How brand tone of voice defines brands
We recently approached an agency who we thought to be doing great work. They ghosted us. And now we know why.
They recently blogged about never starting an email (or any request for that matter) with “I hope you’re well”. Their reasoning was along the lines of: cut the crap, everyone’s busy, don’t waste busy people’s time, get straight to the point. Their other blogs also reflected this straight-up, don’t die wondering attitude.
Although ditching the pleasantries isn’t for us, we appreciate their authenticity. They’re upfront about the way they work and they’re consistent. They love the hustle, and there are plenty of people who enjoy working this way.
In complete contrast to this agency, we recently came across another company’s brand guidelines that required email correspondence to begin with a nicety ie. “how are you?”, “I hope you’re well” etc. Here we have two companies at complete opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of how their brands communicate. One is very much about building relationships, the other is about getting sh#t done. Which then had us thinking about how important it is for brands to define their tone of voice, because it really does make or break relationships.
How brand tone of voice strengthens brands
For those who aren’t familiar with tone of voice, it’s the way your brand speaks. It’s a way of controlling your brand’s personality across many different communication platforms. Developing your tone of voice helps to humanise your brand and ensure message consistency. And ultimately, a consistent tone of voice helps to strengthen brands. Ask the questions: if your logo doesn’t appear with your content, could your audience identify the content as coming from your brand? Would someone viewing your content on different channels know that it was from the same brand?
Tone of voice also helps your brand connect with people on an emotional level. Like attracts like. So imagine if you worked for the above-mentioned agency, or you were a potential client. How would you feel if the niceties did mean something to you? There’s no right or wrong approach when it comes to developing your brand’s tone of voice. It’s a case of different strokes for different folks. The most important thing is that your brand’s tone of voice is authentic. It’s about staying true to what your brand stands for and how it communicates, and applying this consistently.
How we’ve applied it to our own business
For us, we’ve clearly spelled out who we are and what we value. We’ve taken it even further by describing the types of people who we’d love to work with, those who share the same values and believe in the same things. We believe this to be important because great working relationships relate back to shared values and a shared purpose.
Have you thought about how tone of voice can enhance your brand? Have you identified your tone of voice? Is it applied consistently, if at all? Or are you due for a rethink on your approach because your brand has grown or expanded? It’s worth thinking about…