Finding your vegan organisation’s brand voice

Your vegan organisation’s brand voice is not only what your organisation says but how it says it.

This matters for many reasons.

Having a clear brand voice makes it easier to stand out for your competitors. It will also help you to attract “ideal” customers who become loyal brand ambassadors.

(If you run a vegan charity, having a strong brand voice will help you to attract passionate donors and supporters).

Your brand voice is part of your overall brand “identity” – how your business looks and sounds and how that makes people feel, plus what makes your brand different.

You will use your brand voice whenever your vegan organisation communicates with stakeholders. This could cover:

  • Writing blogs for customers
  • Sending emails to your mailing list
  • Creating adverts with high clickthrough rates on social media
  • Sending out press releases
  • Creating social media posts
  • Connecting with suppliers
  • Fundraising
  • And much more…

So, if you don’t know what your brand voice sounds like yet, how can you find it? We’ve got some tips for you:

1.      Have something to say – i.e., start with your mission

Your brand voice will become much stronger if you feel confident and care about what you’re saying as well as how you’re saying it.

Think about the key values or messages you want to communicate. These pointers might help:

  • What’s your brand story, and why will your audience connect to it?
  • Could you describe the reason you launched your vegan business?
  • What was the catalyst that started you on this journey?
  • Are your potential customers on the same journey as you but perhaps at an earlier stage?
  • Why are you so passionate about bringing your products or services into the world?
  • Does your organisation support a specific cause?
  • What are you doing to lead by example and act as a positive force for change?

You might find it helpful to write some statements about your brand, and what it believes/stands for – for example:

  • We are completely honest and transparent – this includes:
    • Detailing the environmental footprint of everything we do
    • Backing what we say with hard facts
    • Asking our suppliers for proof of their own practices
    • Owning our mistakes
    • Showing how we invest our funds
  • We never take shortcuts – this includes:
    • Paying more to workers, even though it cuts out profits
    • Developing our own packaging materials
    • Evaluating our suppliers on more than just cost

Remember, you can’t stand for everything, but you must stand for something. If you can define what you stand for and use a genuine, heartfelt voice to communicate, it will help you to reach people who stand for the same thing.

2.      Define your audience

A common challenge for vegan businesses is deciding whether to aim at an already-vegan market or try to reach as many non-vegans as possible.

This will influence your brand voice.

If you’re marketing to non-vegans who could have preconceptions about veganism, you may decide to talk about your products as being plant-based. Another approach is to highlight the ethics of your business/supply chain/sourcing, adopting a tone of voice that is informative and inclusive.

If your audience is already committed to a vegan lifestyle, you might decide you can focus more on activism and put veganism and animal freedom at the centre of your marketing messages.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to reach anyone and everyone, you might just say that your products are “Suitable for vegans” as an aside. In this scenario, you could focus on developing a brand voice that advocates for sustainability.

Lots of characteristics will define your audience too. Their age, interests, beliefs, reading and viewing preferences, cultural backgrounds, families, etc, will all influence the kind of brand voice they relate to.

For existing vegan organisations

If your vegan organisation has been up and running for a while, consider your most loyal supporters or customers.

  • What do they have in common? (Think age, interests, purchases, values, etc.)
  • What do they say about your business online and in person?
  • How do they like to communicate with you?
  • Which social media platforms do they use?
  • Which issues do they care about?
  • What are their pain points? (Perhaps they feel powerless or that their voice isn’t being heard, so how can you offer them power or make them feel seen?)
  • What are their favourite products or services?

The answers to these questions will help you to understand the things that matter to your audience. In turn, this will shape how your brand communicates.

For new vegan organisations

Don’t worry if your brand hasn’t launched yet! You can still start to build up a picture of your target audience by conducting some research:

  • Check out your competitors on social media
    • Who are their most active and vocal followers?
    • What topics get people talking?
    • What posts attract lots of likes, shares and comments?
  • Visit your competitors’ websites.
  • Use resources such as Statista and YouGov to look at data that’s in the public domain (some helpful data can be accessed free of charge)
  • Send a survey to your friends and family, especially those who understand your organisation and would connect with it even if they didn’t know you.
  • Think about why your business came about – sometimes, the person you were at the start of your brand story is the person you need to reach

As you build up a picture of your audience, you could create a “marketing persona” to remind you who your business is talking to. There are some free tools to help you do this – check out HubSpot’s Make My Persona or Smaply’s Persona Tool.

3.      Explore your brand’s personality

As humans, our voice is how we communicate something of our personalities. If you think about someone you know really well, you’ll probably be able to describe how they talk and what gives them a unique tone of voice. You might hear someone relay a story about them and think, “Yep, that’s typical”.

Equally, spend five minutes chatting with a stranger, and you’ll probably start to have a sense of their personality and whether you’d gel with them if you spent more time together.

Well, the same is true of your brand’s voice. If it’s strong enough, people will start to recognise it. It will also help them to decide whether they feel an affinity with your vegan organisation’s personality.

For this reason, one of the most powerful ways to find your brand voice is to explore what makes your organisation tick.

If you’re the founder of your vegan organisation and the person who will be writing most of the content, you may have an easier job on your hands. This is because your brand voice may be an extension of your personal voice.

If you’re writing for a larger organisation, the entity needs its own distinct personality, its own heart and soul.

In both scenarios, here are some questions you might want to consider:

  • What drives your brand?
  • What is your brand’s mission?
  • Can you describe how your brand is a force for change?
  • Who does your brand care about, and why?
  • How does your brand show that care?
  • Is yours a brand voice that’s…?
  • Humorous/quick-witted
  • Straight-talking
  • A campaigner/activist/advocate
  • Chatty
  • Youthful
  • Sweary/rebellious/challenging
  • Educational

4.      Look at your existing marketing

If your vegan business has been up and running for a while, pull together a sample of your marketing materials.

If you were to strip away all of the visual branding, would someone know that these marketing materials had come from your business?

  • Which examples feel like they share the same voice?
  • What is it that makes them feel connected?
  • How would you describe the tone of voice in the pieces that stand out?
  • Which items (i.e., social media posts, blogs, adverts, press stories, print ads, marketing emails) have attracted the biggest and most positive responses from your audience?

If you’re too close to these items because you created them at different stages in your business, ask a friend to have a look at them for you with the above questions in mind.

5.      Know what your brand voice isn’t as well as what it is

It can be helpful to pinpoint what things just don’t feel right for your brand voice. For example, you might say, “our brand voice is not….”

  • Judgemental – but it meets everyone where they are on their journey
  • Destructive – but is prepared to be disruptive and shake things up
  • Angry – but it is passionate and dedicated
  • Generic – but it strives to be inclusive
  • Pompous – but it’s grounded, humble and knows there is always room to grow

As you can see, this exercise really comes into its own when you identify the antithesis of what you don’t want your brand voice to be.


Above all, try not to get too hung up on writing your “tone of voice” guidelines (something that bogs a lot of businesses down). Our advice is to start writing (or even recording yourself talking about your organisation) and exploring your brand voice.

From this, you can create guidelines for your (current or future) team with real-life examples of how your brand sounds. In turn, this will make it easier for multiple people to produce your brand communications across multiple platforms.

Get more advice about running a vegan organisation from the Ethical Globe Academy.


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