Deciding on your brand’s holiday tone

Brand voice isn’t new territory for this blog, but it’s usually discussed as part of a larger strategy rather than focused on individually.

Today we’re doing just that and asking a specific question: Should your brand voice change for the holidays? If so, how much? Should you change it just around a specific holiday campaign, or tweak everything to match during the holiday season?

There are a few important factors to consider around a specific holiday brand voice, so we wrote this up to guide you through them. Got questions or something we missed? Find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.

Why change your brand voice?

Why would you have a different voice for the holidays? Maybe your brand is launching a really big holiday campaign, and your regular brand voice could use some amping up or infusing with holiday cheer.

Before you make any major alterations- after all, completely departing from your established brand voice could be very confusing for your existing audience, which we’ll discuss more in the next section- make sure you have a clear reason and a clear plan. Consider writing a holiday brand voice guide to supplement the general brand voice guidelines you already have (more on that momentarily).

You will also want to be sure you have baseline numbers for your brand’s most important metrics (if you don’t know where to start, start here) so you can see the impact your shift to a holiday tone has.

What about your established brand voice?

Take a look at your established brand voice. Do you have hard and fast rules written down for your team to refer to and follow, as mentioned in the previous section? If not, this might be a good time to hammer those out, or make establishing them a goal for your brand in 2018.

If you have an established voice and guidelines, how much do you want to depart from them? What is brand-appropriate, or it might vary by platform that you’re on? It might make sense to have fun on Instagram Stories which is perfect for more relaxed content rather than change how you write your blog posts, for example. You also might just give your social media manager permission to use fun holiday GIFs when responding to appropriate customer questions on Twitter and Facebook. It can be as simple as you have the resources for.

Different approaches to consider

If you’ve decided to tweak or alter your brand voice for the holidays, here are a few different approaches to consider.

Cheesy

The holidays are a time of year when it’s generally acceptable to be cheesy. If that fits with your brand and you think it would work for your target audience, don’t be afraid to embrace it!

Macy’s pours on the emotions in this short holiday ad:

Cheerful

If your brand voice is normally pretty stoic, the holiday season can be just the time to infuse a little cheer into your content.

Williams-Sonoma does subdued holiday cheer perfectly:

Holiday-free

Finally, you can also choose to just keep things the same, even if you’re still sharing some holiday-themed content. Dell is a great example of this:

The brand voice doesn’t shift, but they’re still sharing relevant content that happens to tie into the holidays.

If your brand doesn’t have any holiday-specific campaigns planned, there’s no reason to fix what isn’t broken. Do what makes sense for your brand.

This approach also makes less work for your team; an important consideration for any brand with limited resources.


Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash