Finding a tone of voice for your business can be difficult at first. It is easy to model a business based on your own personality and many people do this, but what if your business was to grow? What if you have future employees selling products that have nothing to do with your personality? Take a step away from yourself and plan the personality of your business based on many different factors like your ideal audience, your brand messaging and consider where you might like to see your business going in the future and the ethics you have for it.
What does tone of voice mean?
A tone of voice for your business is the messaging you will use across all your channels; offline communications like business to business, business to client, print and digital like social media platforms, your website, blog and newsletters. How you and your colleagues (future or current employees if you are planning to have any) will always convey your businesses brand to anyone external. The tone of voice needs to correspond with the brand’s image and colouring. If you are choosing playful, out-there graphics, your written content should be the same.
How do I decide my business’ tone of voice?
Think about your brand and what you are selling. Plan your audience personas and see what age they are, what do they like, where are they going, what brands do they like and what messaging do those brands put out resulting in that ideal audience. You could then list the personality traits and decide where your branding stands on that barometer.
Where to start?
Consider things like why your company was started. What the story behind its origins is. List the type of people you want to buy from you, who you want to appeal to. Then write out the product or service you have and your absolute ideal client/customer.
Write out your instincts of what your brand’s personality would be if it were personified. Would it be approachable, friendly, fun? Or would it be ultra professional, sleek, untouchable? What do you want people to think of when they think of your business?
How to use the tone of voice in content?
When writing content the chosen tone of voice needs to be consistent. If you’ve chosen a fun, playful, young feel, then you need to be in touch with the young generation you are appealing to and have your research done to have your language correct across the board. It’s almost like an actor getting into character when writing content for a certain brand personality.
To help keep to the brand tone of voice, you should write up a policy document with the tone of voice as a major part of your brand guidelines to be referred to when necessary.
What if you want to change your tone of voice?
You can do this slowly without having to rebrand. Go back to the drawing board and assess your audience and your ideal audience. Write out the traits they have and how to appeal to them, plan how to integrate this new voice and plan into your content. If you are drastically changing your voice, it needs to be done very slowly with small changes weekly throughout all imagery and content until you are fully satisfied.
Irish companies who do it well…
When I think of Tropical Popical I think of a cool, funky place where people who are colourful and are into original, different nail art can go. It appeals to a wide demographic from really young teens to people in their 80’s who love to keep it young and fresh. Their whole branding model is original and always fresh. It conveys their love of the streets of Dublin really well.
Nessa is a star in her marketing. Her tone of voice and branding is set to be open, honest and friendly to all body shapes and ages. She employs women of all sizes and ages to model her clothes and appeals to a wide demographic of women. Her appeal to make shopping as easy as possible for all women means her reach is wide and possibilities are endless. Nessa is a businesswoman to learn from!
I have to admit, I’ve only found Fiid recently through a friend but since following them on a couple of social media channels, I love their marketing! Their graphics instore, their social media engagement tactics and their appeal to new audiences is brilliant to see. They feel like a bright, shiny new brand and you get a distinct feeling of excitement from their posts while they aim to thrive in a highly competitive market. The personality they convey is young and fun!
If you haven’t heard of Suds, get onto their social media channels and check out the website. Their tone of voice is playful, funny and typically Irish so very appealing to the Irish sense of humour. Suds appeals to 20+-year-olds and fills the gap of vegan, environmentally, and skin-friendly products.
The Happy Pear started when twin brothers Steve and Dave travelled separately but both returned to Ireland feeling like they needed to change how veganism is perceived in Ireland. They make and sell tasty vegan treats, showing the local communities around their cafes that plant-based cuisine is delicious, adventurous and a healthy alternative.
Begin creating your business tone of voice today. If you need any help with this feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to advise you.