Jen Williams

What Is Tone Of Voice And Why Does It Matter?

6th Feb 2018 Digital PR Blog, Brand, Reputation Management 3 minutes to read

What Is Tone Of Voice And Why Does It Matter?

In the world of marketing and branding, ‘tone of voice’ is a phrase that you will often hear used. It describes the way in which the character and brand values of a business come through to anyone making contact with it, in both written and spoken communication. It is less about what is said than the way it is said, and the impression that is left on anyone who hears or reads your company’s messages.

Adhering to a well-defined writing style helps you maintain a consistent brand. It helps you write efficiently, and ensures consistency in style, spelling and grammar. It also helps your customers feel as though they are talking to the same person every time they engage with your brand.

Multinational firms including Google, Microsoft, O2 and Philips have all engaged tone of voice consultants in recent times to look at the language they use to get their messages across to their customers and to help them become brands with a strong tone of voice. So why are companies so focused on this?

Let’s take a look at six compelling reasons:

1. It makes your brand stand out from the crowd

What is your brand’s unique selling point (USP)? How do you differentiate yourself from the competition and draw in customers? By following clear tone of voice guidelines, you can transform your use of language and open up enormous opportunities for your business. Start now and you can aim to be the leader in your sector.

2. It makes your business more ‘human’

People like it when a brand seems to have a personality that they can get to know, recognise and form a relationship with. Businesspeople and customers are only human themselves and don’t always operate rationally. They tend to want to deal with a brand they feel a bond with and feel good about if given a choice, perhaps in preference to a more ‘obvious’ choice for their stakeholders and business priorities.

This ties in with the recent trend towards honesty, openness and authenticity in business and the fact that emotion, not pure, hard logic, will often win the day in attracting customers to your brand. A consistent tone of voice template will make people feel that they are always dealing with the same familiar person whenever they engage with you.

3. It helps to cut through

Because content marketing is becoming more and more popular, substantial volumes of text are being generated which often lack a clear, recognisable voice. You can really connect with your customers by developing a distinctive tone and be recognised even when your logo is not visible. This is very powerful on both your website and social media channels.

4. It replaces face-to-face comms

With online interactions increasing and fewer opportunities than ever to talk face to face, your written communications need to work harder and smarter than ever. The majority of buyers are most of the way through their decision-making process before they have ever spoken with a company and so it is important that the foundations of a good working relationship can be built through your marketing material and website. If you can think of tone of voice examples that help to subtly build trust and familiarity with your brand, you are on to a good thing.

5. It makes you focus

Thinking about tone of voice engenders really good discipline as you reflect on your company identity and arrive at some clear and concise tone of voice guidelines. By drilling down to the simple truths about your brand, you can cut through the clutter and perhaps see your strategic direction more clearly. This is a great technique for getting to the core of what you are about and identifying and capitalising on any niche appeal.

6. It builds authority

If you think of the great communicators that you’ve seen presenting or performing, they all fill their audience with passion in some way. They might be lively, funny, charismatic, stirring or have many other traits, but they will all be memorable for their unique style of delivery. Personality comes through when you have confidence in what you are saying. This additional authority is precisely how brands with a strong tone of voice will benefit.

Everyone you meet has a special way of expressing themselves that makes them unique and recognisable. Give your company a tone of voice of its own, as if it were a person with its own individual personality and style speaking directly to your customers. And ask yourself “What is your brand personality?”

Still not sure not how to answer that question? Get in touch with our team today.

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