Brand copy is the written equivalent of a company logo and the associated design standards. It communicates the personality and qualities of a product or service to customers and prospects. That makes copywriters part of a creative team responsible for developing and protecting a brand’s values.
To write copy for a brand, you must understand a product’s brand values, develop messages and a tone of voice that communicate those values and use the copy consistently in all marketing media. It can also help to take a looking at some copywriting portfolio examples to see how other companies communicate brand messages.
Understand Brand Values
Brand values are the characteristics of a product or service that companies want customers to recognize and recall when they are considering a purchase. Strong brand values differentiate products from competitive offerings, helping to build and maintain sales. You must familiarize yourself with those values before writing.
A technical product, for example, may have values that position it as innovative, reliable or energy efficient. A consumer product might present itself as aspirational, friendly, youthful or of affordable quality. The copy for your brand must therefore reinforce those values, rather than focusing only on the features of the product or service.
Make a Brand Promise
Brand copy makes a promise to customers and prospects. A technical product such as a composite material, for example, might promise customers they will be able to take advantage of innovative material technology to improve the performance of their own products and gain a competitive advantage. A consumer service such as accident insurance might promise customers it is affordable, simple to understand and offers an easy way to file claims.
Create Brand Messages
To ensure the copy for the brand communicates values consistently in all media, develop a set of brand messages. By creating a standard description of a product or service, you can reinforce brand values every time a customer sees or hears an ad, reads a brochure, visits a website or receives a marketing email.
An industrial manufacturing product, for example, might “help companies reach new levels of productivity and quality”. A consumer health-care product might offer individuals “an opportunity to enjoy a more active lifestyle”. By repeating those messages in all media, you can ensure customers immediately associate the brand values with the product.
Develop Tone of Voice
A consistent tone of voice is essential with brand copy. Copy about a corporate law firm, for example, might have an authoritative tone for business customers, while a family law firm might write in a friendly, approachable tone for personal consumers. A company marketing technical products might adopt a confident tone that reinforces its values innovation and market leadership.
Create a Style Guide for Your Brand
Copy for a brand must also have a consistent editorial style. Copy that reinforces values such as friendly or easy to use should feature short sentences and simple language. If you are writing about a complex technical product branded as innovative, use a logical structure with clear headings and bullet points to ensure that customers understand the concept. For both tone of voice and style, you will want to create a style guide for your brand so that all present and future writers on your team can have guidance on their production and create consistent work.
Based in the United Kingdom, Ian Linton has been a professional writer since 1990. His articles on marketing, technology and distance running have appeared in magazines such as “Marketing” and “Runner's World.” Linton has also authored more than 20 published books and is a copywriter for global companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and economics from Bristol University.