Branding, Tone, Messaging  /  5.31.16  / 2-min read

Finding Your Brand Voice: 3 Questions to Ask

On any given Calypso day, I’ll spend the morning writing for a local boutique and the afternoon writing for an international corporation. Quickly switching gears from flowery language to tech-heavy text can be jarring, but I have a few tricks that help me find my way to the brand at hand.

Whether you’re just getting started or simply looking to tackle your upcoming writing project, here are three questions to ask yourself when trying to find your brand’s voice:

 

1. Who is my audience?

 

You’ve likely already defined your audience – you understand whether you’re selling to tweens or grandparents. But are you writing your materials (whether web, print, social) for that audience? Or are you playing it safe and keeping it formless?

 

For example: Let’s look at the Twitter bios for two distinct brands:

 

  • Forever 21: “Show it off with #F21xMe Snap Us @Forever21”
  • AARP: “AARP is leading a revolution in the way people view & live life after 50 / Member Helpline: 1-888-OUR-AARP or mcsupport@aarp.org

Essentially, these two brands are using their bios to provide contact details to their followers. But their tactics are wildly different and distinctly customized for their audiences. Before writing their super-short bios, they thought about exactly who is reading their content on Twitter and then tailored their words accordingly.

 

Another key lesson: Even something as simple as a Twitter bio needs to reflect your brand’s voice!

 

 2. How do I want my brand to be perceived?

 

Unless you’re hawking one-of-a-kind wares, you likely face competition. So how can you use words to stand out from the crowd? Ensure that your customers see you the way you want to be seen? Focus on what makes your brand different and sprinkle it throughout your writing.

 

For example: Dollar Shave Club, who competes against the likes of Gillette and Schick, knows a little something about making their old-fashioned shaving tools stand out in today’s modern world. Listen to the bullet points that describe their razors:

 

  • “Reliable - this is the ’82 wagon that starts when it’s below zero”
  • “Full 90-degree pivot head hugs the turns, surges you onward”
  • “Special trimmer edge built in for the professional”

Typically, product stats are cut, dry, and dull. But Dollar Shave Club imbues every line of text (and of course, videos) with their unconventional voice, clearly differentiating themselves from the competitors at every turn.

 

3. Is this engaging?

 

You want your wording to be consistent, clear, and targeted – after all, your audience needs to understand your message. But you also want it to excite your audience.

 

For example: Online outdoor retailer Moosejaw.com actively works to engage their audience by “aiming to be the most fun outdoor retailer on the planet.”

 

Every line of text from Moosejaw plays up this mission of fun. Their recent advertisement of a shoe (named “Hedgehog”) says “15% less adorable than an actual hedgehog but 60% more durable and now 25% off.” Instead of just advertising a discount, Moosejaw inserts their mission of whimsy into their promotion.

 

Writing for your brand doesn’t need to be overly tailored, unconventional, or quirky (like these examples), it just needs to be targeted for your audience. No matter what you’re writing, it’s always important to spend a few moments finding that your brand voice.

 

Looking for more writing tips?

 


Post written by

Amy Tetreault

SWOT Analysis Template

Conducting a SWOT analysis can help a company be successful in a competitive marketplace. You’ve got to know yourself before you decide where you’re going!

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