Your brand voice conveys what you stand for and creates certain perceptions about your company. It’s an important element of your identity, second only to your logo. It might well become a game-changer when it comes to brand association and recall because it can make you stand out in a clutter of competitors.
A consistent brand voice reflects who you are
Upmarket, inspiring, caring, conservative, peppy? How your company sounds in commercials impacts what people think about you. The accent, tone and pace of the voice sends specific signals to listeners and creates associations that get reinforced by frequent exposure to company advertisements.
A foremost marketing goal is to create trust, and the right voice helps establish the confidence that drives consumers to take action. This could be signing up for your newsletter, requesting information, or buying your product.
Whether you’re a new business or an established one wanting to update your brand image, a focus on communicating correctly will help drive acceptance and create or retain your customers’ trust.
Effective storytelling is therefore mandatory. The right voice also serves as a differentiator. It helps bring in audiences that have a need for your product or find your product more relatable. By using skilled voice actors, your commercials and videos can tell impactful stories. You’ll present a compelling business case. By the same token, you also need a strong visual identity.
Just started your business? Identify your target audience
Your audience’s core demographics are the starting point. Consequently, age range, gender, level of education and income, and – if relevant – race matter.
- Find out their interests.
- Determine what content they consume the most.
- Discover their social media habits, and how they spend their extra income.
- A well-rounded understanding of your target audience will help you brainstorm productively on brand voice and initiate voice over projects to disseminate your brand identity.
3 quick tips on finding your brand voice
1. Determine 2-4 reasons why people should consider your brand rather than another. What can you offer that other can’t, or what do you do better that existing competitors?
2. What language does your target audience speak? Besides the actual language of communication, identify the dialect, accent and jargon that are instantly relatable to your audience, encouraging them to sit through the full length of your video/radio commercial and absorb your message.
3. Craft a great story. Unless the story has an emotional connect with people, the story-telling will fail to have much impact. If you’re putting out a video, then compelling aesthetics help create a cohesive image of your brand, and together with the brand voice, help realize the business value of creating the video.
Characteristics of an effective voice
An appealing brand voice is authentic and unapologetic. It is geared to the target market. If you sell luxury items, a refined voice is likely to woo your audience. If you sell consumables, your intention is to appeal to everyone, a broad audience that cares as much about price as quality. A friendly tone and pleasant accent may be a good choice.
Once you have determined the type of brand voice to apply uniformly to all video and/or audio marketing collateral, the next step is to hire professional voice actors.
Voice actors should fit the brand
A wrong choice of actor for your brand commercial will attract negative publicity. Be careful! Give the same amount of consideration to VO specifications as the content of your commercial. One can bring down the other or work in harmony with it.
Your brand voice mustn’t jar. This can happen if it isn’t appropriate to your brand image. A young-sounding and unpolished voice for a high-end service or entrenched company won’t work. Neither will a somber tone for a product or service geared to a young or general audience.
Big brands invest considerable time, energy and money figuring out every element of a commercial. As a result, the brand voice should be as closely assessed as the creative concept and imagery.
Never forget that it’s virtually impossible to make a first impression great more than once. Choose your brand voice well!