Last updated: 18 June 2024

What is brand tone of voice and why is it important?

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Brand tone of Voice is a marketing term that essentially means how your brand communicates with the world through its voice.

Sounds simple enough, right?

According to Contact Point, 86% of the words we communicate make up “tone of voice”, leaving the actual words we say at just 14%.  Which makes sense when you think about how easily a few simple words can be misinterpreted – we’ve all had one of THOSE text messages! It’s far easier to understand when someone is joking or being serious when you can hear the tone in their voice. NOT so easy when it’s written down in black and white.

The written word needs a cushion of emphasis and support around it that gives the reader very little room to misinterpret your intentions. Your brand’s tone of voice can help you to stand out and highlight your values, which for impactful businesses is crucial in order to connect with the reader.

So, if you thought your tone of voice was just a case of “I’ll just write how I speak”, this article will identify some gaps where you might be overlooking an important part of your brand’s marketing toolkit.

Tone of voice is how the personality of your brand communicates – both written and spoken. It’s the way you say it – not what you say. It’s vital for a business to get this right so it makes the intended impression on everyone who reads or hears you.

Brand tone of voice examples

You will have no doubt noticed that every individual, group or organisation you come into contact with has their own unique way of communicating. Some are playful, some serious. Humour may play a big part, or perhaps it’s purely casual.  Every brand is unique, but all represent their personality and values through their tone of voice.

However, tone of voice is so much more than quality writing or clever messaging alone. 

It’s using language within ALL of your communications, giving you a unique and instantly recognisable brand voice. From your social media to your written and spoken content: printed literature, merchandise, packaging, website, emails, calls, presentations, signage and internal communications. It’s the golden thread that runs through your business.

Tone of voice can also vary slightly between channels, if it’s done right.

If you take Aldi UK for example. Their Threads account has a very different vibe to their Instagam account. They know this suits the Threads audience and gets amazing engagement:

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Aldi were embracing the apparent copyright infringement allegations and ‘holding hands’ with Mark Zuckerburg. There was a lot of love for this post!

But it’s not the kind of post you’d see on their other platforms. Yes they are known to be causal and playful. But this was very cheeky (and fun). It was an exaggerated version of their tone of voice. They’d taken it up a level.

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But it did have consistency. A consistent tone of voice is important to ensure your target audience effectively hears the same person speaking whenever interacting with your business. 

If your brand has its own unique, consistent and authentic tone of voice then it will present your brand’s values as dependable. Authenticity is often lacking in tone of voice and this is what we specialise in providing for the organisations we work with.

Successfully defined and implemented, tone of voice gets your brand recognised using text alone, even if the audience doesn’t see your logo or company name attached.

But it did have consistency. A consistent tone of voice is important to ensure your target audience effectively hears the same person speaking whenever interacting with your business. 

If your brand has its own unique, consistent and authentic tone of voice then it will present your brand’s values as dependable. Authenticity is often lacking in tone of voice and this is what we specialise in providing for the organisations we work with.

Successfully defined and implemented, tone of voice gets your brand recognised using text alone, even if the audience doesn’t see your logo or company name attached.

The benefits to your company by focusing on tone of voice and creating brand messaging:

  1. Everyone likes brands to have a personality they can recognise and bond with.

Given a choice, individual consumers and business clients will go with the brand or company that connects with them on an emotional level. A brand they can align themselves with. Your tone of voice will translate your brand values into everything you say.

For example, if one of your brand values is inclusivity then your tone of voice needs to specify that. If the brand’s tone of voice is not communicated to your entire team then your personality is lost, and potentially, damage could be done to your brand because someone says the wrong thing.  

  1. Tone of voice can replace face-to-face communication

Many of the brands we work with communicate with their audiences digitally most of the time. And even more so in the initial stages when their audience is researching who to work with. There are fewer opportunities to talk face to face, so written words have to work harder. The tone of your website and marketing communications need to build trust with people from the start, establishing the relationship. Tone of voice has to take the place of emotion, body language, gestures and voice to show your brand identity and personality. When that personality is showcased in so many different places, it’s important to have a consistent tone of voice that everyone in your team understands and is on board with.

  1. Tone of voice helps your brand to stand out in a crowded place

You’ve probably heard of the phrase, “talk to everyone and you talk to no-one”. This is also true when it comes to your tone of voice. What makes you different? How can you communicate in a way that ensures the people YOU want to work with are lining up? Do you want to spend less time vetting people and more time saying yes? Having a distinct brand tone allows you to cut through the clutter and connect with the right people, making you instantly recognisable and distancing your brand from competitors.

  1. Tone of voice delivers authority

When you’re consistently showing up with confidence in what you’re saying, your audience will see you as an authority in your area. Authority is often an underutilised part of marketing, but tone of voice can play big part in making this happen.

  1. Tone of voice can shape your brand identity.

A powerful tone of voice is defined, engaging, authentic and stands out. Once established, your tone of voice can help to set strategic objectives, direction and personality. We work with brands to go further than establishing the surface level of your tone of voice. When you start to really delve into your values and the ‘why you do what you do’, a personality starts to emerge. It starts to take on a whole identity. This brand identity of yours was always there, we just help to bring it to the forefront so it has a stronger presence. This has the happy byproduct of strengthening your objectives and direction. 

  1. Tone of voice gives you an advantage over your competition

Tone of voice is still a relatively untapped resource. Many companies haven’t woken up to it; some have taken great strides. Virtually NO companies have utilised tone of voice to genuinely transform the way they use language — and that presents a huge opportunity for you!

…which leads to our favourite tone of voice quote:

“Very few brands have been doing this for long enough that we can say they’ve definitely nailed it for their whole brand. But what that means is that the first people who do nail it, in any sector, will clean up.”

Neil Taylor, managing partner at the Writer

However, it isn’t something you can easily do yourself. 

Work with a tone of voice expert like  Two Shoes Creative to clearly define your tone of voice so you can start to reap the benefits of having a voice that connects with your audience at every level and on every channel in your business.

Two Shoes Creative has the expertise to define your company’s tone of voice with:

  • Analytical resources to target and research audiences
  • In-depth brand knowledge to define your company values
  • Ability to unify how your company uses language so that your tone of voice is communicated across your channels and business
  • Writing experts to express your brand’s personality

If 86% of your messaging is your tone of voice, let’s make the right impact together!

If you want to work with a business that values authentic and ethical branding to deliver a powerful and effective tone of voice that connects with your ideal customers, then book a free discovery call with our Founder Emily today to have a chat about your next branding project.

We’d love to have a call to discuss your branding needs – just click here to arrange a call with our branding specialist and founder Emily.

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Emily Jones

Founder and Creative Lead at Two Shoes Creative

The creative agency for nice people doing nice things

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