Do you think of people when referring to the term “personalities”? Well, you’re not alone. But did you know brands also have personalities?
Yes, like humans, companies make a unique impression, visually present themselves a certain way, and speak with a distinct voice (not literally, though). And personality is essential to brands. It projects a company’s values and lets clients know what to expect.
Brands must keep their look, feel, and sound consistent so customers can easily identify the brand among a wealth of companies and trust it. Brands must also understand their purpose, offering, and mission statement when communicating with their target audiences, allowing people to turn into potential buyers.
As a coach, you must establish a voice representing your practice that you can uphold. This voice is part of your overall communication with clients, and all your interactions should generate trust.
But what is a brand voice, and how can you create a tone representing your company’s offering? Here’s everything you need to know about forming this part of your brand’s personality.
What is a brand voice?
A brand voice is a style a company uses in all communication. A brand uses its voice in marketing materials, email blasts, one-on-one messages, and print materials. Because a company uses its voice in different settings and for varied purposes, it must have a watertight understanding of how that voice sounds. This is called the tone of voice.
A brand’s tone of voice, for example, could be “humorous, down-to-earth, but smart” or “formal, compassionate, and intellectual.” The style depends on the company’s spirit. A coaching practice should, in most cases, sound approachable, confident, and trustworthy.
People often use tone and voice interchangeably, but they’re distinct. Think of voice as your personality and tone as your style. While your personality may remain consistent, your tone can shift according to a situation.
How to define your brand voice
More than creating a voice, you must uncover it. You know why you started your coaching company, who you want to help, and your core values. Those factors define you. Here’s how to extract and convert them into a brand tone of voice:
- Write out what makes your brand unique: List your company’s values and characteristics. Coaching practices, like trustworthiness or honesty, will overlap on some so push further after listening traits. What makes you unique? Is it your knack for motivating clients or your exceptional listening skills? List out items to highlight your unique selling points (USPs).
- Identify your clients’ needs: It’s one thing to understand your brand’s personality and another to present it to others. Perhaps part of what makes you approachable is your sense of humor, but a comedic voice could invalidate your practice’s seriousness. Think about your ideal customer, what they want to hear, and what type of voice they want to hear from. If you’re unsure where to start, do some market research. Find out what content or brands resonate with your target audience, and study what makes the voice behind them unique.
- Consider your channels: As you form an idea of how your voice should sound, think about where you’ll use it. If you write long-form blog content, choose a voice you can sustain for 1,000 words. A voice that’s too quippy or elevated could be challenging to maintain in these spaces. But if you primarily do social media marketing, your voice should resonate in a fast-paced environment and stand out amid distractions. Whatever you decide, establish a consistent brand voice flexible enough to move between channels.
- Document your voice: As your company grows and you hire employees or a third party to help with your marketing strategy, you’ll need to provide your voice’s solid reference. Create a brand style guide that describes your voice and includes examples. Add guidelines like words or phrases you never say and preferred terms.
- Use your voice: Through your brand voice, transform or add texts to your website and social media platforms, and update existing marketing materials. Going forward, follow voice guidelines in advertisements, emails, and blog posts — anywhere you communicate with your customer base.
5 strong brand voice examples to inspire you
Turn to brands you admire and deconstruct their voices. Are they quirky, confident, or academic? Do they consistently use specific terms? Study what you like about the company’s style and why it resonates with you. This will help you create a similar brand experience for your clients. Here are five strong voice examples to start your search:
- Practice: Yes, we like our voice. We worked hard to create an empathetic, approachable, and authoritative tone. We want the coaches we support to know they can turn to us for help and that our mission is to make their busy lives more manageable. Here’s a piece that hits all these marks: “A simple and professional experience for your clients. Everything you need in one place because you don’t have time to tape it together.”
- Dove: This personal care company has long been lauded for its inclusive branding and empowering, mold-breaking voice. Dove’s voice is self-assured, passionate, and straightforward, representing its clientele and values. The following copy from Dove’s site exemplifies the brand’s key voice elements: “We’re partnering with LinkedIn on our mission to end race-based hair discrimination in the workplace.” The message here is confident, to the point, and compassionate.
- Your Kiss-Ass Life by Andrea Owen: Life coach Owen focuses on empowering women and aims to help females combat default behaviors, including validation, numbing out, and perfectionism. Her brand voice is extremely casual, conversational, and empowering. The following copy emphasizes her need to bring a change in women’s lives: “But, I can assure you, once you nail down what your kick-ass life looks like, start practicing it (every day) instead of all the other bullshit behaviors I mentioned, your life will change.”
- Fitbit: Creator of a popular fitness tracker, this brand approaches its audience with a direct, helpful, and motivational tone. The effect is that you’re talking to a wellness coach who’s informed, down-to-earth, and respects your time. The following web copy says it all. “The Fitbit app: free, simple, priceless. Stats, guidance, community & a little friendly competition. It's all there in the app.”
- MindBodyGreen: This lifestyle brand grabs readers’ attention with a persuasive, informed voice that encourages learning and accountability. This style tracks for a company that guides users through health and self-care. Check out the brand’s article titles, like “Your Blood Pressure is Probably Inaccurate, Says an MD,” for an idea of its tone.
Building a brand isn’t easy, but Practice can help
Determining your coaching services (whether one-on-one sessions, group packages, or both) is one thing, but figuring out other aspects, such as voice and tone, is another ballgame. But we’ve created a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to help coaches and small business owners streamline administrative tasks and free up time for what matters: client interaction.
And we didn’t stop there. We created a library of educational materials on our blog to help entrepreneurs create a brand identity, launch a coaching business, and market their services. Try Practice today.