5 steps to find your brand’s “tone of voice”
In general terms tone of voice refers to “your characteristic style or manner of expressing yourself orally”, but when it comes to branding it’s not quite the same.
In branding “tone of voice” is more about establishing a pattern of communication for your brand in order to maintain a solid and efficient information flow. It sounds rigid but it’s not, I just over simplified it for arguments sake.
Deep voice: And in the beginning there were the brand’s values!
That’s the starting point. Now, this is a really complex issue that might need some thorough analysis and introspection and there’s a lot to talk about, so we’ll just leave it be. After determining the values of the brand it’s very clear what is the foundation of your strategy, so you can build the basic structure of “what” your brand must communicate.
Deep voice: And then came Adam and Eve!
Adam and Eve are the customers. For your voice to be heard you need to know what they like and want. Let’s say they are passionate about apples, living life to the fullest and are heavy duty nudists. Knowing all you can about your audience is the first step in understanding how to establish communication. All jokes aside, this is a very important issue and knowing your customers might be the determining step in establishing the tone of voice.
Deep voice: And words were spoken!
Next step is understanding “how” to communicate your values. This is a blend between knowing your audience and establishing your brand’s values, knowing “what” you communicate. The deliverance of a message is often more important than the message itself, so knowing “how” to do it gets a whole new meaning. How you deliver your message will establish the final touch on the tone of voice of your brand and will determine the rest of communication.
Deep voice: Where did everybody go?
Where do they go indeed? Well, it doesn’t matter, your job is to find out where they are and welcome them with your message. Adapt your message to the environment’s guidelines but make sure the tone of voice doesn’t change, consistency is key.
Deep voice: Get me a conclusion!
Looks like the voice is impacient, so I’ll get there faster. Tone of voice is about what you say, where you say it and how you say it. Tone of voice is about your brand, about its values and benefits. It is the way you communicate with your audience and it’s based on expectation and emotion, both from your standpoint and the customer’s.
Establishing your tone of voice is more about how people connect to your brand than getting some commercial message out there. It is the foundation of brand relationships and the starting point of your story.