What is tone of voice and why does your business needs one?

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

Developing and maintaining a consistent tone of voice is important. What you say 

and how you say it will determine how people view your brand. So what is tone of voice and why is it important? 

What is tone of voice?

All successful brands have their own distinctive voice, whether it is serious, friendly, or quirky. Your tone of voice should be evident on everything from your letterhead to your social media posts. 

What you say and how you say it needs to be decided on at a company level. Though there are times when you might have to change your tone slightly, especially if your usual brand is quirky or whimsical. The industry you are in will also have some bearing on your tone. For example, if your company is in IT consulting, you want to reassure customers that you are knowledgeable and professional, while still also having a personality. Responding to a serious story or similar requires a more measured response. 

Why do you need one? 

Engage your audience – a well-defined brand tone encourages people to engage with a brand

Build trust – having your company values front and center can attract customers who share these. 

Increase the bottom line – having a consistent tone, alongside a well thought out marketing strategy, can increase sales and revenue. 

Anchors your brand image – tone of voice, alongside other tangibles such as logo, brand colors, and slogans improve brand recognition in your target audience.

How to create your tone of voice

Settling on your brand’s tone is a delicate balancing act between your company and its values and your target audience. You’ll want to look at the tone of voice of your competitors too, but this should be as part of wider research, not to mimic. 

Research your target audience thoroughly. What brands do they like, which platforms do they prefer, how do they talk to each other. A study by Econsultancy revealed that over 50% of consumers felt that communications from brands weren’t relevant to them. You can’t afford to leave that kind of business on the table. 

So, if you haven’t narrowed down your buyer personas, you need to do this as a matter of priority. All of your communication, product development, and marketing will be influenced by this. If you don’t know if you’re targeting boomers or millennials, you’ll end up reaching no one. 

Once you’ve pinned down your target market, you can start aligning your brand values. Openness and transparency are the keys to consumer buy-in. Over 90% of consumers said that they would be more likely to maintain loyalty to a brand that is transparent in their communications and wider business dealings. 

So you know what you want to say and who you want to say it to. Now distill this down into your mission statement. Tell your audience who you are and what you stand for. This should be communicated both internally and externally.

When deciding on your tone of voice, decisions will need to be made on whether you want to sound serious, formal, friendly, casual, or quirky. 

Each way of speaking has its own pros and cons and these can change from sector to sector. 

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