What do you think of when you think of a brand?
If you’re like most people, you probably immediately picture brand design. You know—the logo, the colors, the elements that are unique to certain brands. In N Out has its classic palm trees and red and yellow. Apple is sleek and simple, with black and white and gray. Old Navy is… navy and white. Starbucks has the slightly weird goddess mermaid as its logo.
Did you know that your copy is another element that makes your brand unique? The words you use to describe yourself, your common turns of phrase or slang, the vocabulary you use—it all helps distinguish your business as its own, individual brand. It’s not just your colors that make you stand out. It’s also the messaging you use in your copy. Your brand copywriting is a place to display your personality and your unique spin on the way you serve your clients.
Okay, so now that we know the overall purpose of brand copy, what does brand copy include?
Let’s take a look at three of the main types of brand copy.
1. Mission and vision statements
If you’re like me, you might feel a little burnt out from the idea of mission and vision statements. They can feel cliché, overdone, and just plain annoying, sometimes. Maybe we’ve seen them thrown around too lightly, or maybe they are just an old trend, in our minds.
Also, why do you need a mission and/or vision statement? Most of us don’t display them in splashy swirl fonts as the main copy on our websites or in our stores if we are a brick and mortar business. (Although some of us do display them, and that can be a good thing!!)
These two pieces of copy are important for your brand because even if you don’t use them very much in client interactions, they will be a foundation for the rest of the ways your brand interacts with your clients and the marketplace. Your vision and mission statements are possibly one of THE most important elements of your brand, because they direct you for all the other pieces—the brand design, the brand copywriting, and even your client interactions.
2. Brand tagline
Otherwise known as an elevator pitch, your tagline is the succinct sentence that you craft to describe who you are, what you do, and who you offer it to. The copy from it is often used over and over again—you may pull pieces to use as headlines on your website or plug in the entire sentence right on your home page so that people can quickly know exactly what it is you do.
Your brand tagline can set you apart in several ways. It is a place to actually articulate what makes your brand different, as well as describe briefly how exactly you go about making that difference into an optimal service or product.
Having a brand tagline is also the perfect place to use some of your main words. For me, the word “storytelling” is part of my brand. It fits neatly in with Studio Tell, and has become one of the things I come back to when trying to describe elements of my copywriting business.
3. Brand voice
If I were to ask you to imagine yourself talking on the phone to your best friend, what would you hear in your head? Most likely, you imagine their voice. They might tend toward unique turns of phrase, slang words, or abbreviations—or they might be prone to using big words or a formal style.
Your brand voice is your own brand’s written equivalent of your actual voice. It’s the terms you use in your copy, the slang you do or don’t use, and whether you sound formal or light-hearted. Your brand voice is important because, as I said before, it sets you apart.
So what is brand copy again? It’s the foundation and life of your brand, in many ways. If you try to deliberately change it often, your audience will end up confused and unsure about buying from you. However, if you can have a brand voice that is consistent and strong (of course along with your consistent service), you will almost certainly grow into an effective brand.