Tone of voice is key to any organisation, company or brand. Like with friends and family we accept, get used to and are comforted by, the consistency of their voice and tone. It is no different for brands. They become familiar and we accept, or reject them, based on their message but critically, on their tone of voice. If a brand slightly changes its tone, consumers pick up on it, and it throws confusion and uncertainty about what they are hearing or reading - it leaves doubt if the brand is still talking at them, or on the flip side, is now speaking to them.
WHY THE USE OF TONE OF VOICE IS SO CRITICAL FOR BRAND COMMUNICATIONS
A consistent tone of voice is immediately identifiable and imperative for both brand awareness and longevity.
Here are just some examples of where brands’ have used ToV well. And you will note that Innocent drinks aren’t included, because while they always, rightly so, feature in these types of articles, we wanted to shine the light on other brands.
Creating a successful ToV relies on understanding your target market. One brand that has clearly done this is Paddy Power. It relies on using language that is akin to ‘pub banter’ between mates, to communicate to their audience.
Their social media brings the ToV to life, interacting with customers and posting funny tweets.
You can really picture the persona being the Paddy Power brand, and that’s why they are so successful with their ToV.
For a long time Old Spice was the butt of many jokes but the brand has spent a lot of time and effort in reinvigorating itself. It has actually embraced its previous joke status by creating a funny and often, irrelevant, ToV, as the below mock infomercial shows.
This tone is carried on throughout their social media, providing brand consistency that allows their audience to readily engage with it.
Digg is an online news curator that compiles articles and videos that popular on the internet. Their ToV is friendly, warm but just with a hint of an edge – look at some examples taken from their website, below.
It’s a really accessible ToV and really brings the brand to life, like a helpful friend pointing out articles and videos that might interest you.
Bombas sell socks, and operate from America. Their ToV is really nice, as you can see here:
They have carefully, and successfully, balanced the need to communicate clearly with maintaining their ToV. Information for shipping nationally and internationally is easy to find and understand, while being engaging and entertaining.
Brands need to remember that communicating their message clearly is important, it shouldn’t be at the cost of their ToV.