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What Is Your Brand Voice and Why Does It Matter?

Monday 16 March 2020

11 minute read

By Sarah Burns

If you work at a marketing and design agency as I do, you’ll know just how important it is to stay ‘on-brand’. But away from agency life, it can be easy to forget just how crucial your brand is to every single element of your marketing.  

‘Brand’ doesn’t just refer to the colours you use or the logo that sits at the top of your website or brochure. 

Branding is an umbrella term for everything that encompasses your organisation... 

For instance, Iceland (the frozen foods shop, not the country, of course) is the brand it is because of its recognisable, simple, red, typographical logo. But it’s more than that - what else is synonymous with Iceland? The staff uniforms and simplistic ‘up, down’ layout of freezer aisles has probably sprung to mind too. 

Another example - JD Sports. You’re probably thinking of black and white brand colours and that circle element that makes up the logo. But what else? You’re thinking younger people, ‘trendy’ clothes and the ‘trendy’ music that plays in-store to match. You may even picture the iconic Adidas and Nike logos, often associated with JD, or the premium-brand trainers and sportswear found in-store and online…

You see, branding doesn’t just focus on the graphic elements of a logo or the colour palette of your company - it’s the people, the company ethos, your offices/shop floor, the way you speak…

The way you speak and translate your brand messaging/ethos is actually pretty crucial. Imagine Iceland putting out ads with the youngsters found in JD Sports ads, and Peter Andre the face of JD Sports. That’d be a strange alternative universe…

Similarly, imagine a formal, traditional, long-standing, (dare I say ‘stuffy’?!) business launching a website with slang and colloquialisms. It would not sit right with anybody. Least of all the customers that expect formalities and to-the-point advice and support.

Your brand voice - whether you realise what yours is or not - is probably in the hands of your marketing team. Whoever is responsible for putting out your content on social media, on your website and in local news bulletins is likely your brand’s voice box (and they may not even realise just how crucial their job is to your brand’s longevity and reputation). 

If your branding, as a whole, is outdated and irrelevant to the audience you now serve, the products/services you offer, or just simply ‘lost’ in a sea of competitors, or other work that has recently taken precedence, it might be time to review your brand (and, with it, your brand voice). 

Your brand voice - and how you use it - can, quite simply, make or break your business’ reputation and the impression it makes on potential customers, current customers and suppliers or partners. 

It’s a bit like putting on your phone voice, or how you change the way you speak (and words you do/don’t use) with your company, like your parents, or your friends… Your brand voice doesn’t necessarily sound like you as an individual. But every individual in your business should be able to adopt the brand voice as required - within marketing materials, at networking sessions, with clients, etc… 

If you’re looking to refresh your brand, undergo a rebrand, or better understand your brand voice - and how marketing should align with your brand - speak to Thrive’s creative team today - we’re always happy to help! Call our team on 01325 778 786. 

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