Brand voice isn’t some vague, fuzzy, woo-woo thing. There’s actually a science to it. You can measure the different components – and then you can mimic them. Take a look.👇
The components of brand voice
To build (or copy) a brand’s voice, you need to understand three foundational components:
- Vocabulary – What words and phrases does the brand use (or avoid)?
Some brands swear.
Some use slang or colloquialisms.
Some speak the King’s English.
Some lean into heavy imagery.
Some use branded phrases (try thinking the words “flame-grilled” without picturing a Whopper).
To mimic a brand’s voice, you have to know what they would and wouldn’t say.
- Tone – This is like the brand’s personality. For example, it might be cheerful, snarky, optimistic, scientific, or silly.
Tone is also related to how the audience perceives the brand. Are they a fun friend? A trusted mentor? A guru to follow without question?
- Cadence – This is the one that trips people up the most. When something sounds almost on brand but not quite, it’s usually because the cadence is off. Put simply, it’s the rhythm of speech – how long or short your words and sentences tend to be.
Here’s what happens when you swap the voices of two brands
This is an ongoing list. I post these breakdowns fairly regularly to LinkedIn, so if you want to see them when they’re fresh and new, follow me there.
Ford and Lexus Voice Swap (click the arrows to scroll through the gallery)
Yoda and Gandalf Voice Swap (click the arrows to scroll through the gallery)
Brand voice goes so much deeper than a brand archetype or persona. Once you dissect it and document it, any content creator worth their salt can mimic it.
This is why brand voice guides are so valuable. If you’re the only one creating your content, it can help you maintain consistency, which builds trust. But if you ever have any hope of scaling, you can’t create all your own content forever.
When something’s gotta give and that something is the time you spend making content, a brand voice guide lets you delegate and disentangle yourself from the weeds. Armed with a breakdown of exactly how to replicate your brand voice, your creators can build content that sounds like it came right from you.
It’s the closest thing to cloning yourself.