Your tone of voice is the way you communicate with your customers. It’s how you speak to them, and it can be as simple as a phrase or as complex as an entire marketing strategy. But what exactly is tone of voice? And why does it matter?
Tone of voice is the way a brand communicates with its audience. It is the voice that brands use to convey their message. The tone of voice can be in written form, in spoken form, or both.
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To engage with consumers in a meaningful manner, you must first craft and define your brand’s tone of voice. In fact, it serves as the bedrock for all of your marketing efforts.
Building a connection with your consumers is at the heart of branding. Your voice tone conveys who you are and why a consumer should purchase your goods or service.
Customers will feel motivated to discover more about your business if your tone of voice is engaging. Customers will have greater faith in your ability to provide excellent goods or services if your tone of voice is constant.
On the sixth edition of The Bcast, Bplan’s official podcast, Peter and Jonathan discuss Palo Alto Software’s tone of voice: Subscribe to The Bcast on iTunes by clicking here »
Let’s look at what a brand’s tone of voice is, why it’s important, and how to create it.
What is the tone of voice of a company?
The tone of voice of your brand is how you connect with the rest of the world. From a printed flyer to a website, it covers all of your textual marketing materials.
Your company’s personality is reflected in your tone of voice, just as your own personality is reflected in your tone of voice. Consider a nice person you know. Their voice has a welcoming, friendly, and warm tone to it. Consider someone who is a risk taker. Their voice has a powerful, confident, and somewhat forceful tone to it. The tone of these people’s voices may assist you figure out how to communicate with them.
This is why it’s critical to nail down your company’s tone of voice so that your consumers can connect to you in the manner you desire.
The tone of a company’s voice is consistent. Here are a few examples. Consider the case of Apple. Their “friendly genius” voice has an engaging, casual, and clever tone to it.
Advertisement material from the new iPad Pro’s features page.
Consider Harley-Davidson. Their voice has a defiant, strong, and passionately independent tone to it. Take a look at this example of a promotional image:
From Harley-“Learn Davidson’s to Ride” section, an example of voice tone.
Do you see the distinction?
Why is a company’s tone of voice important?
Consider this scenario: Harley-Davidson issued an e-blast to its loyal consumers with the subject line, “We warmly welcome you to visit our showroom.” Isn’t the stiff, formal, and excessively courteous tone of speech perplexing?
“Claim your independence,” for example. Grab a Harley-Davidson by the handlebars today,” would be much more in keeping with the Harley-Davidson tone of speech.
So, how can you choose the appropriate tone of voice for your company?
Knowing your genesis story—basically, why your business exists—is the first step in establishing the appropriate tone of voice for your brand.
Phil Knight was a University of Oregon track and field athlete. He was annoyed that he couldn’t find a running shoe that would support his feet and allow him to perform at his best.
They developed the renowned “waffle iron” sole with Bill Bowerman, the University of Oregon’s track coach. This sole significantly improved a runner’s ability to run quickly while avoiding injury.
One of the original Nike waffle trainers, which is currently on display at the company’s headquarters. Oregon Live provided the image.
As a result, Nike’s founding narrative revolves on high-level athletic performance. It’s no surprise that Nike’s voice is aggressive, motivating, and self-assured. That’s the strength of understanding where you came from.
Consider your brand as a real person after you’ve figured out your genesis narrative. What celebrity would you choose if your brand walked into a room? What about Michael Jordan? Julia Child, perhaps? George Clooney, perhaps?
Consider your company like a body of water. Is it going to be a raging river? Or maybe a beautiful marble fountain? Would your brand be a plaid flannel shirt if it were a shirt? Is it an Oxford button-down or a blazer?
The more vividly you can see your brand in full color, the more you’ll be able to determine what tone of voice is appropriate.
What happens once you’ve established your brand’s tone of voice?
Congratulations! You’ve figured out what your brand’s tone of voice is. So, what’s next?
Consistency is key! Make sure all of your messages calm and comfort your reader if your brand’s tone of voice is nurturing.
Make sure your marketing language is calm and polished if your brand’s tone of voice is professional.
Take the Brand Genie quiz if you need more assistance determining your brand’s tone of voice. The Brand Genie will tell you what brand you should be in only twelve questions, including your tone of voice
The tone of voice guidelines pdf is a document that was created by the British Standards Institute. It provides a guideline on creating a tone for your brand’s voice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is brand tone of voice important?
Brand tone of voice is important because it helps set the mood and tone for a company. It also helps to establish a sense of identity and meaning for a product or service.
What is brands tone of voice?
Brands have a tone of voice that is consistent with their brand values. For example, Nikes tone of voice is Just Do It.