Does your voice match your visuals?

Check if your branding feels consistent to your audience in 4 steps

If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ll likely have produced a fair bit of content so far. Emails, social media posts, videos. Perhaps you’ve got a website up and running or a landing page for your new product or service.

And while there is always a lot to think about as a small business owner (trust me, I hear you!) having consistent branding can make your life a whole lot easier.

You’ve got the brand colours, a logo, and great writing to support you… but how do you know if all of it matches up to give you a consistent brand?

Don’t stress. I’ve got you.

What is branding (in a nutshell)

Before we can decide whether your brand is consistent, we need to make sure you’ve got a solid understanding of what ‘brand’ or ‘branding’ is.

It’s a cheeky little word that pops up all over the shop with reams of information online, but when you break it down, it’s fairly simple.

I love Oberlo’s definition: “Branding is the process of creating a strong, positive perception of your company, and its products, in your customer’s mind.”

So, your brand is how your company appears, reacts and responds to anything and everything. It’s the way your company makes people feel, what you’re known for, and why.

And it’s made up, in part, of your mission, values, visuals and voice. (Again, in a nutshell.)

Sportswear brand Nike’s branding is inspirational, empowering and fierce. But compare that to Tala (same industry) and you’ll find a more conversational, disruptive and fun brand.

So what’s the deal with brand voice?

You may be wondering why I’m highlighting brand voice when you’re on a website all about brand visuals.

But the two go hand in hand and I think it’s important to share because one, brand voice is kinda my jam, and two, it can throw off all of the hard work your visuals have done to bring people in if it's not done well.

Because brand voice is the way your company sounds.

Written or verbal, it’s the way you communicate outside of the visuals, the bit that creates a deeper connection with your target audience.

It’s the place you can let your brand’s personality shine through and yes, it needs to reflect the overall feeling of your company.

How to check if your brand voice matches your visual branding

Now, if your brand voice and brand visuals don’t align with each other, things can start to get a bit iffy.

Imagine a brand with super bright, bold colours and lots of animation (like Innocent Smoothies) coming at you with formal, corporate style language. It would be weird, right?

It would create a disconnect between what you’re looking at and what you’re reading. And in some cases, this can cause distrust with your audience.

So let’s suss things out.

One: What are you aiming for?

Think back to your company’s mission, values and purpose. Why are you doing what you do? What do you want to achieve? How do you want to help your customers or clients?

We want to figure out if the sentences, words and visuals we use match the vibe and the personality we’re aiming for.

Write down 4 - 5 personality traits that sum you up as a business. Here are some examples:

  • Personable

  • Conversational

  • Punchy

  • Vibrant

  • Authorative

  • Sassy

  • Ethereal

  • Functional

  • Relaxing

Two: Audit your current brand voice to see if it’s doing its job

As an example, let’s say you’re a wellness coach that wants to inspire women to feel confident enough to take back control of their health.

Look at your social media captions, website copy (words), emails, check-out pages etc. and analyse how you’re using your words.

Do they make women feel at ease, understood and empowered? Or do they feel intimidating and out of reach?

Take a look at what you’re putting out there right now, and think about whether they represent what your company is all about based on the step above.

Three: Look at your current visuals

We can then use the same personality traits to take an eagle eye to the visuals. Do they give off that same vibe and personality?

If you’re unsure, call in some favours.

Ask an outsider (someone that doesn’t know your business inside out) to view your website, social media accounts, a designed email, etc. Just the visuals, so your graphics, logo, photos or colours.

Ask them to feedback to you what overall feeling your brand gives them. What words spring to mind when they scroll through your feed or through your website?

Ask your audience (customers, clients, followers) the same thing – you can do this through your social Stories or a feedback form, whatever works for you.

Note down all of the words they say.

Four: Compare the results

What words did people feel when they looked at the visuals of your branding? Do those words align with the voice you currently have, that you identified earlier?

Do you feel that both your visuals and your voice reflect the personality you decided on in step one?

If yes, great! Your brand voice matches your visuals and you’re off to a flying start.

If no, there are some options here.

Either you need to tweak your visuals because you’re happy with your voice

(you’re in the right place if so, get in touch with Khrissie at Co.Lab Studios, here).

Or, you need to tweak your voice to match up with your current visual branding. Which by the way, you’re in luck here, too. As that’s my jam.

to get started in just one hour.

If you found that things don’t quite match up, please don’t stress.

Branding takes time. I know that, you know that (deep down), and if you’re a one-person show or even a small team, it can feel like an overwhelming task.

So my advice? Start slow.

Go back to your overall vision for your business and really think about what it is you do, and why. Spend some time getting clear on the big picture and take it from there.

Did you find this helpful? I’d love to know. Hit me up on the ‘gram if you like, I’m pretty friendly.