Voice ‘n Vibe
We love good vibe. It’s sort of an internal music in our heads that we like to absorb or ponder. We like to identify someone based on a ‘feel’ or an impression that further solidifies a reputation in our memory.
Ellen is easygoing and understated – that makes you feel comfortable and like you’re accepted, no matter what you’ve accomplished or failed at. James is a bit stuck on himself and his chef skills – very serious. Martha has a nice, conciliatory vibe, mixed with an authoritative tone. We follow certain personalities on a social channel because of the way they make us feel. A nice start to our day, some good advice, some entertainment. Unlikely we are going to follow a podcast where someone yells at us like we’re a freshman football team.
Think of any number of adjectives we use to ascribe a tone to, well, people, even:
The same applies to brands. They have a ‘voice’. What type of voice attitude do you think of when I say:
Pepsi? Disney? Apple? The Beatles? Red Bull? Virgin?
See how quickly you perceived, and how you have an impression, based just on the brand name, because their voice has been prevalent? (Heavy duty advertising too, but that’s beside the point.)
Your worksheet has a list of several brands & slogans (as a voice example) that you can examine & assign a voice attribute to. It’s entirely subjective – no grading, here. But it illustrates voice and will teach you to perk your ears up and listen for a tone in the future. You can take apart the psychology a company is using when deciphering their voice. What are they trying to get people to do with that voice?
Your vibe speaks volumes. How you shake hands, your smile, your conversational approach. Because, though, much of your communication takes place in a piece of collateral or on a website, the tone of your content – your voice – must come across and convey your style.
How do you get one? A voice, I mean? Well, chances are you’re already conveying a big piece of your – or your brand’s – personality in your everyday work and promotion. If you’re unsure, take a survey of friends and acquaintances. They’ll let you know.
What you want to do is write like you talk, pretty much. Voice is a memorable element, so it’s best if you don’t make one up. DO NOT sub out the work of writing for your website unless you are working closely with someone who knows you well. Media is so transparent, it’s easy to spot a fake voice. The same goes for social.
When you get them dialed in – when you identify your tone – you won’t have to practice it because it’s natural to you. Just remember to keep it consistent, through challenges and the everyday.
So, we’ve got a story, a philosophy, and a voice ‘n vibe. Crafting a brand that people can identify and remember.
We have two more lessons before we get to the
Defining your Audience & Refining your Message
Grace Studio designs brands, graphics, and websites for artisan businesses. See her story and other stuff here.