Keeping your brand’s tone of voice authentic – tricks of the trade

By August 15, 2018Uncategorized

Keeping the tone of voice for your brand as consistent as possible is crucial. It may seem near impossible to maintain a strong voice across the all of the avenues of communication you need to have with consumers and other businesses.

One thing brands can often come unstuck with is also retaining a level of authenticity to the way they interact with consumers. It’s easy to spot when someone just doesn’t get it…

Here are a few things to consider when it comes to keeping your brand’s tone of voice as engaging and as authentic as you can:

Don’t try too hard

You’ve done extensive research, you know your audience inside and out. You know what they like, what they want and what they hate. Now that you’re ready to fire out the most engaging content possible to boost your brand, it’s crucial you don’t fall at the final hurdle.

Don’t feign interest in things, don’t regurgitate the language of an audience you don’t really connect with yourself – consumers can spot a brand trying to be cool a mile away.

Take it from Dan Germain of Innocent Smoothies, the tone of voice kings:

“We don’t try too hard. There’s a small group of people here at Innocent who write posts and respond to tweets and messages. Their brief is to write and post stuff they think is funny and/or interesting.”

(Dan Germain, as interviewed by  17 Jul 2013)

Keep a tight, dedicated comms unit

You can’t have just one manic copywriter, writing all the comms like the spaghetti-armed post delivery alien from Men In Black II (top marks if you get that reference).

There will be multiple people in your team (or in the agency you’ve hired) who are writing on behalf of the brand. One way to ensure that a brand’s tone of voice stays consistent is to have a small team who all know the brand inside out.

Ensuring that this team is suited to the audience is equally important. If the team know the brand and identify in some way with the audience, you’re well on the way to keeping an authentic feel to all communications be it social media, packaging copy or email marketing.

It takes time to bed into the tone

If you’re re-branding or bringing in new staff, it’s important to have patience. Even with the best tone of voice guidelines you need to allow writers time to properly embed themselves in the brand. It can take months to really nail a brand’s tone to the point that you immediately know how to frame a sentence that has exactly the right personality from the right perspective.

If you work in a creative agency or freelance, hot desk, converse regularly with anyone and everyone from the brand, take note of how they speak to one another. All of this can become invaluable when you’re tasked with writing on their behalf.

Allow the tone to evolve naturally

Even though you’ve decided on a clear tone of voice don’t be afraid to allow it to change over time. This is actually bound to happen. As you engage with consumers more and more, your team will learn what works well when framing a conversation with the audience.

The one thing to be wary of is repeatedly changing the tone of voice. The goal is to earn trust through conversation, telling your story your way.

If you often make big changes you make it hard for your audience to relate to your brand and they’ll lose interest.