Simplifying Your Brand Tone of Voice into 3 Words
One of the lesser known, but more important elements of branding, is tone of voice. And it’s about time you sorted yours out babe.
You might have your logo, your brand elements and your photography, but without a clear tone of voice, you still don’t have a complete brand.
Think about it babe, whenever your audiences reads your website, pops onto your social media, or sees an advert from you - you want to sound the same at every touchpoint. This consistent way of writing is what makes your brand recognisable - it’s as important as your logo and design.
What do we mean exactly? Well your tone of voice reflects the kind of brand that you are through the way you speak, the kind of words you use and the personality you create. It almost creates a written persona for your brand that your audience can connect with.
If this isn’t consistent, then your audience won’t trust you, connect with, or recognise you. Imagine if your brand is sassy and informative (like us!) then one day you start sending newsletters that are very serious and technical. Your customer will be confused as heck! That’s why it’s so important to define this TOV and set rules around it.
First things first though babes, you need to work out what your TOV is through these three steps below. Put down your phone, step away from facebook, and don’t post again until you’ve got it sorted. You’ll thank us later.
1. Consider what kind of brand you are
Think about the people behind the brand and the values. If your team are very open and friendly, and your values are centred around transparency and no bull, you can see how this will translate well into a tone of voice. By linking back to your brand values, you are reminding your audience why they choose you. Even better, by staying true to your brand values and team, it is much easier to maintain than if you were to try and be something you’re not. Just like mum always said aye babes!
2. Understand your audience
Now that you’ve worked out what kind of brand you are, think about your audience. What are they looking for from you and how does your tone of voice help with that. For example, if your brand focuses on self-love and providing ways to do that, your tone of voice would be empowering and inspirational, so maybe like a bold best friend. When considering your audience also think about what language they use – if it’s appropriate to your brand you can bring some of that in to your tone.
3. Define what your tone of voice is not.
This is important when setting rules for consistency. Create a list of words and phrases your brand would definitely not say. Sometimes when you’re really struggling to define your tone of voice it can be easier to start with what you wouldn’t say or do, as this will then reveal what you would say and do.
Based on the three steps above you want your tone of voice to be so defined that anyone could pick up your guidelines and write an on-brand post for you, no matter who they are.
The best test of a defined tone of voice is if it can be summarised into three words. Try it now babes! Ours is sassy, bold and knowledgeable. Nikes is competitive, inspiring and confident.
It could even be three words that make you think of a clear personality - e.g bold best friend. Once you’ve done this, stick those three words on the wall in your office and look at them every time you begin to write.
If you’re still not sure about your tone of voice, or unsure how to translate it into great copy, hit us up babes.