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Building your brand is easy.

Okay, fine. It’s not that easy. But knowing how to speak to your customers certainly makes it easier.

You have your brand and you know its purpose. But you’re struggling to connect to an audience that will drive your sales.

There’s just a secret ingredient missing, and you’re trying to figure it out.

Here’s why the right tone of voice is crucial for your brand, and why it can be the saviour you’re looking for.

What is ‘tone of voice’?

Tone of voice is the way in which your brand represents itself, how it speaks to its customers, and how this ties in with its values.

It’s what tells brands apart and gives them their personality that customers can recognise.

What does this look like?

When we think of the brand, ‘Innocent’, we think of their delicious smoothies. If you’re an avid Innocent smoothie drinker, you’re probably aware of the gags that feature on many of their bottles.

If you wander through their website, you’ll also notice the informal, humorous approach that Innocent use, for example: ‘We write a lot of nonsense on social media. Some of it’s even about our drinks. Give us a follow and there’s a 32% chance you won’t regret it.’

It’s easy to see that Innocent use an informal and witty tone of voice to represent who they are and how they want to speak to their customers.

And you know what? It works.

How many times have you seen a website or company directing you to their social media pages with a generic ‘Follow us on social media to keep in touch’?

Too many I bet. It’s boring. And unless you’re already really invested in that brand, I doubt that will encourage you to do that.

The prompt they give you to follow their social media genuinely made me smile. Why? Because it’s funny, and it’s brilliantly smart.

They’re using self-deprecating humour; they’re effectively saying that their posts are rubbish and you won’t enjoy them.

You never see a brand admit this, so it will lead you to want to see for yourself.

And of course, this is the type of image that Innocent has captured. They create and promote healthy drinks in a laid-back, fun way.

I’m not saying that you need to have a ‘witty’ tone of voice to build a successful brand.

You can have whatever tone of voice you want, as long as you’re being realistic and not moving away from your brand values and the products or services it provides.

The trick is, they use their tone of voice consistently. And that’s the most important bit.

Why consistency is key

You can’t build a brand without successful recognition from your audience.

And you can’t build brand recognition without consistency.

You achieve consistency by reinforcing the same values; by maintaining the same tone of voice.

Whether you’re writing your website, drafting a social media post, writing a blog, or directly talking to customers, your tone of voice needs to be consistent.

This is what allows you to establish your brand personality, and your customers will see that clearly.

When we think of McDonalds, we think of the famous strapline, ‘I’m Lovin’ It’, or their beloved ‘happy meal’.

Like Innocent, their choice of copy has created a laid-back personality through their tone of voice. And it fits perfectly with McDonalds: a cheap, not so serious fast-food chain.

We’re able to make that instant recognition with the brand, and that’s thanks to their consistency.

To summarise:

  • Tone of voice is using your copy to create your brand personality.
  • Establishing brand personality helps you to build your brand by encouraging brand recognition.
  • You can adopt any style of tone for the voice for your brand; as long as you use it consistently and it fits well with your products and brand as a whole.

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