Very few companies have a brand whose look, tone and sensibility are consistent
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Very few companies have a brand whose look, tone and sensibility are consistent across its touch points
(e.g., its websites, customer interactions, packaging, advertising, etc.). This consistency is often missing
because there is no attempt made to pinpoint and communicate the feel and rationale behind the
brand’s name, logo, slogan, personality, and visual style. If such a document does exist, it often fails,
either because it is a phonebook full of rules about what colors and fonts to use or because it’s only
delivered to a handful of people in marketing and PR. The perfect voice guideline is like a Facebook
profile: In one page, it defines a brand’s personality (logo, slogan, verbal/visual style) while
communicating its ideals, dreams, and relationships. This is a document that helps communicate your
culture (your brand), and not what you might send to a creative agency so that they can create
consistent collateral (your branding).
How to Complete This Assignment
Design a one-page Brand Voice Guideline to embody the personality you think your brand should
Give a codified voice to the best traits you have seen in a brand of your choice (different from your term
project) and fill in any significant gaps you’ve found in your brand’s current tone or personality. Include
any factors or traits that define your brand, while being as succinct and creative as possible. Here are
factors that your guidelines should include. You may think of others too.
NAME/NICKNAMES. What is it called? How do its customers, employees, and suppliers refer to it?
PERSONALITY. What are your brand’s core values? What is your brand passionate about? What is it
striving for? What does it find fascinating? What books are on its coffee table? What are its guilty
pleasures? Who are its friends? If it were at a 7th birthday party, would it talk to the parents or the
kids? If you surveyed its brand attributes, where would it be positioned?
SLOGAN. What is its catch phrase? What words should it be remembered by?
VISUAL STYLE. How does it look? If it were a movie, what movie would it be? If it were a magazine,
who would be its competitors? Does it wear a sweat suit or a necktie? Does it shop at J. Crew or Juicy
Couture? Does it fit in more at Walmart or farmer’s markets?
VERBAL STYLE. What language and tone does your brand use? Does it use contractions or slang? What
kind of jokes can it tell? Does it whisper or shout? Is it smiling or smirking or stifling a yawn? Does it
pronounce either as Ee-ther or Eye-ther?
By reading your voice guideline, I should be able to intuitively understand how your brand would react
in almost any situation – from its cocktail-party banter to its apologies to its tweets.
You will be evaluated on (1) Creativity, (2) Consistency, (3) Thoughtfulness, and (4) Thoroughness.