Branding goes way more than choosing a logotype and color scheme. A brand is the soul of a product. Please note, a product is anything you can offer to the market: a good, service, an idea, your know-how…
A product without a brand is nothing more than a commodity. Easily acquired, easily replaced, easily forgotten. Branding gives it a personality that is felt at any point of engagement with the product. Good branding can achieve this with even the most subtle elements. Think of Apple, Coca-Cola, Snickers…
Through your customer journey, there are countless moments, opportunities to leave a lasting impression, something that they will remember you for. Something that will leave a mark.
What are the brand’s tone and voice?
These might sound like synonyms but are actually really different.
Brand’s tone is the feeling behind the complete verbal and non-verbal communication: words, visuals, sounds. It’s the vibe your customers perceive when they engage with your product.
Brand’s voice is the choice of words. It always needs to work in tandem with your brand’s tone, successfully reflecting the feeling of your brand.
Let’s say that you sell jewelry and that your brand tone is exclusive and mystical. The voice of your brand in that case will use words like surreal, convergence, once upon a time, her possessions, precious, and etc.
How to find your brand’s tone and voice?
To start we need to travel back in past and meet Carl Gustav Jung. Jung was an early 20th-century Swiss psychologist who, among other works, developed the theory of collective unconscious and archetypes that describe universal and recurring mental images or themes of different collective personalities.
Jumping back to the present day, we mostly apply it to literature, but we can apply it to anything, including brands. The twelve archetypes are:
- The Lover – humanism, passion, conviction, intimacy
- The Hero – courage, perseverance, honor, mastery
- The Magician – omniscience, omnipotence, discipline, power
- The Outlaw – independent, virtue, owes no favors, liberation
- The Explorer – curious, driven, self-improvement, freedom
- The Sage – wisdom, experience, insight, knowledge
- The Innocent – morality, kindness, sincerity, safety
- The Creator – creativity, willpower, conviction, innovation
- The Ruler – omnipotence, status, resources, control
- The Caregiver – honor, selflessness, loyalty, service
- The Everyman – grounded, salt-of-the-earth, relatable, belonging
- The Jester – funny, disarming, insightful, pleasure
We can visualize these archetypes by 4 core actions: providing structure, spirituality, leaving a mark/legacy and seeking connection.
Archetypes are the starting point in creating your brand’s tone and voice. However, the starting point of the branding process altogether is understanding of your audience. Seth Godin put that nicely “It doesn’t make any sense to make a key and then run around looking for a lock to open. The only productive solution is to find a lock and then fashion a key.”
- Brand Voice Examples, Omnisend
- Brand Archetypes, Brands by Ovo
- This is Marketing, Seth Godin
- Writing 101: The 12 Literary Archetypes, Masterclass
- What are Brand Archetypes, March Branding