How do you know if your brand’s tone of voice is effective?

An effective brand tone of voice can lift a business. Bad copywriting can drive a CMO crazy.
But how do you know if your brand’s tone of voice is being effective? What are the metrics you should look at?
Previously, we talked about what 3 ‘input’ KPIs your should track for your brand voice which will show how effective your brand writing processes are.
But is your brand voice welcoming or keeping customers away? What should you measure when you want to know if your brand’s tone of voice is effective?

How do you know if your brand's tone of voice is effective?

Here are the 3 output KPIs for measuring how effective your brand voice is.

  1. Brand Voice Awareness

What it means:  Awareness and recall is considered by some marketers (and Bryan Sharp) as one of the best drivers of making consumers buy. Making sure consumers are aware of your brand voice is a good part of this.
How to measure:  Just as with more general brand awareness measurements, surveys are a proven way to measure awareness of a brand voice. This time, ask consumers if they remember anything written in your sector, and ask if they recognise any of your copy when you hide your logo and other visual identity elements.
Remedies to improve it: You want your brand voice to make sure your brand sounds like it’s in the right category. But after that you need to find the unwritten ‘rules’ of the category which you can break to get your voice heard. If no one is noticing your brand voice, you’re spending too much just getting heard and it’s time to try and find something different to say about the category or find a different tone of voice for how you talk.   
  1. Perception of Brand Voice Values
    reading webcopy and How do you know if your brand's tone of voice is effective?

What it means:  Your brand is your story, but it’s also your margin. And your brand is built on its distinctive (and we hope, meaningful) values. Understandingyou’re your brand voice is amplifying or smothering those values can help you make your brand communications more effective.
How to measure:  Use qual research groups. Ask people what they think of the different values your brand is projecting. Compare this with your competitors.
Remedies to improve it:  Focusing your brand voice on a limited set of values is important. Is your tone of voice definition too vague? Is it out of date? Are your brand values out of date?
Special note: Remember to ask the participants to review work from a number of your different channels. Is the brand voice amplifying your values in some channels better than in other channels?
  1. Thought Leadership Perception

What it means:  Every brand voice needs to engage. But before it can do that, it needs to attract attention. But there are different kinds of attention and the most valuable is where you’re attracting consumers because they see your brand as offering a newer view. How much do consumers perceive your brand voice as championing Thought Leadership is critical when you’re using your brand voice to help reposition your brand.
How to measure:  You can mix online quant surveys with qual methods. What you’re trying to measure in particular is how much your brand voice is seen to be challenging the status quo in your sector.
Remedies to improve it:  We recommend defining your content strategy to decide which moments will reinforce your brand and which will force reconsideration.
But to do that, your brand voice needs to be able to flex. So defining your brand voice on all 3 levels on which it operates is critical. Take the time to look at the 10,000ft level where you define your brand voice’s narrative: decide what you stand for and importantly: what you’ll say you stand against.
Special note: Not all brands need to assess how much their brand voice is associated with thought leadership. But we don’t expect brand’s communications to have significant impact if their voice isn’t being heard or being looked to as a source of original thinking.

How do you create an effective brand tone of voice and keep an eye on it?  

Creating an effective brand tone of voice starts with creating effective brand voice guidelines. When they’re right, you can save hundreds or thousands of writers’ hours every year.
But the, how do you keep an eye on your brand’s tone of voice effectiveness on a regular basis? It’s tough keeping up with what your brand voice is doing when it’s now operating in so many channels. Reviewing your brand voice once a year is a good way to make sure it’s engaging and adding value to your brand. If you want to measure it more often, talk to us about creating a dashboard of key brand voice metrics which will help your brand voice stay effective.

How do you know if your brand's tone of voice is effective regularly with a dashboard for brand voice KPIs

Your brand voice will always be one of the fastest, most agile marketing tools you have. With more channels than ever before and more consumers wanting to be in a dialogue with brands they like, it’s good to know what’s happening in brand language and how you can help your writers be more effective: sign up for monthly insights in the form below. If you’d prefer to talk right now, hit the big red button and arrange a Chat with Chris, our CEO.

About Verbal Identity

We are writers, strategists and linguistics experts: super-specialists in the magic and mechanics of language. We know how language creates thinking. And how – if you shape the language of your company, your comms and your customers – you shape what people think and do, read more…

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