Cultivating Brand Voice
Why Do I Need a Specific Brand Voice?
Each restaurant brand voice we develop for our clients is unique, just like their restaurants. Their brand voice is an extension of their brand as a whole. This is because your brand voice is a customer touchpoint. Your customers can interact with your business in many different ways. Reading your messaging, whether on your menu, in your email campaigns, on your social media, or in your social media posts, is a place where your customers get a taste of your brand.
Your restaurant brand voice defines the style of your messaging. You want your brand voice to represent who your restaurant is. If your restaurant is casual, your messaging should mirror that. And so on.
As a branding agency, our team of copywriters can develop a specific voice for your brand to use in all of your communication and communicate your brand.
Wait… But What is Brand Voice?
Your restaurant brand voice is a representation of your personality. It’s the way your brand communicates. It’s your point of view. Your brand voice fits in with the rest of your brand to create a cohesive message.
Creating a brand voice that aligns with the rest of your brand identity is challenging. It is the goal of a branding agency to nail down that your restaurant is all about and use it in your communications.
Brand voice is communicated lots of different ways. It comes across through your tone, the words you choose, your formality, your dedication (or not!) to formal punctuation rules, and how serious or humorous you are.
For example, the Nice Branding Agency brand voice is sweet, spunky, fun and transparent. This fits in with the rest of our brand. We are industry leaders with a lot of knowledge and a lot of personality. This comes across in our writing.
Brand Voice is a Customer Touchpoint
Brand voice is valuable because it is a customer touchpoint that is often missed. Beautiful restaurants that send out unprofessional emails or inappropriately casual social media posts miss the mark. Therefore, they miss an opportunity to connect with customers at those touchpoints, which weakens their brand.
While developing a brand voice is tricky, the lack of an established brand voice leaves room for interpretation in your communication, which can lead to a disjointed – and therefore, ineffective – view of your brand.
How to Create a Restaurant Brand Voice
When we create guidelines for a new brand voice, we take every aspect of writing and communication into account. Next, we consider connotations of every word, uses of punctuation marks, and everything in between, because all of these aspects of your writing effect of its impact.
The MailChimp team created a great brand voice guide if you want to see a completed example that’s being used out in the world: https://styleguide.mailchimp.com/voice-and-tone/.
With so many things to keep in mind, we have to start somewhere! To begin, we usually list out adjectives that describe your brand.
Here’s how we do it:
Character – First, we imagine your brand as a person and what they would be like. Is their persona casual or more formal? Factual or playful? We make a big list to start with.
Tone – Your brand’s voice may switch between a few different tones, depending on what the situation is. Some scenarios are more formal or casual than others. For example, social media posts are usually more written in a more casual tone than a written proposal.
Language – The words that are chosen in each piece of writing are picked out carefully. Each one has to make sense coming from your brand. This is where slang comes in. Formal, candle-lit dinner restaurants probably won’t be using slang on their menus, but a hip Korean bbq place can totally dish up some trendy words.
Purpose – Now is when we ask “so, what’s the point?”. As we sit down to write a piece in your brand voice, we consider the purpose of the piece. Additionally, what are you trying to communicate?
Okay, so this is getting a little abstract. Let’s dive into our portfolio of restaurants whose brand voices we’ve crafted in the past and flesh out how we worked through this process with their brand.
The Masala Wok Restaurant Brand Voice
First, Masala Wok is a fast-casual concept based out of Texas that combines Indian and Asian food in order to bring new flavors to the American fast-casual scene. They came to us at Nice Branding Agency for a rebrand so that they could bring this new restaurant into a new market. They needed a comprehensive brand that would seamlessly communicate that Masala Wok is approachable, casual and fun.
The visual development of the Masala Wok brand was the first thing we developed. The final designs incorporate bold colors and fun illustrations to emphasize the fun feeling and casual vibe of Masala Wok. Rich colors combine to emphasize the different food offerings, separating traditional Indian and Asian fares on the menu. We used every visual touchpoint of the brand to communicate the Masala Wok message.
Next, we did the same thing for the Masala Wok brand voice. We created a restaurant brand voice that utilized quirky phrases, funny puns and alliteration to educate the customer about the traditional fare that Masala Wok was offering and to bring the fun and casual feeling into their messaging.
This cheeky tone reinforced what we established with the rest of the Masala Wok brand.
Here’s the breakdown:
Character – Funny, friendly
Tone – Quirky, Casual
Language – Simple
Purpose – Educate, Entice
By keeping these goals and qualities of the Masala Wok brand voice in mind as we created their messaging, we created consistency and were able to make the most of every piece of writing.
The Taco Garage Restaurant Brand Voice
Next, another fast-casual restaurant that we branded is Taco Garage. The Taco Garage brand is all about making it simple to get access to great tasting tacos. To bring this out in their messaging, we developed a bold brand voice that was casual and really cheeky. The Taco Garage website (that we wrote) says it best… “this ain’t no fancy-schmancy taco spot.”
Here’s how we worked out the different aspects of the Taco Garage brand:
Character – Bold, no-nonsense, kind of hilarious
Tone – Overly-casual, straightforward
Language – Simple, clear
Purpose – To entertain and entice
Taco Garage is an on-going marketing client for us, so we’re always creating new phrases that fit into their witty messaging. At the start of the project, we wrote up phrases like “Take the Tacos & Run,” and “Dip, Baby, Dip” to use in the interior of their restaurant to showcase the brand while giving directions throughout the space.
Summing Up Brand Voice
In the end, brand voice is tricky to specify, and the guidelines can be vague, but copywriters can craft copy that fits into your brand no matter what your brand goals are. A brand that utilizes its brand voice to make the same impression as their visual brand benefits greatly from the consistency.
How is your restaurant brand voice coming across in your communications? If you can’t describe your brand voice under the categories of character, tone, language, and purpose, let the girls at Nice Branding Agency help you work out some guidelines for your writing so that you can strengthen your brand and expand your business.