As consumers, we’re constantly gathering information through media: written, spoken, and visual. It’s how businesses communicate with their customers. At the root of all branding and marketing efforts, tone holds a very important place. But establishing your brand’s tone is more than just throwing some buzzwords on a piece of paper and calling it a day. It takes careful consideration and serious introspection. An established brand should have an immediately recognizable tone that it uses to effectively verbalize its value to customers across every platform. In this blog post, we’re going to cover the importance of selecting your brand’s voice, as well as the process of pinning it down.
“There are tones of voices that mean more than words.”
Robert Frost, though likely making an observation on poetry in that quote, has a point. Words themselves are helpful in conveying your message, but it’s the personality behind them that customers gravitate towards. Tone of voice is what makes a brand likable, relatable, and unique. It’s vital to choose a tone that embodies and expresses what your brand stands for. This is how you build trust with your potential customers.
The first step is to identify your brand’s values. You can’t just write your values down and call it good, though. There’s more to it than that. Write down some questions that can help guide you to your tone, starting with:
What is it you want to tell the world?
Why was this company started in the first place?
What basic human value does your company offer?
How is what you do different from other similar companies or competitors?
The answers to these questions can often lead you to your tone. From there, you can explore the vocabulary you use to express the personality of your brand, starting with formal versus informal language. Choosing between the two or finding the right balance can be difficult. Conveying more formal professionalism and authority can often read as being stiff and lacking in personality, whereas a warmer informal language can come across as reckless or amateur. The KISS principle is most commonly used by brand writers to appeal to wider audiences.
Did you hear the one about…?
Where does humor fit into your tone? More formal brands steer clear of cracking jokes while some brands are embracing levity, puns, and some silliness. If humor isn’t your brand’s vibe, it’s totally okay! A lot of brands prefer to approach their copy with a straightforward, authoritative tone. The key is committing. Customers could experience confusion or distrust if you start with one and come in hot with the other.
Putting it all on paper (or the internet)
Throughout your brand’s ads, organic social posts, website, and everything else, the story needs to shine. The story is the backbone of your brand and telling it can be imperative for growth. Implement all the things we’ve discussed so far and weave them together in your copy. As you develop your brand tone of voice, you’ll see the effects it has on your customers and their interactions with you.
The tone of voice is what makes your brand stand out from the competition. It solidifies your space in the market and draws customers in. While it is very important to use the correct words, it’s significantly more effective to hone in on your tone when you communicate with your customers. Your tone is the first and constant impression consumers have of your brand – make sure it reflects your values and principles.