Mind your tone – finding your brand’s tone of voice

Jeff Bezos famously said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

Every business has an identity and communicating it successfully is what makes a business a brand. It doesn’t matter if you’re the coolest retail brand or technology start-up, if your marketing communications are impersonal or stiff, that’s the impression people will get.

Why is tone of voice important?

Get your tone of voice right and your brand becomes a powerful force, reaching out to people in a persuasive way that builds trust and gets results. Getting it wrong, however, risks alienating target audiences, impacting customer trust and, ultimately, revenue.

Your brand is not about what you do, it’s about who you are and what you stand for. Just like people, your company is unique and no-one else can do you. Adopting the correct tone can help a company stand out from its competitors and build trust and respect from customers.

That’s why, when we help clients establish their unique brand and tone of voice, we carry out workshops with staff and customers, as well as analyse competitors, to get an in-depth understanding of their positioning in the market.

It’s how you say it 

Tone of voice refers not only to the choice of words but to other written elements, such as the length of sentences, uses of devices such as emotion or humour, and even the rhythm and pace of the content.

In business, tone of voice is concerned with written rather than spoken words. Tone of voice guidelines inform all marketing communications, from site content and print collateral, to social media and email marketing.

Consistency is key

It’s important to have tone of voice guidelines in place so that everything is written in the same unique and recognisable way, whether it’s a blog, Facebook post or company magazine. This is especially important for companies where several people are involved in content production.

Much like people, your tone of voice will adapt to its surroundings. It’s okay to express your company’s personality differently on Instagram than you would on a services page: social media allows you to reach your audiences in a more human and relatable way.

Document your tone of voice strategy

If we’ve sold you on the importance of establishing a clear tone of voice, here are the first steps to ensure your marketing team is singing off the same song sheet:

  • Document your brand and tone of voice guidelines. Our branding team helps clients establish their vision, strategy and key messaging for different audiences and channels
  • Familiarise your writing staff with the guidelines. Clear how-tos help writers spot anything that’s off brand and avoid phrasing which isn’t in tune with the company’s tone

Learn more about our full range of branding and tone of voice services

 

Ruth Saunders
About Ruth Saunders

As Content & UX Strategist, Ruth works with our clients to deliver exceptional content and user experience to their audiences. Ruth loves helping the amazing brands who work with Spindogs to develop their content marketing strategy and establish their tone of voice and style.

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