What is brand voice and steps to designing it

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  • January 7, 2024
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Brand voice is one of the elements that helps brands stand out from their competitors because it contributes to creating a unique identity for them. This identity helps an audience trade mark The target will be able to recognize and remember it easily, which contributes to building awareness of this brand in general.

In this article, we explain the concept of brand voice and how companies create and develop it.

What is brand voice?

Brand voice refers to the method that brands use to express themselves verbally to their target audience. It can also be said that brand voice is the rhetorical method that a brand uses to address its audience.

In other words, a brand’s voice is its personality, whether in a figurative or literal sense. Think about the mascot or cartoon character that some brands adopt… You will find, for example, that some of them appear in a cartoon form that addresses children and others in a modern form directed to adults and adults.

Brands for children’s products such as breakfast cereals and candy use characters with a colorful and funny design. This is part of the brand voice for these products, which strives to be friendly and child-friendly, like cute cartoon characters.

The brand’s voice accompanies it throughout its life and does not change except in very rare cases, but it can be developed and improved. This voice also appears in all forms of its communication with the public. This means its appearance in its slogan or logo, its written or video advertisements, and its music.

The appearance of the brand voice in the previous forms takes place on a public scope and a private scope. In the public scope, the brand voice appears clearly and consistently over the years, while the private scope is represented by seasonal advertising and marketing campaigns.

Think about the content that a major brand writes on its social media page or advertising campaigns. There is general content related to the personality or voice of the brand, such as the impact of this brand’s products on its target audience.

Suppose there is a drink whose brand voice appears as a drink of joy. This is the content of the general brand voice, while the special content is represented by a new advertising campaign for this brand that is consistent with the brand voice in general.

Suppose that the brand for this drink launches a promotional campaign for a new drink of its own. This campaign will take the same form as the general brand voice, which is the drink of joy, but it will customize it to be compatible with the new drink.

This could be represented by adopting a slogan for a campaign to promote this drink, such as (Joy is greater with lama). Here, the brand will link lama to the new drink and joy to the beverage company’s brand in a way that makes the campaign’s sound consistent with the brand’s voice as a whole.

Steps to designing a brand voice

1. Defining brand identity

The first step in creating a brand voice is defining Brand identity Clearly, this includes defining the following:

a) Values: The values ​​that the brand adheres to and wants to promote must be defined and identified. These values ​​may be quality, innovation, or sustainability. Therefore, the style that the brand voice uses must be consistent with these values ​​and highlight them clearly and continuously.

b) Message: The core message that the brand wants to convey to the audience must be determined. In other words, what is the main idea or vision that the brand wants to convey to the audience when they hear its voice?

Hearing here is a figurative expression that means exposure to a form of a brand’s voice, such as seeing its logo or watching an advertisement for it.

c) Personality: Companies determine the personality they want their brand to embody. For example, some brands want to be innovative or futuristic, others prefer to be traditional and reliable, while other brands seek to embody a friendly, fun personality, and so on.

The voices used in the brand’s voice must fit the personality that the brand wants to embody in front of its audience. This is because the personality relates to the target audience and tries to attract them to it by appearing in a form and voice that makes them feel that they know and understand them.

For example, if the brand aims to attract young people, using a lively and youthful voice is an appropriate choice for this personality.

d) Target audience: Companies always try to design an attractive and appropriate voice for their brand, and this can be achieved through… Determine the target audience For these brands and understanding their needs and preferences, this helps these companies design a voice for their brand that matches the expectations of their audience.

2. Analysis of the target audience

In this step, companies attempt to fully understand and analyze the target audience for their brand. This includes knowing its finer details such as gender, age, interests, purchasing power, geographical location, and even future plans and aspirations.

In this step, companies also know the audio interests and preferences of their target audience. This means knowing which sounds they respond to and interact with, such as the sounds used in:

  • Display ads.
  • The general tone that companies use to communicate with their customers.
  • Sounds that accompany the user experience in a mobile application or brand website.

3. Identify and design audio elements

In this step, companies identify the audio elements that will form the brand’s voice. In this step, we only talk about the audio elements that literally reflect the desired identity and personality of the brand, that is, from an auditory perspective, this includes:

  • Music.
  • sound effects.
  • Speech sounds (voices of audio or video advertisement performers).
  • The unique vocal styles that the brand relies on (a melodious masculine voice, a playful feminine voice, and so on).

This step also begins with working with professional sound designers to develop and design the brand’s sound. These designers transform and combine the challenged sound elements with the aim of obtaining an integrated and harmonious sound experience.

4. Determine the brand’s tone of voice

Determining the brand’s tone of voice refers to choosing the character or personality that companies want to embody to communicate with the audience. This includes choosing the personal qualities that characterize the content writing style that is used to communicate with the target audience.

Determining the brand’s tone of voice has a special style and method that we will explain in detail later in the article.

5. Test, evaluate, review and improve

After completing the brand voice design, companies test this voice on a sample of their target audience. The goal of this test is to evaluate the audience’s response and measure the impact of the brand voice on it and the extent to which this effect is compatible with what the companies are trying to achieve.

Companies often use surveys to measure the effectiveness of brand voice in conveying a message and enhancing brand association.

Brand voice is not a fixed thing, but can be modified and improved from time to time. Companies constantly review and improve their brand voices to ensure that these voices remain consistent with their vision and, most importantly, with the personalities and preferences of their target audience.

