You’ve got the message. Give it a voice.

Brand messaging sometimes seems tough, but it’s actually very intuitive.

We all talk to each other. We all have:

  • Something to say

  • A voice to say it with

  • Ears to hear with

Your brand voice is no different. We’ve given our brand something to say — it’s consistent and true. Now we have to give our brand a voice.

“Brand Voice” is another way to say “how your brand sounds.” Your brand voice has to be:

  • Unique

  • Brief

  • Appropriate

  • Clear

But, to keep this simple, let’s just pretend Barnabas was a person. So, what are the parts of a brand voice?

  • Its style — What’s our “vibe?”

  • Its tone — Is the voice right for the setting?

  • Its relevance — Is now a good time?

We are finding the Barnabas voice sweet spot. The same is true for brands. Finding your brand’s voice is defining its “sweet spot” for communication.

Once we understand how our brand does and does not talk, we should write them down. I recommend a voice rubric:

For example, D. White & Company is:

  • Helpful, not pushy

  • Clever, not crude

  • Smart, not know-it-alls

  • Two steps ahead, not 10

  • Researched, but not academic

I didn’t invent voice rubrics. Marketers like me use them all the time. Remember: A good message is a focused message. The human brain can only hold on to so much information. Your message needs to be simple, memorable and easy.

Look at these the next time you write something for Barnabas. How does it sound? Want bonus points? Read it out loud. Look at these whenever you consider customer service. We are slowly, surely teaching our organization to speak with one voice.

This will take time. Don’t be discouraged if it seems like a major effort. A little message each day goes a long way.