Finding Your Brand Voice

Communicate More Effectively with the Right Tone

Jen Brown  /   Jun 28, 2016  in  Design + BusinessNewsletter    

Have you ever opened a promotional email and thought:
“was this really meant for me?”

Across many channels—email communications, websites, social media—your brand’s voice is the first point of contact for your audience. Is yours working as hard for you as it could be?

An effective brand voice is the difference between the joyful anticipation of opening a message from a trusted friend or family member and the indifference of casually deleting a spam email. Even when a company’s product or mission resonates with us, if their brand voice feels “off” and out of touch with our wants and needs, we’re much more likely to relegate them (usually permanently) to our spam folder.

On the flip side, there are some branded emails we’ll open again and again (whether or not we intend to buy or donate) simply because we know we’re interested in what they have to say. So how do you get your brand there?


Every brand’s voice should be tailored to and appropriate for their audience, therefore the first step to creating an effective brand voice is finding out more about your target audience. Whether you conduct this research yourself via survey or pay for external market research, get to know the people you’re trying to reach. In addition to basic demographics like age, sex, location, education, and income, more nuanced characteristics like where they shop, what they eat, what apps they use, and what TV shows they watch (to name just a few) can provide incredibly useful insight in learning about your audience.

So, what’s next?


Talk about your brand, product, or company to your audience in a way that will resonate with them. Here are some questions to get you started:
• Is your brand friendly and approachable or does it exude a cool elegance? Is it warm and open or privileged and exclusive?
• Are you hoping to inspire joy, laughter, empathy, inspiration?
• Are your sentences lengthy and descriptive or short and pithy?
• What about the language itself—is it colloquial or refined, conversational or explanatory?


Above all, consistency is key. All of your communications—from emails and websites to social media and postcards—should feel like they are coming from the same brand, person, or organization. This establishes a sense of trust and familiarity and, importantly, sets a precedent of what they can expect from you.

Pro tip: Once you’ve established your voice, develop a style guide to share internally that outlines the voice and guidelines for how to discuss both specific products as well as the company as a whole. This way, you can make sure your brand always has its best face forward.

We’ve utilized some of our client’s brand voices
to reach their audiences more effectively.

Sesame Street

Sesame Street Brand VoiceSesame Brand Voice
Sesame Brand VoiceSesame Brand Voice
Sesame Street’s iconic branding and voice are immediately recognizable to people of all ages. For their campaign to launch Sesame Street Go, a mobile app for their video on-demand program, this email series stayed true to their basic brand tenets: authentic kindness and a tone that is simple and informative while also warm and engaging.



Montefiore Brand Voice
Montefiore, a nonprofit healthcare system in the Bronx, recently asked us to help create their email communications program. Montefiore’s brand voice conveys expertise, professionalism and empathy to their audience of donors and potential donors. They wholeheartedly believe that everyone deserves quality healthcare, regardless of their ability to pay. Authenticity and approachability are also crucial to their communications and in order to provide that, they need the support of likeminded people.



SoBe Brand Voice
Named after South Beach, a trendy neighborhood in Miami, SoBe’s teas and juice blends are enjoyed by youthful, energetic, adventure seekers. This recent email series launched a new look and feel for the brand that engages and encourages their loyal customers to take action. With a younger audience, it was important to capture their attention quickly. In order to complement the colorful graphics and not overwhelm the reader, the copy is short, edgy and to the point. 


Jen Brown

Jen Brown is a trusted partner for copywriting and editing at Hagopian Ink. She helped create a distinctive brand voice and strategy for our email marketing and brochure messaging for Montefiore. Jen has tremendous experience writing for non-profit organizations including Human Rights Campaign, Covenant House, Citymeals-on-Wheels, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, and Panthera.

Fundrasing dinner for our client, Montefiore
Fundrasing dinner for our client, Montefiore

2016 Marketing IMPACT Awards finalist
Montefiore's Motivations Magazine is a winner!

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