How do you convey brand values while staying head and shoulders above your competitors? The secret is simple: speak with the client in their language. To do this, you need a brand voice.
Brand voice defines how you communicate with customers. Do you want to inspire them? Or do you want to sound formal and create the corresponding image?
When you connect with the audience, you make them believe in what the company does. And that’s what makes the brand voice successful.
On this page, we show you outstanding brand voice examples in e-commerce and provide tips on how to develop your own.
Brand voice overview
Your brand’s communication style is directed at your target audience. And you have to decide what it will be at the initial stage of forming the brand image. You’ll connect with your potential buyers and customers via several channels, such as:
- TV commercials;
- social media;
- email newsletters;
- and, of course, the website.
That’s why your prospects need to identify the company as an old friend from the first words they encounter. Brand voice can help you with this. Each organization develops its communication style to be recognizable among hundreds of competitors. The voice tone can be:
- or whatever you like, provided it seems true to the brand values and persona.
Why do companies pay so much attention to brand voice? It creates a bond between a business and a client. And an emotional connection encourages consumers to leave more money than uninspired and distant content. In the end, it’s not so important what you say, but rather how you do it.
Five Strategies to Develop Your Superb Brand Voice
1. Begin with defining your target customer
How do you make your brand voice resonate with customers? The brand voice should reflect how your target clients communicate in real life. For example, if you target teenagers, you may use slang. Before doing anything, make sure to know who your consumer is:
- Demographics: age, income, education, children or their absence, where they live, and gender identity are all factors to consider.
- Psychographics: where they shop the most, lifestyle, values, hobbies, personalities.
Google Analytics helps you get information about website visitors and other critical insights such as:
- which channels the target audience is using;
- the content they’re most interested in;
- all the needed demographic information;
- other insights.
This allows you to make more data-driven decisions when you adjust the brand voice planning process.
Note that attracting a relevant audience is just the first part of your journey. The site should load fast enough, which requires optimizing Magento performance or any other CMS of your store. Without this optimization, even your loyal customers will bounce without converting.
2. Consider your price
What’s the right voice for your price point? It may seem easy to answer, but it’s critical. For example, the tone of voice for high-end luxury products should be a little more formal. Why so? A casual style might weaken the perceived quality of the items, which is terrible news if you’re asking for thousands of dollars.
Let’s assume you’re dining at a fine restaurant. You pay hundreds of dollars for the meal. Soft music is playing in the background. Would you expect a waiter to pat your back and say, “What’s up, fellas”?
If your products are more down-to-earth, there’s more freedom in the brand voice.
3. What emotions do you want to convey?
In the pursuit of sales, companies may miss an important detail. How do you want the customers to feel?
Some brands make you feel light and hopeful. Others motivate, sympathize, or make their buyers feel elegant or sassy. The key is to delve deeper than terms like “glad” or “good.”
A recent study has shown that a customer’s emotions influence not only individual purchases—they also increase the chance of becoming loyal and encouraging others to do so as well. An emotional connection led to double the spending compared to customers who were simply content with the product.
4. What role do you want to play for the customers?
If your company were a person, what kind of relationship would that person have with your customers? We can play various roles. Are you a teacher? Or maybe the life of the party, getting everyone enthusiastic about having a wonderful time?
Ideas for brand roles include:
- tour guides;
- motivational speakers;
- or role models.
If you can answer this question, you’ll better understand how the brand should communicate with your customers.
5. Match visual branding with your voice
Many businesses start with their visual branding. So, if you love your visual identity (and your customers do, too), make sure your brand voice complements it.
Are your brand colors bright? If so, stay away from a dreamy and soft tone of voice and opt for a lively, punchy voice.
What Should You Avoid While Establishing the Brand Voice?
1. Using redundant words
Check the definitions and synonyms of terms you’ve chosen to define your brand voice. Do the words have similar meanings?
For example, “amusing” and “entertaining” are only slightly different. Pick the most relevant words for the company in order to clearly articulate the desired brand voice.
Buzzwords are terms that are popular at a particular time or context. Why do avoid them? They lack longevity. They appear everywhere, so they quickly become annoying, pointless, or confusing. That’s why these words won’t do a good job of defining the brand voice.
I think the most prominent example of a buzzword in the voice tone is “authentic.” Look through your brand voice list. Do you have it there? Replace the term with a less commonly used synonym such as “truthful” or “reliable.”
Make sure the tone of your brand voice and the words are in harmony with each other. What if your strategy includes both “cheerful” and “academic”? Then, the point of your message is missing. Below, I will show examples of how e-commerce brands become successful thanks to a well-chosen strategy.
4. Generic phrases
How often do you visit a resource and see “a team of professionals,” “we will quickly and efficiently do [insert any service or product],” or “we listen carefully to our clients”?
We come across such words on websites about selling apartments, installing software, sewing clothes, etc.
What’s their common feature? You can substitute any store or product in the sentence, and the meaning won’t suffer.
These are all general phrases to avoid. In any case, shouldn’t every firm be competent and knowledgeable by definition?
Hardly anyone will write about their incompetence in the “About the company” section. Therefore, such phrases aren’t going to help you develop a distinctive brand voice.
Four e-commerce brand voice examples
NARS is a premium cosmetics brand inspired by French Vogue. And French Vogue implies high fashion. The company knows how to emphasize its fashion heritage, being famous for its elegant tone.
Do you see this deluxe touch? They treat their buyers as “NARSissists,” which is the brand’s promise the global audience seeks.
2. Benefit Cosmetics
Unlike NARS, Benefit’s philosophy is to communicate easily and humorously with customers. The company’s slogan is “Laughter is the best cosmetic.” And therefore, the main goal of the brand is to lighten the audience’s mood.
Sassy, witty, and girly colors are what you’ll find in their social media and digital advertisements. The leitmotif of the brand’s voice is to establish a friendship. That’s why we can see the usage of slang and other colloquial expressions.
You can also feel the Benefit energy reflected in its packaging and naming. For example, the foundation lines “Dr. Feelgood” and “Hello Flawless.”
Lacoste is famous for high-quality clothing with a smart-casual design. They appeal to an audience that loves classics and laconism, knows its value, and isn’t chasing fast-changing trends.
And that’s what the company conveys in their ads: “you can never be too spoilt.” It means luxury, but not a kind of luxury you can’t attain. Instead, it’s luxury anyone can access. Anyone can enjoy being part of the club.
4. The Sak
The Sak aims to improve the world through thoughtfully crafted accessories and ethical processes. The brand associates communities with fabric, where all the threads are connected and form a unique masterpiece.
Below, you can see The Sak’s new design mark. It illustrates connectivity and three brand pillars:
- People: ensuring a meaningful work/life balance for employees and building long-term relationships with craftspeople, partners, and customers
- Planet: supporting nature-related charities
- Product: reducing environmental impact with the help of sustainable materials and processes
How do you develop a powerful brand voice? Speak directly to customers and build a strong community. Be personal and honest in your tone of voice. The right voice will satisfy your client base and lead not just to increased sales but also to loyalty, which is resistant to any adversity on the market.
Consistency is crucial, but don’t neglect flexibility. Once you’ve achieved a stable flow of visitors and customers, utilize tools like Google Analytics to see your customer preferences and structure.
Are you ready to have your say? Speak!
Kate Parish is the chief marketing officer at Onilab, with over eight years of experience in Digital Marketing in the sphere of e-commerce web development. Kate always aspires to broaden her competency in line with cutting-edge global trends. Her primary areas of professional interest include SEO, branding, PPC, SMM, Magento PWA development, and online retail in general.