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T & V: How your values shape your tone of voice

  • by Charlotte Howard
  • 17th May 2017
    • Branding, Strategy

Writing a blog per letter for our little book of B2B brand has been an ongoing task, we started at A, writing about brand advocacy in October, and have found a nice little niche in each brand term each time to serve some fresh insight.

Then it came to the letter T, for Tone of Voice.

After writing a couple of versions I found there was no way we could write about a brand tone without touching on company values and the way to stake a claim on your unique position (that we’ve just written a great blog about over here). Your brand’s tone of voice is the way you communicate with the world, and further to that, the way you connect with and nurture your audience.

It’s integral that both shape and feed into the company tone.

A consistent tone of voice is a successful tone of voice, and I found myself thinking this whilst listening to Chris Moyles on Radio X one morning. He is brash, mocking, and opinionated, which can be a huge turn off (literally) to some, but to others it’s exactly what they want to hear whilst they drive to work in a morning. His return to radio saw a 39% boost in listeners to the station, and that audience have stuck with the breakfast show because they know exactly what they’re getting.

Above, I used three words used to describe Chris Moyles’ radio personality. When planning the tone of voice for your brand, find three words which describe your values, these shape the personality which you wish to portray to your audience.

Using these three values gives you a basis for the more granular written style. Where would your brand lie on the following scales regarding its register?

Source

Once a general register is set it’s important to note that your ‘laid back’ might not be the same as someone else in the business’ ‘laid back’. Vocabulary examples or a guidelines booklet will shape the voice you want to portray and give your brand one single voice, to make sure your audience can tell when communications are from you.

The problem that b2b service providers face is their ability to differentiate in a crowded marketplace. Many brands attribute themselves with values such as reliable and knowledgeable, but how can these be different from others who claim the same? What specifically is it that makes you reliable?

In order not to sound like every other Tom, Dick or Harry you should focus on the specific needs of your ideal customer. Take their needs, work out a way to go above and beyond expectations and make it clear what you’re able to offer to alleviate these needs. Your USP, combined with your values, will shape your messaging and tell your audience why they should do business with you.

For more insight into shaping your tone of voice and how clear values can increase customer loyalty, follow the download link below and dive into the little book of b2b brand.