Writing is Branding
Finding your company’s brand tone of voice is as crucial as ever before. The way you communicate across digital, print and face-to-face is an essential piece of your brand’s identity. To use your brand tone of voice to its full potential, your words need to work together with your visual aesthetic.
To make things even more intimidating, with social media as king, your brand pushes a constant stream of content towards your customers, and your tone of voice needs to be consistent throughout. Otherwise, you run the risk of just seeming, well… a bit clueless.
Forget The Scare Tactics, Why is Finding Your Brand Voice So Important?
1. Building Connection
By encouraging a dialogue with your audience and just being friendly, they will want to interact with you more. When they do, that’s your chance to help solve their problems.
2. Building Trust
To connect with people who share your values, be vocal about them. Get involved in charitable campaigns and relevant events. Don’t be phoney though. Be clear about what truly matters to you, and stay quiet about the rest.
Harvard Business Review
1.7MB of data is created every second for every person on Earth.
3. Increasing Revenue
To make sure you aren’t taking any unnecessary losses, keep your tone of voice consistent across all platforms. If you aren’t consistent in your brand’s tone of voice, your audience won’t know what to latch onto and you’ll risk losing their loyalty with your brand.
4. Creating a Memorable Brand
Your brand is made up of more than language. A defined colour palette improves brand recognition by 80%. Sure, language is a key part of this, but every aspect of the design should work together to make a memorable image of your brand. With that being said, there are brands that have nailed their tone of voice so well, many of us would be able to recognise their tweet without seeing the handle attached. Cough, skip to the bit below about Skittles, cough.
5. Watch Your Audience
How do they (your audience) talk to each other? Finding your tone of voice starts here. Get to know your audience first, then choose the language that speaks directly to them. Your brand is only as good as the community that surrounds it, so give your audience authority here. Just listen.
How Do We Do It?
Identify Your Brand Values
Keep your values in mind when communicating to your customers. If you don’t practice what you preach, then what’s the point of preaching those practices? For example, if you are a cyber security brand that values trust, security, and innovation, maybe a silly tone of voice is better left for that playful snack brand.
Tone of Voice Pillars
Have a think of your tone of voice in relation to our four pillars in the diagram above. On a scale from extremely funny to completely serious, where do you stand? Are you more casual than formal? More respectful opposed to irreverent? Would you say things enthusiastically rather than in a matter of fact tone?
Establish Crystal Clear Tone of Voice Guidelines
Consistency is near impossible to achieve if everyone on your team isn’t on the same page. Prioritise getting everyone up to speed and investing in brand guidelines. As time goes on, you and your team will become more comfortable with your brand tone of voice and have an easier time creating new content that echoes your vision.
A Few of Our Faves
We didn’t mean for all of them to start with the letter ‘S’, but hey we’ll go with it.
Skype‘s tone of voice is, as they themselves put it, plain-speaking human. Skype is often used by families and friends so their tone of voice needs to be friendly and warm. Humour is a defining characteristic in the language they use and it’s what connects them so genuinely to their audience.
We’re a bit obsessed with the UB40 ad campaign Spotify came out with to mark the new decade. If only we thought of it!
Spotify’s Millennial and Gen Z demographic calls for their language being playful and relevant. Not only is it in line with their brand tone of voice, “1983: UB40. Red Red Wine. 2019: You be forty. Red red wine.” conjures up such vivid imagery that just about anyone of us will get a twinge of nostalgia and immediately relate.
Skittles are so popular, it makes our sweet toothache just thinking about it. Somehow they keep pulling off being totally quirky and bizarre whenever we come across them on social. It works because this is their tone of voice, and it engages us (and millions of other sweet eaters).
Why not have a go at completing your own set of tone of voice rules? We’d love to hear what you come up with, send over your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat through any questions you have!
Or if you want to read more on how to collate your brand values, pop on over to our blog “Integrity, Empathy, Oh My!” to discover more.