How to Nail a Pitch Perfect Brand Voice

Can you describe your brand voice in 3 words? Who you are? What grounds you? How you make clients feel?

I’ve had a few stand-out enquiries come through in the last month – all seeking the same thing. A clear brand persona and voice that can be applied consistently at every touchpoint. Website, emails, blogs, social, newsletters, and ads.

I thought this blog post might help you gain some clarity, so you can embrace your brand personality in your words.

How to Nail a Pitch Perfect Brand Voice Blog

Sing Boldly

When you’re a sole trader, your brand is your competitive edge. Yet, for most – you struggle to identify with your brand persona, and boldly embrace it.  

We struggle with the concept of identifying a personality so close to our own and calling it a brand. We hide the quirks. We bottle up the puns. We settle on the profesh corporate jargon because it feels safe / unlikely to offend.

Safe doesn’t sell sports cars.

What Makes a Solid Brand Voice

Your brand voice sets you apart from your competitors and sets the tone for your brand experience. It’s what makes you different from EVERYONE else out there.

Contrary to popular belief – a solid brand voice isn’t about how funny you are.

What makes a solid brand voice is:

consistency, and

customer experience-driven conversations.

Your brand voice should provide a consistent and reliable experience for your clients and customers at every touch point. To differ or alternate from the song sheet (so to speak) will lead to distrust and confusion.

How to Identify Your Brand Voice

No doubt, you’ve come across other brands or even competitors and thought with dual admiration and envy “I wish I had their brand voice! They’re so fun/quirky/funny/loud!”. And then you fall in a heap, disenchanted you’ll never sound like that. Exhausted by the idea you have to.

The main requirement of a pitch perfect brand voice is that it’s uniquely you.

It’s not for you to replicate someone else’s copy because you think you need to be funny or charming or cool – it’s about embracing your own persona with pride. How?

Start by confirming your:

Brand mission

What gets you out of bed every morning? What’s your why?

Brand values

What drives you? What core values do you want your audience to resonate with your brand? (Think about adjectives like, unique/custom, helpful, entertaining, humble, inspiring.)

Brand experience

What emotion/s do you want people to feel when they interact with or experience your brand? (refer to above – inspired, understood, humoured.)

 Check out these expected behaviours; courtesy of www.sproutsocial.com

Check out these expected behaviours; courtesy of www.sproutsocial.com

Ideal audience

Who do you dream of working with? How do they expect to interact with their preferred brands?

How you respond to these elements is central to who you are and how you’ll speak.

If you’re a one-gal-band, you’ll notice a few of your own core values drive your brand, and that’s OK; you are your business. If you’re an agency or there’s a small team, you might find your values are business specific – and so your voice might include a piece from all of you.

How to Apply Your Brand Voice to Your Words

The fun bit – because it’s all well and good having an idea of your persona – but, it’s easy to come unstuck the moment you try applying your persona to your words! Here are a few activities to inspire your creativity. Think freely. Allow yourself to have fun.

1. Visualise your brand persona as a person (literally)

Just like you would with your customer avatar, draw your brand voice on a piece of paper and flesh them out, visually. Consider it like storyboarding (what writers do with character development). You want to know what kind of clothes they wear, how they style their hair, how they walk, how they make people feel when they walk into a room, what coffee they drink, what they are passionate about, what they don’t like – in essence, who they are – AND who they aren’t.

For example – mine is warm and humble and a touch quirky. She is most definitely not arrogant or dismissive.

2. How does your brand persona talk?

Pop on your eye mask and kick back on the couch - you’re heading into fantasy territory here. You’re joining your brand persona for a casual coffee on the couch. You introduce yourself and the two of you get chatting -

Does she use social jargon and colloquealisms?

Does she use LOL, FTW, and HASHTAGS #lyfe?

Is she professional or is she casual in her language and manner?

Is she witty, sarcastic, dorky, or forever the oracle?

Is she descriptive (metaphors + stories) or straight-to-the-point?

How does she make you feel when she speaks?

3. Design a collection of go-to phrases to refer to in times of need

Working out upfront how you’ll respond in certain situations is key to a clear and consistent brand voice. Not only will you be consistent, having this stuff pre-planned will instil confidence within you, enabling you to sing boldly in pitch.

For example, when someone trolls you or makes a complaint – will you own it like James Blunt, or politely thank them for their feedback and direct them to your customer service line?

Other situations might be, when a client doesn’t fit, when you break up with a client, when you chase invoices; even to simply say thank you in a way that’s fitting of you!

(If you need a deeper dive and more hands on care identifying your brand voice - I recommend checking out Janine Duff's Brand Voice Quiz.)

4. Create content that aligns with your business mission & values

Reinforce your purpose, consistently, across all mediums. What does that look like for your brand persona?

If your mission is to inspire your audience to do {x}, your content might include inspirational quotes, case studies, or stories of people who have travelled the same path to success. Social captions might be longer and more about emphasising the journey.

On the other hand, if your mission is to educate and inform, your content might focus more on thought-leadership articles and industry trend insights and analysis. You communicate from a commanding place of expertise and empowerment.

Neither of which, needs to be funny!

Remember, It's All About that Bass (Brand Experience)

Focus on consistency.

Nothing spells DISTRUST more than a brand who says they are one thing on social but are entirely different in their web copy, email, or in person. When your brand voice, tone, & messaging match your business values and mission you’ll find it easy to spread like butter on warm toast. 

So, when identifying your perfect brand voice, ask yourself – does this feel like a second skin? Does this feel like something you can maintain for years, or, is it so far outside your natural state every time you write will feel like effort?

Ultimately - what is the brand experience you're trying to provide for your audience and is this brand voice helping you achieve that?

Need more inspiration to help lock down your brand voice and values?

Jump on the phone for your 1:1 content consult and unlock a voice that's you-er than you.