What is tone of voice and why does it matter?
Tone of voice is the way your brand comes to life via the written word. It’s about what is said (the words chosen) and also how it is said (the style it’s written in). Think of it as your verbal identity. That’s why your company’s tone of voice is just as important as the way you look. Because it’s a key part of who you are.
But how do you choose the right tone?
There’s no right or wrong to this. It all depends on the values of your company and the personality of your brand. It also needs to align with your visual identity: it makes no sense to have a formal corporate-looking visual brand and then creating a quirky, fun tone of voice. After all, you wouldn’t go to a new business meeting in fancy dress.
Remember your audience
Think hard about who will be reading what you write. Will your words resonate with your audience? Are you speaking their language? Are you communicating clearly and effectively?
The language of your brand
Here are a few simple pointers to bear in mind once you have devised your new way of sounding:
Rule no. 1: Everything you write from now on needs to reflect your brand proposition, your values and your visual identity.
Rule no. 2: Every piece of writing you create needs to sound consistent and reflect your new verbal identity. Because that’s what now defines who you are. And that’s why you need to employ it everywhere: in emails, ad campaigns, signage, brochures, web pages, blog posts, call centre scripts, tweets, newsletters and on-pack labels.
Rule no. 3: You don’t just use your new tone of voice to talk to your customers. You need to sound the same to every audience you talk to – that includes colleagues, shareholders and suppliers. And everyone else.
Rule no. 4: Remember, it’s all about coming across as natural and human – which will, in turn, help to build trust.
In summary – be authentic, be consistent and allow your brand personality to shine through in your writing.