What is ‘tone of voice’?
… and why does it even matter?
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So, you’ve probably heard people talking about “tone of voice” when it comes to branding. But what actually is it?
Well, basically, a brand’s tone of voice is how a brand uses language, behaviour, and style to express and communicate its personality and character. It’s how a brand speaks and talks to its audience.
But, hold up! There are a few terms kicking about which can get a little confusing so, before we go any further, let’s clear up some confusion between brand tone and brand voice. Brand voice is a brand’s underlying personality and values, while the brand tone is the words, images and ways the values and personality traits are communicated. So basically, tone of voice just refers to tone.
Why does it even matter?
Now, why is tone of voice so important? Because it helps to build a strong and trustworthy brand! When a brand’s tone of voice is consistent across all communication channels, customers are more likely to trust the brand and feel connected to it because it is predictable and they know where it stands. But, if a brand’s tone is all over the place, it can cause confusion and mistrust, just like an inconsistent person can be confusing and untrustworthy.
So, what’s the key to nailing your brand’s tone of voice? Consistency, baby! Your brand’s tone and voice should be as consistent as possible across all communication channels. This doesn’t mean you can’t change it up a bit depending on the context (sometimes we have to be a little more serious or professional), but your brand’s personality and values should always be recognisable.
Using your brand’s tone of voice like a pro!
Now, let’s get down to writing that killer content! When you’re writing, it’s crucial to consider the message and the context you’re writing for. Your brand’s tone of voice should be tailored to fit the context while maintaining consistency with your brand’s voice. For example, let’s say your brand is known for its humour and its understanding. When creating a social media post sharing some exciting news laying the humour on thick makes sense. However, if you are writing a serious email letting customers know their fees are going up maybe dial the humour back and focus on portraying your understanding side instead.
Depending on the context and messaging the tone may need to change but the voice should always be recognisable. See Dwight from ‘The Office’ below … His underlying personality and ‘voice’ is always recognisable even when changing his appearance (or tone).
And in case you missed it: your tone of voice can change, but not to the point that it sounds like a different person!
So, there you have it, folks! Tone of voice may seem like a simple concept, but it can have a huge impact on your brand’s reputation and relationship with its audience. By keeping your brand’s personality and values in mind and tailoring your tone to fit the context, you can communicate effectively and build a strong relationship with your audience.