What is Tone of Voice in Branding?
Tone of voice in branding refers to how your communication and marketing content is written. This includes everything from newsletters to social media comments. Your tone of voice is determined by your brand’s personality and values.
Why is Tone of Voice Important in Branding?
All brands have personalities they want to portray to their consumers, whether humorous, authoritative, or even romantic. A change in the style of your content and tone of voice can change how your brand personality is received. If, for example, a brand like Ben and Jerry’s, which is typically seen as humorous, wrote about how their chocolate brownie ice cream’s PH balance is ‘superior to that of Häagen-Daz’, then consumers may feel confused. Over time Ben and Jerry’s would either have to return to a humorous tone or switch their brand strategy to a consistently more serious personality.
Improve Your Brand’s Tone of Voice
Tone of voice in branding is starting to get more and more important, but how can you improve yours? Here are a few tips to help develop your brand’s tone of voice.
1. Brand Strategy
Creative brand strategy focuses on delivering long-term brand development. The art of what, why, how, and when – brand strategy is aimed to achieve a specific goal and solve key challenges. Every brand should have a strategy, which includes your brand personality and other areas as covered below. The resulting framework is an outcome of research, findings, and strategic process.
Might be of interest – Develop brand strategy
2. Consistent Messaging
Long term growth is key to a successful brand. Take the time to understand your brand messages and display them in the best format. This may require a message map or matrix, which sorts your content into a framework that’s the perfect size for the audience. Clear, concise, consistent messaging wins people over. By keeping your messaging consistent (and written in your brand tone of voice), you will build a stronger brand presence.
3. Define Your Personality
This can be an area that brand’s struggle with. Often you see terms creep in like ‘customer-centric’, but if you think of your brand as you would a person you will start to create a more compelling personality. For example, Aldi has a distinct personality that is down-to-earth and relatable (the ‘Everyman’ archetype) that sets them apart from most other supermarkets. There are a number of exercises or archetypes you can look at to realise what your brand personality is, and create something unique from competitors and true to your brand.
4. Audit Your Current Communication
Once you have developed your brand, you will need to audit your existing communication. Review whether the content aligns to your brand and message strategy, and if it’s in the right tone of voice for your personality. If not, find a way to improve this.
Might be of interest – Successful Brand Communication Audit
5. Produce a Clear Tone of Voice Document
To ensure that your tone of voice is kept consistent, you may elect to create a tone of voice document. This is a helpful reference for internal teams, new hires, and any third-party suppliers that create written materials for your brand (e.g. perhaps you outsource your social media content). Just as you would have a visual guideline for your brand, your verbal guidelines are just as important.
Concluding Tone of Voice in Branding
Tone of voice in branding may be the difference between a memorable brand, and an amateur one that is indecipherable in the market landscape. Your tone of voice is the written and linguistic side of your brand, and just as important as your colour palette. How you communicate should be consistent, and aligned to the brand strategy you have developed. As part of your strategic process you will define your messaging and personality – allowing you to then audit your existing communications, and to create a tone of voice document and verbal guidelines.
Tone matters. Just as people must have tact, your brand requires the right approach to signal to audiences that you are the right match for them. View our tone of voice services here.