoned Bodies

Ketoned Bodies, a keto-friendly meal delivery service, has a very strong brand voice. Eating healthy can be seen as strict and stressful, but Ketoned Bodies combats that with a brand voice that’s reassuring, authoritative, and friendly. 

Because they sell healthy food, these are very important qualities — dieting can be a tough subject for a lot of people, and anyone working in this industry must make themselves approachable. If you sell products or services that can often be intimidating, take inspiration from Ketoned Bodies to see how you can make it more approachable.

Guardian Home Care Toronto

Guardian Home Care Toronto

Guardian Home Care, an in-home healthcare service provider, has a brand voice that’s trustworthy, compassionate, comforting, and knowledgeable. 

This brand voice works very well for what they do. Healthcare can be an intimidating topic, especially when it comes to putting your loved ones into someone else’s care. By being calm, reassuring, and comforting, their brand voice can secure more sales. If you work in healthcare, keep in mind that your customer wants reassurance that you can take care of them or their family, and having the right brand voice can help with this. 

Dainty Jewells

Dainty Jewells

Dainty Jewells, a women’s and girls’ clothing retailer, has a brand voice that’s very soft and sweet. 

Notice how their copy highlights “comfortable, carefree styles” and “fun in the sun”.  This works well with their clothing that’s modest, playful, and charming, designed for young girls and mothers. If you work in retail, keep your ideal customer in mind when coming up with your brand voice, and you should be able to find the most natural and effective way to speak to them. 

KiwiCo

KiwiCo

Lastly, KiwiCo, a craft and toy subscription service has a brand voice that’s fun, inspirational, and exciting. 

Phrases like “seriously fun” and “there’s no telling what a KiwiCo kid can do” convey to the reader that, by using the crafts created by KiwiCo, a kid can help foster their imagination, enrich their minds with science, and have fun doing it. 

Across their website, their brand voice is designed to excite the reader and get them ready to have fun. If you work in an industry focused on fun, keep this in mind when forming your brand voice.

Summary

Your brand voice will become a huge part of who you are as a company. In this article, we outlined how you can develop your brand voice to get more leads, build your audience, and ultimately get more sales. Take a look at your previous work and the examples we provided and see what work needs to be done!

Need more help with branding and design? Take a look at some of the services that JUST Creative provides. They can help you design a logo, grow your brand, and so much more.

 


About the author: Alex Ratynski is the founder of Ratynski Digital, an online marketing consultancy that focuses on helping small and medium-sized businesses achieve their goals. He set up his company after working as a local SEO director for a dental marketing agency, where he helped to turn clients’ ventures into thriving multi-million dollar businesses. He spends most hours strategizing SEO for his clients. 

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