Getting tone of voice right is arguably one of the most important things your brand can do. Just look at what we at Stratton Craig call ‘the big three’ – Apple, Innocent and John Lewis. These are the voices and styles that other companies aspire to imitate, precisely because the companies have cemented their brand’s tone so perfectly.
Establish the unique sound of your brand
Tone of voice is an outward projection of your brand values. It demonstrates your warmth, expertise, sense of humour, or any other attribute that you want to display to consumers. This needs to be appropriate to your company’s mission statement – ‘fun’ isn’t a trait you often see displayed by financial institutions, as just one example.
Whether you mainly connect with your audience online or offline, a consistent tone of voice keeps your communications on-brand and on-message. The message is the ‘what’ you want to say, and tone of voice is ‘how’ it sounds when you say it. From 140 characters to your 200-page annual report, you can adapt and tailor the content you create to suit your brand personality as well as the media channel.
Having the same tone across all of your customers’ touchpoints with your brand makes them feel at ease, as that familiarity is comforting and they know what to expect from you. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to say exactly the same things in each case. For example, you wouldn’t talk to a toddler in the same way that you speak with work colleagues, but you still have a distinctive tone and style of speaking that everyone recognises. It’s exactly the same with brands.
Prevent dilution of your brand’s messages and values online
With the rise of content sharing across social media platforms, companies now have less control over where their own content appears online. Retweets, shares and embedded links multiply your message across the Internet – so the original needs to be right.
Maintaining that consistent tone of voice is where copywriting really comes to the fore. A good copywriter doesn’t just parrot the same few sentences for every different communication – they take the time to craft unique copy that fits the bill. That starts with defining your brand’s personality, and then setting out tone of voice guidelines. Copywriting agencies can also potentially translate those messages for an international audience, giving you a truly global verbal identity.
Please feel free to contact us if you’d like to discuss how we can support your copywriting or tone of voice project – we’d love to help.