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Tone of Voice

Brand – a huge subject, but let’s start simply – tone of Voice (TOV). A subject I’m a little obsessed about. Why? Because I only know a few businesses (and that’s pushing it) who’ve managed to craft a ‘great’ TOV . I actually don’t quite understand why the larger companies, who should know better, haven’t worked it out. It gives the little businesses hope and an ability to show the big boys how it’s done! What is it?

An expression of the people behind the brand: Brand is not just about explaining what a company does, but who it is that makes it ‘a brand’. A TOV both embodies and expresses the brand’s personality and their set of values. It’s about the people who founded and make up the brand; the things that drive them, their loves/hates and what they want to share with the world.

Sets you apart from the rest: Your tone should be distinctive, recognisable and unique. Do not sound like everyone else. Stand out – in a good way! This may seem like a tall order, until we consider how language makes us feel,  in our everyday life

It builds trust: There’s a strong link between familiarity and trust. Because, something familiar requires little effort to process mentally, we are more likely to feel at ease around it. A company must be consistent in its use of language, so that its writing becomes familiar.

Influence and persuade: As American author Maya Angelou once said, “People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel.”

People can be very sensitive to language, forming impressions of people as soon as they begin to hear or read their words – Eg. “You wouldn’t happen to have a pen I could borrow, would you?” or “Do you have a pen I can borrow?” or “Pass me that pen.”

By and large, a successful tone of voice should go without notice. The aim is not for your audience to tell you that your writing is great, but to remark on your great business.

So, make sure your written words make people smile, allows them to remember you and most importantly, makes them want to come back and read more!


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