Tone of Voice
It's not just what you say. It's the way you say it.
Everyone has a different way of expressing and portraying themselves. Businesses are no different. Your tone of voice is the way in which you communicate with your customers or clients, staff and partners, investors, suppliers and the media. It’s the first impression they will have of you and should embody and express your personality and values. Get it right and your tone of voice should turn your organisation from a faceless brand into one that has character, confidence and authority. It should be consistent although not rigid as it needs to be flexible depending on the audience, context and channel (website or social media, brochure or annual report, adverts, direct mail or press release). However, over time, as markets change and language evolves, your tone of voice or brand voice can start to drift. Like people, very few of us sound like we used to.
No matter what sector you work in or however shiny your brand is, it’s vital that your tone of voice is human, authentic and simple. Think of your brand as a person. What sort of personality do they have? What’s their style? How do they speak? How would others relate to them? When writing or reviewing a set of tone of voice guidelines, I always recommend that clients strip away the noise and clutter, and reconsider and refocus the content, style and tone of their current messaging. Do their values still align with those of their target audience? Think of the brands you like and don’t like and ask yourself why? Look at the language they use and pick out words and phrases that resonate with you. Ask yourself why they work, deconstruct them and think of ways the same principles can be applied ]to your brand, customers and market.
If you would like help in defining and developing your tone over voice, please contact me.