How To Define The Tone Of Your Brand’s Voice

When you think about a particular brand, the first thing that probably
comes to mind is their visual identity. Take McDonald’s, for instance.
Those yellow arches creating the alphabet ‘M’ set against a bright right
background — it stays with you, doesn’t it?

While visual appearance plays a huge role, another very important
element or factor that tends to get overlooked is your brand’s voice and
the tone that it sets in the mind.

Every brand needs to have a unique voice that helps you position
yourself in the market, is consistent, and gives your brand its own
personality.

Think of it this way: if you were to publish some content without
attaching your logo to it, would your audience be able to identify that
the content has come from your brand? When your followers view your
content on several different channels, would they be able to figure out
that it’s all coming from the same brand?

If your answer is ‘no’ to both the questions, it means that your brand
lacks a certain tone and voice to it, which provides a very inconsistent
picture to the audience.

What Is Tone of Voice?

Simply put, the tone of voice is a representation of your brand’s
personality. It helps you stand out from the rest and allows you to
connect with your audience. The success of your brand lies in making
this tone memorable and distinctive.

There is also a very subtle difference between ‘voice’ and ‘tone’ that
you ought to know. Voice is the personality that needs to be consistent,
while tone is the emotional aspect of the voice. It needs to be adjusted
according to the context of the content or message.

One of the best examples of a brand with a consistent voice is
Coca-Cola. It always has a friendly and positive voice, which is shown
through its unique and colorful advertisements. Coco-Cola always manages
to evoke positive feelings and associate happy images with their drink.
The tone of their brand’s voice is perfectly constructed in every
single advertisement or piece of content that comes from them.

So, how do you do that?

Ways to Define the Tone of Your Brand’s Voice

As a brand, you need to ensure that the tone you set comes through in
every form of communication or message delivered by you so that it
stands out and resonates well with your audience.

Know Your Audience

When finding your brand’s tone of voice, the first thing you need to do
is understand who your audience is. Research everything about them from
their gender and age to their job title and interests. In-depth audience
research is extremely vital when developing a tone for your brand’s
voice.

The key is to identify the generation that you majorly communicate with.
For instance, if your target is the millennial, your content needs to be
informative, but with a playful, entertaining tone.

Determine Your Brand’s Values

Every brand needs to have some core values that help them identify the
language of communication required to deliver their message effectively,
which, in turn, allows them to connect with their audience.

The tone of your brand’s voice should be based on those core values
because that’s how you’ll be able to achieve consistency. Determining
your brand’s core values requires you to answer questions like why your
was company set up, things that make your brand unique, the values that
you want to share with your audience, and what you stand for, to name a
few.

Analyze Your Existing Content

If you already have some existing content pieces or messages, analyze
and audit them to see how your brand sounds and what kind of tone it
has.

Does the current tone of your brand’s voice fit the brand values that
you are trying to communicate? Does it reflect the values you included
in your mission statement?

When trying to analyze the tone of voice, there are four main dimensions
that you should consider:

  • Funny vs. serious

  • Respectful vs. irrelevant

  • Casual vs. formal

  • Matter of fact vs. enthusiastic

Try to see which dimension your brand’s tone is most relevant to.

Create Your Own Tone

Your brand’s tone of voice is a combination of two key factors:

  • What you sound like

  • What you want to sound like

Analyze the four dimensions of tone mentioned above and assess which one
best resonates with your brand.

For instance, a funny tone of voice might lead to higher recall and
increased social shares, but at the same time, it can also make your
audience think that you are unprofessional.

Your goal should be to create a tone for your brand’s voice that sits
well with your audience and also reflects the brand’s core values.

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