What is brand tone of voice and why does it matter?

If you’ve been around enough marketers, you’ll have heard the phrase ‘brand tone of voice’ at least once. But do you really know what it means? And more importantly, why it matters?

We were very excited to launch the #VFactorComp last week in collaboration with Visuable and Kimba Digital. Together we’re offering one lucky business the chance to win a £7,000 rebrand, which will cover brand visuals, brand voice and brand visibility.

All three are vital to ensure your brand gets noticed. And today we’re looking at the power of having a distinctive brand tone of voice.

What is brand tone of voice?

In simple terms, brand tone of voice is the way your brand sounds.

Imagine meeting a person for the first time. Your impression will initially be based on how they look, how they’re dressed and presented, whether they’re smiling etc. This is the equivalent of brand visuals.

Once they start talking to you, you’ll have much more to go on – not just what they say but how they say it. With face to face communication, you’ll take into account things like accent, pitch and how fast someone talks. You might conclude that they’re friendly, well educated, bossy, young, posh.

While business writing can’t rely on those audible elements, it still needs to convey the same amount of personality. This can be done through things like choice of vocabulary, length of sentence, word order, pace and so on.

Brand tone of voice in practice

To give you an idea of how this might actually look, have a read of these three sentences:

  • Grab loads of massive deals all week in our bargain basement sale.
  • Exclusive discounts available for new members until the end of the week.
  • We’re sharing the love this week with 25% off when you use the code FREEHUGS.

Can you picture the kind of brand you might associate each one with?

  • The first is the sort of thing you might hear from a budget brand like Primark or Argos, which is aiming at people who are interested in price as a priority.
  • The second feels much more like a luxury brand such as David Lloyd or Achica, that doesn’t want their offer to take the edge of their premier positioning.
  • The third is going down the Innocent Smoothies or Mailchimp route, which is young, friendly and fun, and designed to have mass appeal.

Why create a distinctive tone of voice?

So having worked out what it is and how it looks in practice, the question remains: why does brand tone of voice matter?

Simply put, it will help you communicate who and what you are as a brand and also appeal directly to your target audience.

The more distinctive your voice is, the more memorable you will be. You’ll be able to set yourself apart from your competitors and it will be much easier to win brand recognition and reach. By staying consistent across all of your marketing channels, you’ll earn people’s trust too, which will in turn boost sales and build customer loyalty.

And if you articulate your brand tone of voice in a formal brand tone of voice guideline document, you’ll also find that it’s much easier to create engaging content because you’ve got a blueprint to follow. This is especially useful if you have a number of different people producing your content, either internally or externally.

If you think you could benefit from professional help to establish your brand tone of voice, you should definitely enter the VFactorComp when it opens. Register your details on the #VFactorComp website to stay up to date and we’ll let you know as soon as it opens for entries!

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