A brand's tone of voice is an aspect sometimes overlooked by emerging brands. To define its voice, a brand can start by characterizing its personality, its core values, and the emotions it wishes to evoke in its audience through its copy. Brand tone of voice is the personality and 'vibe' conveyed through your company's communications. It transcends visuals. It's about how you speak to your customers, the words you choose, and the feelings you evoke. A unique brand tone of voice can enhance customer engagement by making each brand encounter feel unmistakably familiar.

Indie Brand Founders: Consider What Feels Most Like 'You'

The most common observation we've had from working with indie beauty brand founders is this: 9 times out of 10, an indie beauty brand represents the personification of a founder's own personality and values. So, indie beauty brand founders looking to define their voice often already have the answers to chart their way forward.

Sometimes, framing a question in the third person is the best way to start. The simplest, yet great question to ask yourself is: If your brand was your best friend, how would you define their personality? This exercise aids in humanizing your brand and deciding how it communicates. From there, you can move forward to define the ways of speaking that sound aligned with that personality.

Fenty Beauty's tone of voice echoes the raw energy and confident authenticity of Rihanna herself.

Ensure You've Already Defined Your Brand Identity

Before crafting your voice, you must deeply understand what your brand already stands for. This includes your mission, vision, and the brand value proposition that sets you apart from competitors. Your visual identity should be based on these factors, and therefore, your brand tone of voice or verbal identity should be no different.

Nécessaire's brand value proposition centers around the idea of elevating body care to the same level of importance and quality as skincare, underscoring the belief that the skin on our bodies deserves as much attention and care as the skin on our faces. I describe the brand as minimalist, sophisticated and get straight to the point. This is emulated through both their visual identity and their copy in every way.

Remember Your Audience

Your brand tone of voice should also be relatable to your audience. Don’t forget to consider the communication style that would resonate with them too. A voice aligned with your overall brand identity (which they likely already resonate with) will ensure you’re on the right track.

Aim to evoke specific emotions in your audience through your tonality. Whether it's a sense of calm, excitement, or empowerment, the language you choose will play a pivotal role in creating this sentiment. This will help you choose the words and phrases that resonate with your target demographic, ensuring relevance and connection through your copy.

When Nuddy first launched to market it delivered a down-to-earth and playful tonality for eco-concious audiences that resonate with all things lighthearted and fun.

Craft Brand Tone of Voice Guidelines

Everyone should be singing from the same songbook. Developing detailed guidelines for your team and agencies that cover on-brand tone of voice and language will ensure your vision for the brand is respected. The guidelines should delve into examples of what type of copy is on-brand and what’s off-brand, providing the guardrails for your teams and agencies to create copy that's aligned.

Let the Refresh Begin

Once you have a clear idea of your brand tone of voice, it's time to ensure consistency across all your brand touchpoints and revamp old communications that will continue to live on. Website copy and product descriptions can be refreshed straight away, and consider packaging and print collateral copy that could be revamped in the near future.

A compelling beauty brand tone of voice is a powerful tool in your arsenal for creating a distinct brand experience, separating you from other beauty brands on the market. By following the steps outlined above and committing to consistency in delivery, you can help make your brand unforgettable. If you're looking for inspiration to define or refine your beauty brand's voice, you're welcome to book a strategy session where we'll share our perspective on some of the pathways available to your brand to help sharpen its verbal identity: Click here to get in touch.

Author: Effie Asafu-Adjaye
Effie Asafu-Adjaye is the Founder of Beautiful Sparks. Beautiful Sparks helps beauty and fashion businesses get more fanatics in love with their brands, by refining their brand strategy, messaging, branding, content storytelling, and community-building strategy. Read more about Effie here. Linkedin | Youtube