The difference between brand voice and brand tone

Brand Voice is a set of attributes and methods that govern how we interact and communicate with the audience. In other words, it can be considered the principles and directions that define the unique personality and identity of the brand.

As for the tone of the brand, or Tone of Voice, it refers to the way the brand speaks when communicating with its audience. In other words, it is the method the brand uses in writing, verbal communication, and interacting with the audience.

In general, a brand’s tone is considered an integral part of its voice. Perhaps the best definition that explains the difference between a brand’s tone and voice is that a brand’s voice is what the brand wants to say, while tone is the method it uses to do so.

The four dimensions of brand tone of voice

Developed Nielsen Norman Collection Specialized in providing user experience consulting, a method for determining the brand’s tone of voice. This method relies on four basic dimensions that are chosen between while writing and determining the brand’s tone of voice. Which:

1. Formal or informal

Will the target audience be addressed in a formal and businesslike style or in an informal or casual style? Style is not related to the nature of the product itself, but rather to the psychology and personality of the target audience.

There are types of audience that the brands they deal with prefer to be treated formally, even if they are individuals. On the other hand, some companies that are the target audience for larger companies prefer that the latter address them in an informal or spontaneous tone.

2. Serious or funny?

Does your brand tone content style try to be funny or lean towards seriousness? The purpose here is not to write content similar to funny entertainment content, but rather to try to put a smile on the face of the target audience.

Also, serious does not mean a formal or sharp style, but rather a style characterized by a focus on the brand’s voice and features.

3. Is he characterized by respect or indifference?

Is the brand’s tone of voice respectful of competitors and industry themes? Or do you not care about both and tweet alone?

For example, some brands are keen to immerse their voice in trending topics related to their field.

We saw this clearly when most technology companies adopted artificial intelligence applications. Here, these companies formulated the tone of their brand voice around this topic. In contrast, some brand voices are characterized by indifference towards their competitors and sometimes even mock them.

Perhaps the most prominent example of brand voices that are characterized by indifference and sarcasm is that of Coca-Cola and Pepsi, and this appears in the content that both brands create to sometimes mock the other.

4. Is it realistic or enthusiastic?

The brand’s tone of voice, which is realistic, is concerned with telling the facts about its subsidiaries. This includes focusing on mentioning its various successes and the advantages it possesses compared to competitors or in the field in which it competes in general.

This differs from the enthusiastic tone of voice of brands. These brands focus on encouraging the target audience and clearly demonstrating their enthusiasm for the future of their presence and activity in the field in which they provide their services or products.

Finally, it is important to note that the brand tone does not treat the two sides of each dimension as opposites, but rather as two sides of a scale. For example, the formal dimension begins with an absolute formal style and then graduates until it reaches an informal style.

The serious dimension begins with absolute seriousness and progresses until it reaches fun and excitement, and so on.

All content written in the brand’s tone of voice may fall into any area within the previous scales according to its nature. This is because the brand’s tone of voice may change due to many factors, but it is a simple change and may be a comprehensive or radical change.

In other words, the tone of the brand voice in certain content will not take a path that strays from the core qualities of the brand voice itself.

Steps to developing a brand voice

1. Analyze and evaluate the current situation

Companies evaluate their brand voice and measure its alignment with their identity and marketing strategy.

This includes reviewing elements of this audio such as:

  • Slogan or slogan.
  • Audio logo.
  • Music logo.
  • The linguistic style you use to write or speak content.
  • General directions for communicating with the target audience.

Companies also evaluate their brand voice by conducting research into the nature of the market in which they operate. This is done by studying the target audience, the competition, and discovering how competitors speak to their audience and how the audience responds to them.

Finally, companies analyze audio trends (especially recent ones that have been successful with their target audience). Through this analysis, companies can discover new opportunities available to them in the competitive market of their field.

2. Redefining vocal identity

In this step, companies redefine the audio elements that the brand uses to express its personality. This includes reviewing actual sounds such as music and other sounds that the audience recognizes as parts of the brand’s identity.

Redefining also includes reviewing the voice used in writing content with which a brand communicates with its audience, such as the voice used in written or visual marketing content.

Finally, in this step, new characteristics of the sonic identity are identified. This includes the brand’s voice and tone using the four dimensions that we mentioned previously, and identifying the characteristics that reflect the new sonic identity.

3. Experimentation and continuous improvement

After revamping the brand voice and tone, companies experiment with elements of both on their target audience. The goal of this experiment is to obtain audience feedback on the new brand voice and its elements.

Companies broadcast the enhanced or modified brand voice across all of their communication channels. This may include:

  • Its websites and blogs.
  • Its pages on social media platforms.
  • Its advertisements are on television or radio.
  • Her page on video and photo platforms (such as YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram).
  • The method of communicating customer service (live, via telephone call or via written letters).

4. Continuously monitor and evaluate the performance of the new brand voice and improve it

Companies regularly monitor and evaluate the performance of the brand voice. This is done by relying on several pre-determined performance metrics to monitor and evaluate the performance of the brand voice, such as the target audience’s response to this voice and the percentage of their interaction with it and their emotional connection to it.

Companies continue to improve their brand voice based on feedback, changes in the market, and audience preferences. Finally, companies make periodic updates to the audio elements of their brand voice to keep it responsive to recent developments.

Conclusion

In this article, we tried to provide a simplified explanation of the brand voice and how it is designed and then improved in the future. The importance of the brand voice lies in its great ability to attract the target audience in a way that suits the personality and interests of this audience.

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