Evolve Your Brand Culture: Part 3 - Your Language

A brand should be based on a personality, which means the words that are used in communication, will form its voice and its verbal identity.

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, we looked at defining the history and ethos of this personality, today we look at giving it a voice.

Your brand's language is the vocabulary and diction of your brand - used carefully, it creates a deeper level of continuity in the expression and communication of your product or service.

The words you choose for your brand can communicate an attitude that is as much part of your brand's identity as its logo and name.

The name and strapline are the first steps in the verbal expression of the brand personality. The values and ethos will add passion to the voice and the brand positioning will provide its accent.

We all know how powerful words can be - the language of your brand can be infectious and creep into everyday use when it strikes a chord.

One example where language struck a chord with an entire nation: "GIVE THAT MAN A BELLS."

It is important to develop a brand voice that is consistent across all media - if a voice keeps changing or switches tone from advertising to social media or brochures to the website, a split personality will emerge.

How do I find my brand's voice?

Many business owners understand and appreciate the importance of giving a voice to their brand, but they are not always sure exactly how to do it - here are some suggestions to get your started:

What kind of person is your brand?

If you're finding it difficult to determine what type of person your brand is, ask yourself: which member of The Beatles would my brand be?

  • Ringo - cheeky, irreverent and happy-go-lucky. Steri Stumpie, for example.
  • George - quiet, thoughtful and spiritual. Old Mutual.
  • John - outspoken, bold and mercurial. Nando's.
  • Paul - polite, optimistic and enthusiastic. Vida e Caffè

What accent does your brand have?

Do the vocabulary and tone of voice link the brand geographically to a region? The idiosyncratic use of words and their juxtaposition can place a brand in an era, and a place as well.

If the brand is linked to a renowned region or celebrates a long tradition, a local accent and dialogue could create an authentic voice and enhance the customer relationship.

Think about how Panarottis makes use of an Italian accent, and how Graça uses Spanish phrases in their marketing collateral - they even refer to their Facebook fans as "Amigos".

What signature words does the brand use?

Through repeated use of key words and phrases, a brand can build valuable mnemonic devices. For example, Klipdrift's "met eish", that found relevance to a massive audience of different backgrounds in South Africa.
klipdrift Met Eish
What age group is the brand?

It can certainly help to imagine what age group your brand is and how this relates to your audience.

  • Teenager - chatty, cheeky and enthusiastic. Think, Bos Ice Tea.
  • Young adult - proud, strong and independent. MTN.
  • Middle age - concerned, protective and sympathetic. Greenpeace.
  • Senior - wise, mentor and methodical. Allan Gray.

Whichever language and voice you choose for your brand, make sure it is relevant and that it gets used consistently in all communication channels.

If you need help defining your language or implementing it on your marketing collateral, drop us an email on hello@digitaldrawingroom.com - let's grab a coffee and see how we can help you.




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