Making It Know

How to Create a Compelling Brand Message and Voice

The way your brand communicates with the world is as important as its visual identity. Learn how to develop a brand message and voice that differentiates you from your competitors and drives engagement with your target audience.

What is brand messaging?  

Brand messaging is a standardized way of communicating your value proposition to customers. A strong brand message consistently reminds your target audience of:

  • What value your brand brings to their lives. This can be a problem solved, a desire fulfilled, or a new need addressed.

  • How you go about adding that value. These are the methods you use that differentiate your offering from competitors’.

  • Your brand’s mission and vision. This is what compels you to do what you do and lays out your ultimate goal.

By creating an ongoing pattern of communication with your target audiences, you can shape the narrative of your brand. Taking these steps to control your reputation is a key part of brand building.

Craft a strong brand message

Your brand’s value proposition—or what you aim to deliver when someone buys your products or services— is one of the most important aspects of developing your brand message. A strong brand message will clearly communicate what your audience will get out of a relationship with your brand.

This information should be reflected in your brand slogan. You may or may not choose to place it next to your logo on all your branded communications. However, its essence will run throughout everything you say about your brand—because your brand message will also focus on how you intend to deliver your value proposition. What will you do to make it come true?

Let’s take Lolasana, a fitness and yoga studio, as a hypothetical example of an evolving brand narrative. The company’s value proposition is, “Wellness is a journey.” The implication is that their studio offers options for those looking to make a long-term change in their lifestyle.

Over the years, Lolasana’s brand slogan has changed due to growth in demand as well as the shifting landscape of Covid-19 pandemic. A more recent slogan is “Wellness where you need it.” This implies that they now offer virtual classes to help support their clients and future customers looking to work out without leaving their homes. 

Lolasana’s brand narrative regularly highlights customer testimonials as well as expert advice on why working out leads to better mental and physical health. The message is consistent, rooted in a clear proposition that’s exemplified by the content they share across their channels.

When crafting your own brand messaging, you should be looking to achieve that same level of consistency.

Differentiate brand message and voice

If your brand message is what you have to say to the world, your brand voice is how you go about saying it. Your brand voice brings the personality of your business to life and helps your audience understand your brand and how they relate to it.

Does your brand have a sense of humor, or is it more somber? Is your tone more casual or more formal? Defining your brand character as if it were a person nurtures familiarity with your audience and makes your business more relatable, more likeable, and more enticing. 

Create a brand tone of voice

In order to develop a strong tone of voice, it’s essential to know your audience. Having a clear understanding of your target audience’s needs, motivations, frustrations, and touchpoints where you interact with them will help you to shape your brand message in a way that speaks to the right people and drives engagement.

Let’s say your brand personality is peer-level—your tone will likely mirror your audience. That is, you’ll sound like them. If your brand is nurturing or guiding instead, then your tone of voice will probably be more authoritative and informative. 

Tone of voice can be different across platforms. For example, your tone on social media might be casual and friendly, a blog might be more educational or informational, and a whitepaper might require a formal or professional voice.

Decide how you want your target audience to experience your brand, and craft your brand tone of voice to influence their perception.

Segment your brand tone of voice

When you build your target audience, start to segment it into different personas, representing the different types of people who’ll buy from you. Though your brand message will not change, you may want to adjust your tone slightly to make sure it resonates with each persona equally.

Imagine you’re running a real estate business. The way you communicate with a first-time homebuyer will be different from the way you communicate with an experienced homeowner. The former will need to know a little bit more about the homebuying process, whereas the latter will want to get straight into the details.

The secret to developing an effective tone of voice is in making sure you deliver a consistent brand message that’s as compelling to one key market as it is to the next.

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