Brand voice does more than allow companies to communicate uniform tone and values to their target demographic. A strong voice humanizes your brand and helps the consumer connect with your company’s mission and product.
When considering brand voice and tone, a simple question to ask is who would the brand be if it were a person? Once that question is answered, the unique personality of the brand should shine wherever the consumer interacts with the organization, whether it’s a retail setting, on social media, or in television commercials.
The best brands define their voices early and execute it in everything they do, becoming fantastic examples to learn from.
Key Components of Brand Voice
The key components of brand voice are subjective. Each marketing team may describe the work they’re doing differently, even if they are executing brand voice and tone extremely well. Most companies define their brand voice as a mixture of attitude and purpose that creates a recognizable character across all marketing materials and customer touchpoints. This can be a combination of taglines, design, content, social strategy, and more.
Some brands implement their brand voice so well that customers likely recognize it without thinking about it. Read on for four examples of well-executed brand voice from some leading organizations.
Brand Voice Examples
Glossier is a beauty company, but to its loyal customer base, it represents a lot more. Launched in 2014, the cosmetic company initially offered just four products. Since then, it’s been named a top beauty brand by Allure, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and more. How did Glossier grow its loyal customer base? By building relationships through brand voice.
Glossier has more than 1.5 million Instagram followers and almost 78,000 Twitter followers. It also operates a blog called Into the Gloss that features not just beauty products and industry leaders, but also tips for those in their target market about everything from how to choose the perfect candle to what books to read over the holidays.
Glossier’s tagline is “Beauty Products Inspired by Real Life.” The company encompasses what real life looks like for their customers in all its branding and touchpoints, as well as in their product development process. Their imagery features everyday women instead of supermodels or celebrity spokespeople. While big beauty brands have tried to do the same, few have been able to connect with consumers the way that Glossier has through its conversation-based brand voice.
According to Forbes, leaders at Glossier credit their success to what they refer to as the 5Cs: consumers, content, conversations, co-creation, and community. Staying true to the company’s brand voice in everything from product concepts to promotion is centered around a two-way relationship with the consumer. Loyal Glossier customers appreciate the company’s voice while sharing and interacting with the materials in the same way they would a friend.
Advance Your Marketing CareerExplore Degree
Founded in 2011, Blaze Pizza is relatively new to the already crowded pizza chain scene. Yet, according to Forbes, it’s giving some of the top players a reason to be concerned with a 51 percent increase in sales year-over-year between 2016 and 2017 and continued growth in 2018. They rely primarily on word-of-mouth and local press, and they throw big promotional events when a new restaurant is opened to create community excitement. How is Blaze using its brand voice to build an incredible base of pizza fans who choose their franchise over others for lunch and dinner?
From its founding, the company knew it stood for giving customers the ability to make choices that were right for them at a great price. Blaze Pizza uses two taglines: “Intelligent Choices for Our Pizzas, People & Planet” and “Fast-Fire’d.” Both taglines drive home the company’s goal of creating a fast way for people to make affordable and smart food choices. Most of their pizzas, including ones you build yourself, cost just $8.75. Others cost even less.
With a plethora of fresh ingredients, including vegan and gluten-free options, the company illustrates choice in everything it does, making it simple to get the pizza you want quickly at a price point that won’t break the bank.
Visiting the company’s website, you’ll see that it is a no-nonsense organization committed to the customer and the communities it serves. The first line on their brand values page states, “We believe that each of us can benefit from making smarter decisions about what’s in our food, how we treat each other and how we protect this wonderful planet we all share.” A mission that clearly gives the organization’s staff and marketing teams a distinct way to communicate with their customer base.
“Blaze Pizza franchisees and their teams are required to do a number of multi-week training sessions, both before they open restaurants and after, to ensure they are living up to these brand standards.” – Houston Albritton, Director of Training for Millennial Restaurant Group & Blaze Pizza franchisee in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Florida.
DIFF Eyewear is all about charity. While the company’s extensive line features plenty of stylish eyewear designs, the organization’s primary mission is giving back. DIFF Eyewear’s website states, “DIFF’s mission is to use fashion as a force for good.” That mission is exemplified in their work; the company has donated more than 1,000,000 pairs of reading glasses across the globe to individuals without access to proper eyewear.
DIFF’s mission of uplifting others through fashion is clear on their Instagram page, where they frequently share motivational messages about being a force for good in the world alongside photos of individuals wearing their eyewear.
Their message of being socially-conscious is usually listed in their online product descriptions to emphasize the point that the company gives back to those in need. While DIFF Eyewear still focuses on having affordable, stylish lenses for their customers, their voice is that of a giving and connected organization at all consumer touchpoints.
Stitch Fix is an online personal shopping service. When a customer signs up with Stitch Fix, they can either get their deliveries (known as Fixes) on demand or set them to arrive in monthly or quarterly intervals. When their clothing arrives, customers try on and keep the pieces they love, paying only for what they don’t send back.
Allowing a stylist to pick out their clothing instead of shopping for it themselves is a new concept for many shoppers. So, how did Stitch Fix build trust with their customers and build a loyal and growing customer base? A clear brand, of course.
Stitch Fix professionals are called personal stylists, and the company keeps its tone centered around personalization, comfort, and ease. The company’s brand voice is clear on its website where it states, “The Stitch Fix experience is not merely curated — it’s truly personalized to you. We’re here to help you save time, look great, and evolve your personal style over time.”
To further stay true to their brand voice, each Fix arrives with a personalized note about how to wear the clothing they’ve selected, and clients can write notes to their stylists when they order a Fix. A quick visit to a Stitch Fix Facebook group, of which there are many, will show that personalization extends beyond transactions. When major milestones happen, happy or sad, Stitch Fix will often send flowers, gifts, or cards to their customers.
While many competitors have popped up since Stitch Fix’s founding in 2011, none have been able to replicate the personalized voice that Stitch Fix has built its company around. Stitch Fix exemplifies the company’s brand voice by treating their customers as valued friends and striving to make their lives easier.
How to Find Your Brand Voice
While the brand voice examples listed above may make finding your brand voice and tone seem simple, it takes a lot of thought. In fact, a clear and concise brand voice requires concentrated introspection, research, and planning. HubSpot recommends starting by “pinning down your values” and focusing on things such as vocabulary and humor from there.
Teams must be trained appropriately to ensure that they’re conveying their organization’s brand voice in their marketing and customer touchpoints. Remember to share guidelines for the company’s tone of voice and avenues for communicating to the entire organization, not just the marketing department, so your brand voice is clear in everything the company does.
Developing a brand voice may take some effort, but with the right tools and knowledge, any marketing team can bring to life the personality of their brand. To learn more about defining a brand voice and executing it, consider an online bachelor’s in integrated marketing communications or online Master of Arts In Integrated Marketing Communication from the University of West Alabama. With UWA, earn your degree entirely online at one of the state’s most affordable institutions.