How to Perfect Your Brand Voice With Strategic Pronoun Use

Pronouns are powerful.

It may sound like a silly statement — after all, pronouns are words that most people don’t think twice about. However, when you understand the nuances of pronouns and can strategically employ them in your writing, you’ll be able to hone in on your brand voice to capture the attention of your target audience.

Here’s what you need to know about point of view, the connotation of pronouns, and how to create an effective brand voice.

Understanding point of view

Before diving into how pronouns can be used to shape tone of voice, here’s a quick refresher on the most commonly used points of view and their pronouns:

  • First person is when you’re talking about yourself, using pronouns like “I” or “we.” Use this point of view when telling an anecdote about your business, for example.
  • Second person is when you address your reader directly, using pronouns like “you.” This article is written from the second person perspective.
  • Third person is when you write as though you’re an outsider narrating a story. This point of view uses pronouns like “he,” “she,” and “they.”

Using pronouns to your advantage

While pronouns may seem straightforward, there are subtle nuances to each point of view. Using certain pronouns can make your business come off as more professional, while others may feel more personal.

How to engage with readers

One of the most effective ways to interact with your readers is by addressing them directly. When you use the second person perspective, your writing will be easier to read, more conversational, and relatable to customers. Here’s an example of the second person perspective being used to engage readers:

Isn’t it frustrating when you’re between clothing sizes and can’t find anything that fits you? You’re not alone in this struggle. If you’re sick of settling for ill-fitting clothes, it might be time to visit a tailor — like Jane Smith Tailoring!

How to sound approachable

You’re a real, approachable person. As a business owner, you’ll benefit from demonstrating that. To this end, sharing anecdotes using the first person point of view is a great way to form connections with fans. This point of view allows you to convey vulnerabilities and other relatable emotions — a great way to humanize your brand. Here’s an example:

As a curvy woman, I was tired of trying on clothes that didn’t fit my body type. It was so frustrating to fall in love with a dress, only to have it hang awkwardly off my curves! That’s why I decided to start Jane Smith Tailoring.

How to sound professional

Alternatively, there may be situations when you want to sound more professional. In these situations, the third person should be your go-to point of view, as it emphasizes your brand as an entity and de-emphasizes you as its creator. Here’s the third person perspective in action:

When Kevin Smith was 18, he got his first job as a tailor’s apprentice. Over the next 10 years, he would learn everything about the craft before striking out on his own to start Kevin Smith Tailoring.

eReleases reveals that press releases should always be written in the third person, but as you may have guessed, this point of view isn’t typically effective when blogging or interacting with followers on social media sites.

Pronouns may seem simple, but these unassuming parts of speech can make a big impact on the way that you communicate with your fans. Once you learn how to wield pronouns to your advantage, you’ll be able to align your brand voice with your brand identity and create a cohesive experience across your blog, social media accounts, marketing materials, and anywhere else where you communicate with your audience.

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Camryn Rabideau

Camryn Rabideau is freelance writer specializing in digital lifestyle content, ranging from pop culture to smart home technology. Camryn has contributed to popular media sites such as InStyle, Taste of Home, Martha Stewart, Food52, USA Today, The Spruce and more.

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