Why Brand Voice: A Best Practice of the Best Brands

Today, as never before, marketing managers have to make constant choices about what to prioritize. It’s reasonable to ask, “why voice?” The simple answer: because it works.

Think of almost any leading brand and a few key impressions come to mind – a unique product or service, a logo and color scheme, an overall persona or big idea. With the strongest brands, something else occurs too – a key phrase, a bold message, an overall tone.

Whether it’s the happy hipness of JetBlue, the steady reassurance of American Express or the family-friendly vibe of Disney, just a few words are enough to let us know who we’re dealing with. This is brand voice.

It’s how language is used intentionally to create a distinct identity. With so many brands competing for attention, voice is a powerful way to rise above the raucous marketplace. Yet, voice is still more often a “maybe” than a “must.” It’s left to individual creatives and copywriters to fill in the blanks.

A succinct brand voice strategy removes the randomness by helping answer “what do we wish to communicate and how do we wish to sound?” It maps out topical points and tonality to guide your writers and communicators. And, it encompasses messaging and guidelines to enhance consistency. The result is a more unique, uniform and unmistakable presentation of your brand across all the copy and other verbal content you convey.

The analog to visual brand standards, voice provides the tools and content to ensure that your language supports the overall strategic intent of your brand. What’s more, it brings focus to something you’re already doing – all the written and spoken communications you currently produce.

Perhaps the best proof of the value of brand voice is not a “what” but a “who.” The most powerful brands have adopted and mastered the methodology of voice. To be your own best possible brand, voice is a best practice waiting to be applied.

Copyright 2014, M Thomson, mark@thomsonbrands.com

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