Does Your Brand Voice...Have a Voice?


I served for two years as the VP of Programming for our local chapter of the American Marketing Association. It was my job to oversee the events and speakers and marketing subject matter experts that we booked for our membership.

Marketers talk all the time about brand voice, and rightly so. It's a powerful concept. Brand voice is "the purposeful, consistent expression of a brand through words and prose styles that engage and motivate....The personality of your brand is determined, in [some] measure, by the words you use and the sentences you write."

But not entirely.

Voice humanizes brands.

Voice humanizes brands.

The actual, physical voice you choose for your brand has a superpower: Voice humanizes brands. When well played, it gives the words and sentences character without caricature.

If you list your top three favorite sounds, I'd bet at least one of them is the voice or laugh of someone you love. When we rave about our favorite singer, we don't fawn over their words or their consistent sound. We say, "Oh my GOD, what a VOICE!"

Ironically, voice actors don't get enough credit, even at the highest level. We think of, for example, James Earl Jones' voice, when in fact he plays his voice like a Stradivarius, and rarely gets enough credit for his voice acting.

The music of the human voice communicates exponentially more than through the words it speaks. 

Spoken voice has tone. Texture. Tempo. Pitch. Voice is the human instrument, and it can play every note and chord in the symphony of emotion. It's often the first sign of friend or foe. Love or anger. Joy or despair.

It is impossible to think in terms of "brand voice" without considering your brand's physical voice. This is why it's so important for brands to achieve clarity in their brand voice, and just as incumbent upon voice actors to strive to understand, interpret, and quite literally bring the brand voice to life.

When both of those conditions are in place, that's when the magic happens.