When we first meet someone, we gain a basic indication of their personality from their introduction. They might be firm and commanding, coy and alluring, or charismatic and engaging.
Or they might fail to make an impression at all.
Once acquainted with someone, there’s an expectation that follows. You assume this person will maintain that standard of communication. If they don’t it can be confusing and disorienting. You may question their motives for change and withdraw from engagement.
The voice and tone of a brand resonate similarly with customers.
First, it’s important to underline that voice and tone are not interchangeable.
Voice is the distinctive way your brand speaks. This includes your unique brand personality, your rhythm and the language you choose to use.
Tone describes your application of this voice to certain scenarios. Your business card, for example, will read more succinctly than your social media; a forum intended to engage as well as inform.
Defining and implementing the voice and tone of your brand will improve your business dramatically. Consistency of voice and tone will:
- Strengthen and differentiate your brand from industry competitors
- Establish uniformity across all content
- Ensure your brand resonates with your desired market
So how do you begin to find the right voice for your brand? Start by asking yourself:
- How does the business perceive itself?
- How does it wish to be perceived by others?
- Which key values drive your business?
- If the brand were a person, how would that person communicate?
- What objective are you ultimately trying to achieve?
- How can voice and tone best help you achieve this?
If your business prides itself on professionalism and providing specialised services to corporate customers, consider engaging an educated voice peppered with industry jargon, and a formal, polite tone.
Or U could be #bold. Be honest. Short. Snappy. #Experiment. It’s effective.
Maybe you’re just a nice friendly company. Maybe you want to include everyone. Maybe you consider your customers as friends. Maybe you tell them that. Maybe that makes you likeable. Maybe you just use the word maybe a lot.
The possibilities for your brand voice are as infinite as all the personalities in the world. But once you’ve settled on one, there are a few important things to remember.
Every point of contact with your brand should be consistent for the client.
This includes printed and digital collateral, but also all personal contact.
Consider the way your receptionist answers the phone. How you introduce yourself to past, present and potential clients. The impression your email signature leaves. How quickly you respond to social media queries.
In order to connect with customers authentically, everything counts.
Stick to the voice and tone you’ve established.
Radical change can be off-putting to customers who have already created a bond with your brand. Your voice is chosen to establish a trusting relationship between your business and clients – and inconsistency threatens to sever that link.
Voice and tone influence your entire brand.
Your voice reflects your values, your objectives, and your brand personality. It informs design, copy, consumer engagement and all other aspects of your business.
Your voice speaks for you. Listen to what it has to say.