In the world of branding, everything has a label. Every aspect of your brand can be determined within a brand guideline. However, terms like “brand tone” and “brand voice” are very often used interchangeably even though these concepts carry different meanings and both play crucial parts in shaping a brand’s identity. It’s important that brands know that brand voice and brand tone are two separate components of a brand with each of its own significance and characteristics.
What Is Brand Voice?
Simply put, brand voice is the personality and values of your brand. More specifically, it’s how a brand showcases its personality and values through communication. It encompasses the unique blend of qualities that make a brand recognizable, relatable, and authentic. Just as how each human has a unique personality that makes them themselves, brands have voices that reflect their identities. This is basically to establish a solid relationship with the target audience, encourage brand loyalty, and set the company apart from the competition.
Elements of Brand Voice
So what makes up a brand voice? These are a few of the aspects that contribute to determining your brand’s voice:
1. Brand Personality: This refers to the human features and traits associated with a brand. Is the brand funny, intelligent, caring, or forward-thinking? Defining the personality of the brand assists in determining the proper tone and language to utilize in communications. Overall, the brand personality also helps give uniqueness to a brand.
2. Brand Values: The core values and beliefs that a brand represents. Integrating these principles into the brand voice helps create an emotional resonance with the audience because consumers identify with brands that share similar beliefs. This in turn helps foster brand trust and loyalty.
3. Brand Messaging: A brand should always have a messaging system. What message do you want tot get across to the consumers and how do you want to do it? A brand message has to be comprehensive, concise, and overall coherent to the target audience.
What Is Brand Tone?
Brand tone on the other hand refers to a brand’s mood or the brand’s voice depending on different situations or communications. Just as a person’s personality stays the same while their tone changes according to the time of day or circumstance throughout the day. So, similar to that, a brand needs to express specific messages in certain ways to effectively get the message across. The goal of a brand tone is to elicit the wanted emotional responses from an audience, resulting in a deeper connection and resonance.
Elements of Brand Tone
Let’s get into what changes or goes into determining a brand tone:
1. Emotions and Attitude: This refers to a brand’s ability to express emotions such as excitement, empathy, urgency, or reassurance. The emotions used are determined by circumstances and the message being delivered.
2. Language Style: How do you want to communicate a certain message in this particular situation? Aside from emotions and attitude, this refers to the vocabulary or sentence structure. This determines whether the brand’s voice wants to be formal, casual, technical, or poetic in a certain situation.
3. Tone of Voice: This encompasses how a brand showcases its personality using specific emotional tones to express itself to its consumers. It conveys different attitudes, emotions, intentions all through communication.
Examples of Two Different Brands’ Voice & Tone
As it’s tagline, “Think Different”, it’s no wonder that their brand voice is confident and simple. To compliment that, their brand tone is upbeat, conversational, and confident. This perfectly portrays the integrity they want to showcase as a brand to their clientele.
Nike’s famous tagline is, “Just Do It”. It clearly shows that their brand voice is positive, friendly, and motivating while their tone is inspiring and motivational. This nicely reflects the values the brand want to portray to its target audience.
Relationship Between Brand Tone and Brand Voice
As mentioned before, although they are not interchangeable, they are sort of interdependent and intertwined. The brand voice establishes the foundation by defining who the brand is and how it communicates, whereas the brand tone offers the emotional depth required to properly communicate that identity. Consider the brand voice to be the personality guidelines, and the brand tone to be the emotions added to that personality in various contexts to convey a message effectively.
How to Develop Both of Them
There’s a process to creating a brand voice and a brand tone. Beforehand, a brand should very clearly know the insides and out of itself to properly build this. Some of the steps include:
1. Defining Brand Identity: Develop the brand’s personality, beliefs, and key messages.
2. Knowing Your Target Audience: Determine the preferences, needs, and communication styles of the target audience to properly resonate with them.
3. Building Voice and Tone Guidelines: Create a detailed brand guideline outlining the brand’s voice characteristics and the associated emotional tones for specific situations.
4. Ensuring Consistency: Educate the team on the brand’s voice and tone, and make sure that all messages across any platform through any communications are consistent.
Brand tone and brand voice are two different things. Your brand voice is your personality and your brand tone is like your current mood and can change depending on the situation. They can’t be interchangeable but they do work together, connect and help each other out in a way, harmoniously. By understanding the difference and applying this to a brand identity, a brand can curate consistent content that can result in a better outlook. The brand gets to establish an outlook that resonates with its audience and this, in turn, creates longer-lasting brand-consumer relationships and foster brand loyalty. Even establishing a simple tone and voice for a brand can make it 10X better. So, wait no longer and come build your brand voice and brand tone with CR8 Consultancy. We always want the best for your brand.