Why You Shouldn’t Base Your Brand Voice on What Works for Wendy’s

Why You Shouldn’t Base Your Brand Voice on What Works for Wendy’s

Want to scare your marketer or copywriter in just six words? Repeat after me:

“I want to sound like Wendy’s.”

No, sugar. No, you don’t.

This is not a slam against Wendy’s. They are indisputably the brand master of Twitter, which is exactly why they give marketers such a headache. Their snarky, savagely funny tweets set a viral bar that other companies keep jumping to reach.

My compadres in the industry have all heard, at one time or another, a client without a distinct brand voice saying they want to sound like Wendy’s. Or Nike. Or Patagonia.

The list of companies with copyable voices goes on.

The thing is, you’re not Wendy’s.

And trying to copy their voice comes off fake. You can’t create your brand by just cribbing someone else’s and subbing in your name and product.

Find your unique brand voice

Don’t fret, though. I never take the wind out of your sails without a plan to start your propeller. Here’s what you can do to sound like Wendy’s and still sound like you.

There’s nothing wrong with having role models, so make a list of brand voices you admire.

Don’t copy them. Instead, study what they do and make notes on why you like it.

Is it snarky humor?

Is it a badass attitude?

Is it an inspiring tone?

Figure out why you like each voice on your list, then look for common trends. If you like one brand because it’s snarky but you like three for being inspiring, snarky is probably not the trait that resonates best with you.

Once you have your trends, lay them over your business – who it authentically is and how you want people to perceive it.

Identifying your brand voice is like trying on jackets – you might love one on the hanger but if it doesn’t fit right you need to let it go. Find the things you like that also fit who your brand is and who you’re trying to be.

(Your customer research comes into play here; your brand voice needs to resonate with both you and your audience.)

Think of the brands you love as role models, not templates. Let them guide you to finding your own voice and you won’t have to try to steal theirs.

Not sure what your brand voice should be? Get in touch for a brand consultation. We’ll explore all the elements that make up your brand and create a voice guide to help you and your team create with confidence.

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