How We Do: Talking the Talk, aka Brand Voice

By Summer Teal Simpson Hitch

A visual brand experience (logo, type, color, illustrations) can take you only so far. A fully expressed, cohesive brand weights the verbal brand experience as significantly as the visual.

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Think about your own appearance. You put as much consideration into how you look as you do into how you sound, right?

Our premium design work put Focus Lab on the map. But somewhere along the way, we realized that our best branding projects couldn't thrive in the wild without further consideration given to the full presentation of the brands. Without strategy-informed definitions of brand voice, messaging, and tone, a brand experience could feel flat, unaware, confusing, unfinished, and undirected.

As a result, we dedicate time and process to defining voice (the personality of who is speaking), messaging (what to communicate), and tone (how things are communicated, the mood and orientation). At a project's end, these assets are presented in a Communications Style Guide, which also includes technical writing specifications.

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Where the visual Brand Guidelines document is a vital, longstanding reference of technical design guidelines, the Communications Style Guide serves as longstanding reference for anyone crafting language for their brand: writers, publicists, marketers, advertisers, content strategists, etc. It outlines carefully-decided rules around writing style, diction, and connotation, as well as the who, what, and how.

Remember, the personality of your brand is determined, in large measure, by the words you use and the sentences you write. Be sure that isn't sacrificed or undervalued in favor of the "pretty stuff."