6 Examples of Effective Brand Voice and How to Establish Your Own

I’ve been talking about brand voice a lot recently, how finding a consistent tone and language helps build trust in your brand and makes it easier to reach the people you want to support. The right tone of voice helps you engage the right people, building trust by getting across your values, personality, and vision so your audience is clear and your communication is consistent.

To look at how this works, I thought I’d identify some brands you’ll recognise and look at how they use their voice across different platforms, to reach the right people, get engagement and build trust.

Brand Identities We Can Learn From

Dove

Dove uses its branding and position to speak positively about body confidence and present its audience with opportunities to make the world better – for individuals and the future. The brand uses a consistent tone of voice to shout (softly but powerfully) about its values of inclusivity and body positivity with empowering, uplifting, and inspirational communication. This positive tone reflects the company’s commitment to promoting a positive body image. Dove’s tone of voice has helped the brand establish a reputation that not only cares about its customers but is dedicated to making a positive impact more widely.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a great example of a brand with a consistent tone of voice across all elements of the business. An email software company could present as dry and technical but, supporting business users of all sizes, Mailchimp has created a brand that is friendly and empowering. Their communication style is helpful, accessible and fun, reflecting the company’s playful and creative personality. Their tone of voice has helped Mailchimp connect with its audience to build a loyal community of customers. And, knowing that building your community is the purpose of your email list, Mailchimp uses its own community to celebrate its users, shouting about their stories and turning the spotlight on them.

Aldi

Aldi are another brand that has successfully created a consistent tone of voice. Their communication strategy is simple, fun, and engaging, reflecting the company’s commitment to making life better for you. As a brand, Aldi supports customers with everything they could ever want – even if they didn’t know they wanted it – while also not taking themselves seriously. Their tone of voice has helped Aldi establish a reputation as an accessible, fun, and reliable brand.

Yorkshire Tea

Yorkshire Tea is a family-owned brand that has been around since 1886 and has become known for its strong brand voice that reflects its core values, motivation, and vision. Focused on “Yorkshireness“, their message reflects a no-nonsense approach, emphasising the brand’s commitment to doing things the right way. Yorkshire Tea uses its platform to entertain and ask important questions – about biscuit dunking, while also reflecting the company’s commitment to trading responsibly and investing in communities in both Yorkshire and the tea-growing regions they rely on. This is a down-to-earth brand, accessible, humorous and with a heart.

RNLI

The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) is a UK charity that saves lives at sea every day. The charity uses a consistent tone of voice to convey its values of community, dedication, and compassion. Their message is powerful – informative, inspiring, and emotional; reflecting the organisation’s active approach, its commitment to communities, and empowerment of individuals. This tone of voice has helped RNLI establish a reputation as a trustworthy and compassionate charity dedicated to positively impacting those it supports.

Innocent

Finally, Innocent’s tone of voice conveys values of honesty, simplicity, and fun wherever you see it. The brand’s communication style is informal and playful, reflecting the company’s commitment to making healthy and delicious products accessible. This tone of voice has helped Innocent build huge recognition and a following who appreciate the brand’s honesty and fun-loving personality.

Does Voice = Personality?

There are a number of elements that influence a brand voice but the personality of your brand will certainly be a part of that – and focusing on the character you want to convey can help you establish how your brand should sound.

Values

While considering your brand personality, let’s think about your brand values and vision. Think about what is important to you, your aims for the company, and how you will go about achieving these aims. Consider the people you want to work with, how would you talk to these people if you met them for coffee? What are they interested in and how will your brand reflect that? Do you want to present your brand as an authority figure, helpful colleague or best friend?

The kind of words which you might consider to define your values are:
Innovative, Inclusive, Knowledgable, Thoughtful, Deliberate, Honest, Supportive, Respectful, Playful, Accessible, Driven, Helpful, Empowering, Fair, Focused, Trustworthy, Active, Determined, Frank, Authoritative, Positive, Open, Quirky, Sympathetic, Respectful, Socially-Minded, Powerful, Cautious, Forward-Thinking, Traditional, or Irreverent.

Tone

Now you can start thinking about the tone and the keywords that will best convey your message to your audience. When you write for your brand, does the way you’re writing represent those values you’ve just identified?

The kind of words which you might consider to define your tone are:
Casual, Conversational, Open, Smart, Sarcastic, Cheerful, Elegant, Affected, Serious, Down-to-Earth, Formal, Witty, Playful, Assertive, Coarse, Edgy, Forceful, Blunt, Caring, Bright, Detail-Oriented, Friendly, Firm, Focused, Directive, Instructional, Pedantic, Simple, Aggressive, Supportive, Helpful, Positive, Enthusiastic, Uplifting, Encouraging, Humble, Direct, Confident, Accessible, Bold, or Current.

Does that sound right?

Once you’ve got an understanding of how you want to be seen and the kind of tone which will convey that, you can create a word bank of terms, phrases, and key blocks of text which reinforce your message. Keeping all this together will help you focus whenever you have communication to write.

Keeping a consistent tone of voice will help you engage people and build trust. By conveying your brand values, personality, and vision through your messaging, you will establish a clear identity your audience will connect with.

Let me know which companies have a tone which you find engaging? And if you’re working on creating your own brand voice, let me know how you get on.