What Children's Literature Can Teach Copywriters
What can writers learn from children's books? Turns out, a lot.
— WHICH VOICE IS YOUR BRAND? TAKE THE BRAND VOICE QUIZ —
In our brand voice project, we identified a brand type that we call Anne. Anne’s voice can be seen representing brands like Toms, Lush, Free People, Seventh Generation, Schmidt’s, and Whole Foods. I’ll put a whole list below.
I’d suggest learning this brand voice if you want to be a skincare writer, lifestyle writer, sustainability brand writer, eco-conscious writer or a writer for any brand that is female-focused. Of course, there are a lot more options, but these are the types of companies that most often want to sound like “Anne” in the marketplace.
Anne is inherently feminine: soft but strong, well turned out, simple but chic. She’s also purpose-driven and conscientious about her choices. People who buy from brands like “Anne” have the money to be able to care about those choices, which tips you off that the audience is mostly comprised of above-average net worth individuals.
Here are the four keywords we use to describe Anne:
In our brand voice project, we use references from literature and celebrity/pop culture to broaden general understanding of “what we mean” by Anne.
For Anne’s literary representation, we chose Anne of Green Gables. She’s spunky, romantic, fierce but sentimental: a good representation of both the brand and the people that brand is appealing to.
Here’s is Anne’s literary quote:
“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
Childlike wonder, the priority of relationships and meaningful connections, openness and optimism: these are all important paradigms to inform the Anne brand voice.
Making cultural references is important, too. Whether you are considering if Anne is the right voice for your brand, or seeking to write in this voice for a client, connecting the dots to familiar faces is a useful exercise.
Here is who we would say embodies Anne:
Strong, poetic, artistic, beautiful - these are all good descriptors for these individuals and for Anne.
The best writing makes people feel something. So, what do brands that communicate like Anne hope for people to feel when they read or listen?
Anne feels like:
A walk by the ocean with a friend.
Warm. Soft. Peaceful.
Our brand voice research surveyed and assessed more than 500 brands. Here are the ones that informed Anne.
It should be clear there’s an interplay here. Just as important as crafting a customer persona is crafting a brand voice, and they will be similar. This is because human’s always respond to mirrored language: we gravitate towards things that offer the least path of cognitive resistance, ie, things that we easily understand and relate to. Familiarity is an important component of marketing, and the more “like me” or “for me” a brand can appear in the marketplace to its ideal customer, the better success it will have. This is why we went to all of the trouble to personify brand voices: people expect personal experiences nowadays. Brands that can provide those types of experiences will lead the market. And the writers who can encapsulate and project a brand voice most successfully will always have a job.
How can you become a leader in this field? How can you get all of the whimsy, wit, gentleness and subtlety of Anne? Practice. Like anything, you should read a ton and write a ton. Relentlessly follow brands who do this brand voice well, and cultivate your own body of work around it. Nicheing as a writer is a powerful approach to becoming valuable in the marketplace.
To become more like Anne, I recommend you follow two topical categories on our blog:
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