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Lucinda Sloane, of Bird Media in Bury St Edmunds, says your business needs to get its 'tone' just right





Brand tone of voice (ToV) is not just what you say, but how you say it and, crucially, why people should listen.

For me, finding your voice is the most exciting part of brand development – but I would say that, I’m a writer.

It also forms the final part of my Building Your Brand Identity series. So, let’s get cracking.

Lucinda Sloane, of Bird Media
Lucinda Sloane, of Bird Media

Why is tone of voice important?

Tone of voice is as integral to your brand identity as your logo. It embodies your brand personality, expresses your brand values, and distinguishes your voice from your competitors. It also informs your website copy, social media content, email marketing, sales literature (brochures, leaflets), business stationery, signage and merchandise. Your ToV is everywhere so it better be good.

A clear and consistent ToV that exudes personality and passion gives integrity to your business and intent, opinion and purpose to your content. Most importantly, your ToV has the power to inspire, influence, engage and, ultimately, motivate people to invest in your brand.

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How to develop a brand tone of voice

  • Understand your audience: ToV ensures that we speak in a way that resonates with our audience. But who are we talking to? Here our work from the second Brand Identity article comes into play. As well as identifying our customers, we need to understand what information they’re consuming and where. What do they want to know? What do we want them to know? What reaction do we want to inspire?
  • Express your personality: Your ToV encompasses your brand personality, so who are you? Imagine your brand as a person; are you laidback and familiar, humorous and cheeky, professional and aspirational, inspirational and energetic? Are you a storyteller, a maverick, a specialist, an innovator, a problem-solver? But remember, whoever you are, be your authentic self.
  • Identify the words you do and don’t want: ToV development involves getting down to the nitty-gritty of the words you do and don’t want to use, as well as the order, pace and rhythm of those words. Gather examples of communications that inspire you, but also those you dislike. What is it that you dislike? Are they too convoluted, cold, jargony, spammy, punny, cheesy, inauthentic? Are they asking you too many questions…?

Now, you may be thinking this sounds like a lot of hard work – and a lot of writing – but it doesn’t have to be. I like to workshop ToV development with business owners and their employees to define your brand persona and craft a genuine brand voice that is heard.

-- Visit www.thisisbirdmedia.com or follow Lucinda on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/lucinda-sloane

-- Email lucinda.sloane@thisisbirdmedia.com