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Creating your tone of voice

Tone of voice: why it’s important and how to create yours

Creating and knowing your tone of voice is crucial for brand image and relationship building.

3 minute read

Your organisation’s tone of voice is important for many reasons. Not only does it create connections with your consumers, but it distinguishes you as a brand. We delve into more detail about what tone of voice is, why it’s essential, and what steps you can take to create yours.

What is tone of voice?

Your organisation’s tone of voice is your personality. It’s not what you say but how you say it and the emotional connections you create with people based on the language you use, sentence structure and your use of contractions.

Your tone of voice is to writing what your logo, colours, and typography are to your visual style. When deployed consistently across your marketing materials, social channels, emails, and advertising, tone of voice becomes just as recognisable as your brand colours.

Why is tone of voice important?

Whether you work B2C (business to consumer) or B2B (business to business), the first impression you create with potential customers or clients will likely be via words (your website copy, a blog, an advert etc.). As a result, your tone of voice and the emotional connection it creates is critical for several reasons:

It differentiates you from your competitors

Your tone of voice helps you show off your personality to potential customers and enables you to stand out from the crowd, especially in saturated markets where products and services have little to no differentiation.

It creates brand recognition

When deployed consistently across all channels, your tone of voice can become as distinctive as your brand colours and logo, helping customers and consumers form strong emotional connections to your business.

It builds brand loyalty

A consistent, authentic tone of voice can help create the loyalty with consumers that your brand needs to deliver excellent experiences at every touchpoint. Remember, loyalty builds advocacy, repeat business, referrals and more.

Find your brand’s tone of voice

Pulling together your organisation’s tone of voice is a big project. It requires careful decision making around your values, goals and personality, and should involve all stakeholders. Below we’ve listed a few steps to help you get started:

  1. Audit your current content
  2. Carry out interviews with internal and external stakeholders
  3. Research your target audience
  4. Research your competitors
  5. Pull together inspirational examples
    1. What competitors inspire you
    2. What big brands are doing ‘tone of voice’ well
    3. Are there any examples of businesses that you aspire to be like?
  6. What are your long-term goals?
  7. What are your core values?
    1. What does your business stand for?
    2. What sets you apart from your competitors?
    3. How do you want consumers to perceive you?
  8. Create a list of standards
    1. Outline the dos and don’ts when communicating on behalf of your brand
  9. Share these standards with your team – consistency is key
  10. Continually revisit and update these standards based on your growth, changes in the market, and what does and doesn’t work.

Key takeaways

Your organisation’s tone of voice represents your brand just as much as your logo, brand colours, and typography do. A distinctive tone of voice deployed consistently can help forge emotional connections, build trust and loyalty, and give you a unique edge in a competitive market.

To ensure consistency with your organisation’s tone of voice, you should create and distribute a formal style guide to all your employees, but don’t forget to revisit this regularly to ensure it is an up-to-date document that reflects your business.

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