14 May Improve your brand voice
There is always room to improve your brand voice when writing for your small business. Your writing style and tone, along with your vocabulary, express your business personality, and help you connect with your customers. I was reminded of this when my daughter recently ordered an Oodie (one of those oversized, supersoft, weird hoodie–blanket hybrids that seem to be a must-have for teenagers at the moment).
The personalised Oodie confirmation email I received had such a strong brand voice and big personality. Much like the Oodie itself.
‘As I’m writing this email to you, one of our Cuddle Consultants is hand-picking your new Oodie.
‘They will gently place your brand new Oodie on a conveyor made of clouds, where it’ll be swiftly sent down to the Processing Room.
‘There, our team will brew up some hot cocoa, light a candle (our current fave is warm vanilla), and put on their Oodies before inspecting yours for the three most important C’s: cosiness, comfort and convenience. Your Oodie will be gently fluffed up one last time, wrapped up in a satin bow, and carefully packed with hugs and love.
‘Like I said, we’re serious about cosiness over here – there’s a strict quality control process!’
Who Gives a Crap
Another business we love here at BBG is Who Gives a Crap. Other than having a great purpose, product and packaging, they have a well-honed brand voice. This is from their About us web page:
‘Sure, we love puppies and sunny days and walks on the beach, but our real love is toilet paper. Why, you might ask?
‘First of all, it’s funny. Lots of room for toilet jokes, which we love.
‘But really, we love toilet paper because for us, it’s our way of making a difference. We started Who Gives A Crap when we learnt that 2.4 billion people don’t have access to a toilet (now 2 billion – yay for progress!).’
And they do love their toilet humour. ‘We, the poopers, are calling for a revo*loo*tion’ is the intro to their Earth Day blog post.
Who Gives a Crap’s team is introduced as ‘Our super dooper team’. With titles such as Customer Happiness and Wine ‘Enthusiast’ and Growth Marketing and Serial Snacker.
Having a fun, wacky personality was a deliberate strategy when Who Gives a Crap was conceived. Of course, not all of our businesses can have this kind of personality.
The Archetype wristwatches
The Archetype wristwatches kickstarter campaign uses a friendly, fun and witty brand voice. It was written by a professional copywriter I follow on Twitter (@yesnoum). Which shows it can pay to engage a copywriter to improve your brand voice. (The Oodie and Who Gives a Crap would have used professional writers too.)
‘We believe that people live on through their artefacts and the stories they invoke. No artefact tells the story of a gentleman more succinctly than his wristwatch.
Our mission is to create the artefacts of a gentleman – affordable quality, versatile timepieces intended to become heirlooms; the antithesis of disposability.’
‘Don’t let the sleek and stylish exterior fool you – the Archetype refuses to conform to the practical limitations of a dress watch. Hardy materials and 10 atmospheres of water resistance means it’s up for anything you can throw at it. This is a dressy tool watch. Think Chuck Norris in a designer suit. It doesn’t need a weapon, it is one.’
Tips to improve your brand voice
So how can you improve your brand voice? Here out top tips:
- Your brand voice stems from your brand personality. So keep your brand personality keywords or vision board on hand as an easy reference to remind you what your brand is and how it would ‘speak’.
- Vocabulary is important. Think about the words your brand uses and write them down. For key words, write a list of words with a similar meaning, e.g. The Oodie would have all the synonyms for soft and fluffy at their fingertips. You can also write a list of words you don’t use. The words that aren’t on-brand, or have the wrong connotations.
- You should also have a list of key messages. The lines and phrases you always use to reinforce your branding through words. Key messages ensure consistency of messaging and thus the right brand voice.
- Write and then rewrite. Perhaps multiple times! You can hone your phrasing, tone and words as you go, improving your copy. The more practice you have at writing in your brand voice, the better.
- Be consistent. You are the only person who is going to see all of the content written about your business. While it might be tempting to get creative every time you write, it is better to be repetitive to ensure a consistent message.
- If you are able to, invest in a professional copywriter to help you with your key comms, such as your website and automated emails.
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