In business, marketing especially, you may hear the phrase ‘tone of voice’ being used. But what is it and why is it so important?
A tone of voice doesn’t refer to the spoken voice, but rather the written side. A company’s tone of voice is what you see and read on their websites, their social posts, their mailings, packaging and advertising. You could say that a tone of voice is creating consistency throughout the business, so that everything links together and forms a brand’s identity.
But how do you create a tone of voice?
Our advice is to not over complicate things. Keep it simple, yet effective, but still be true to your brand and its message.
What to remember when deciding your tone of voice:
- Empower and uplift your audience – use words that will lift the spirts of your target audience
- Encourage your audience to do great things
- Make users feel good
Here’s an excellent example – Boots UK’s slogan is ‘feel good’. That’s due to Boots wanting each and every customer to ‘feel good’ when buying and using any of its products.
Another example – Dove. Dove constantly use language to empower and boost the self-confidence of its audience, which creates a relationship between brand and consumer.
Be friendly, yet informative – don’t forget to add a bit of personality into your tone of voice. You want to sound like real people behind the brand, not robots. Example – 7th Heaven add playful humour to its products and marketing. The brand’s peel off face masks are described as ‘don’t worry, peel happy’.
Be professional and ambitious – to bring customers to your brand and to keep them coming back for more, not only do the products you provide need to be of a high standard, but your written side needs to be professional. Be a brand your audience can trust. Appeal to the executives and decision-makers as well as consumers. Example – The Body Shop’s message does not only focus on using natural ingredients, but also raises awareness of important issues and educates its consumers about recycling and sustainability.
Be unique – don’t be afraid to break out from the traditions of typical ‘tone of voice’ rules. Push beyond the boundaries. Embrace your uniqueness; be wired, be out there, be true to yourself and your brand.
Example – Skittles’ adverts are strange, random and most of the time, odd, but that’s the beauty of them; we never know what to expect and wonder what the next advert will entail. We always want more from them.
Other tone of voice tips
- Font. Pick a font and stick to it; if you use different fonts, there will be a lack of consistency in your brand
- Vocabulary. Pick a selection of keywords of words to use and what not to use. This will give an indication of the tone of voice you want your brand to have. It will also help with anyone new to your business, as well as creating consistency from social media posts, all the way to packaging
- Colour pallet. Creating a colour pallet allows designers to replicate more designs with significant brand colours. These colours will represent your brand and become a talking point.
Most importantly, make sure your tone of voice relates to your target audience. Without engaging with your audience effectively, you may miss out on business.
We work with brands to inform opinions and build reputations. We’re not limited to standard procedures or practice – our strategies will take you wherever our imaginations allow. Our focus is always on what works. We aim to deliver results that can be measured and will contribute to business success.