Brand Voice and Tone – What are They & Why are They Important?

Banner symbolizing brand voice vs brand tone of voice

How a brand positions itself and how it communicates with its target audience are two cornerstones of marketing. Without good brand positioning and communication, you’re left shouting into an endless digital void of uninterested consumers…

A brand’s voice and tone of voice are both important aspects of its personality, allowing it to stand out from its competitors and resonate with its target audience.

What is a brand voice?

A brand voice refers to a brand’s broader personality, what its beliefs are and what it values. A brand’s voice stays consistent across all communication channels and therefore creates a sense of character and familiarity that consumers resonate with.

Among other things, a brand’s voice includes its personality, its values and beliefs, its mission, and its (back)story. It is always based on your target audience and brand positioning.

A brand’s voice is similar to a person’s character/personality. A person can change their tone/demeanor depending on the situation they’re in, but their personality stays the same.

If someone is trustworthy, sincere, and formal, then these character traits will be visible regardless of the situation. They will act in accordance with these traits, even though the way they express them may differ.

For example, when at a funeral, this person will have a calm and sad demeanor, but they will still be trustworthy, sincere, and formal. When attending a friend’s wedding, this person may be excitable and happy, but they will still possess the same character traits.

The same is true for a brand since its voice will remain consistent regardless of the setting/situation.

A graphic containing ticks and speech marks to symbolize a great brand voice

Why is a clear brand voice important?

In a marketplace that’s ever more crowded, differentiation is vital. It can be the difference between your business succeeding and flopping.

A clear brand voice allows you to differentiate yourself from your competition, making it clear to consumers who you are and what they can expect from your brand.

It’s also an important part of improving brand loyalty, as a clear brand voice helps you resonate with your target audience. When your brand voice is tailored to your target audience, it helps create lasting connections with them.

Wouldn’t you rather choose a brand that shares your values and beliefs, and talks to you in a way you like and understand?

Examples of great brand voices

The most effective brand voices portray a clear personality throughout all of their communication, be it internal or external. It becomes a vital part of their company culture, making it easy for new employees or new customers to (subconsciously) understand.

Below are some examples of companies that have done just that!

Innocent Drinks

Innocent Drinks is commonly featured in brand voice articles online, and for good reason! They have one of the clearest company voices around and it can be seen in every aspect of their communication.

Image of Innocent Drinks' homepage to demonstrate their brand voice & tone

Take a look at their website. As you can see, everything from their images to their web copy is in sync and clearly demonstrates their brand voice.


This is another great brand with a strong voice. Harley-Davidson’s website shows their brand and what they stand for clearly and effectively.

Image of Harley Davidson's homepage t demonstrate their strong brand voice.

What is a brand’s tone?

Brand tone is the tone in which your brand voice is portrayed. Even though a brand’s personality and values don’t change, they may portray them differently depending on the situation.

For example, a brand may show their sincerity on Pinterest in the form of fun infographics about how their product truly helps their customers. Their posts could be fun and maybe even a little silly, while still showing that they care.

On the other hand, in a press release about a recent data leak, a company may show its sincerity in a more serious way, all while maintaining the brand’s overall values and personality traits.

Your brand’s tone can be different on different marketing channels or in different situations.

A graphic symbolizing brand tone vs brand voice with speech mark and recorder at one side and musical notes and tones on the other.

The difference between brand voice and brand tone of voice

Once you understand what both brand voice and brand tone mean, the initially vague difference between the two quickly becomes clear. Where a brand’s voice is a combination of their personality traits/beliefs/values and remains consistent, a brand’s tone can differ depending on the situation/setting.

If a brand’s voice is their personality, a brand tone is how this personality is portrayed in different situations.

Brand voice and tone of voice for small businesses

Now, it’s all well and good that large companies manage to create clear and effective brand voices, but what about small businesses?

In actual fact, the smaller your company is, the easier it is to develop an effective brand voice.

It can actually be your advantage over larger companies since it will be easier for you to maintain a clear brand voice in all of your communication.

That being said, it can be difficult to create brand voice guidelines if you’re new to the concept. Luckily, there are some great articles available online that can help you develop a great voice for your brand.

This article by Nikola Flemming is a great place to start, as she not only explains the concept in great detail but also shows you how you can develop your brand’s voice. This post by Marketing Insider Group also offers some great tips and is worth checking out.


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Freelance SEO Expert and Digital Marketing Freelancer

With over 6 years of experience in freelance SEO and digital marketing, my primary goal is to assist business owners in attaining their marketing objectives and achieving the results they want online.

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