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Chapter
6

Build your brand’s voice and tone

Just as your personality is similar, but distinct to that of your brand, the same is true for your voice and tone. How you write and speak as a person will have definite overlaps with your brand’s voice and tone, but the latter is more structured, defined, and reproducible than your human expressions.

How voice and tone guidelines will be used 

Your voice is revealed every time your brand communicates with the public in any format. It’ll come through on your Instagram, blog articles for your website, and even a call to action (CTA) on your Twitter. With strong voice and tone guidelines, your social captions, email subject lines, proposal documents, you name it, will all sound like the same brand.

Off the top of your head, you can easily think of a few brands that have clear voice and tones:

  • Nike is confident and aspirational. They’re telling you to “Just Do It”, but giving you the confidence that you can go out there and do whatever you set your mind to.

  • Dove is uplifting and empowering. Their voice and tone encourages you to embrace and love yourself just as you are. They use positive, uplifting words and stories to remind you that you’re perfect.

  • Old Spice is goofy and masculine. They’re almost tongue in cheek while being absurdist and approachable to their teen audience.

Differentiate between voice, tone, and personality 

Your voice always stays consistent while your tone may shift when you’re using different channels of communication. Think about it this way — when you’re pitching to a client versus having a call with a mentee, your tone will shift in one direction or another. However, your voice always stays consistent.

In Step 6, we explored the value behind defining and documenting your brand’s personality regarding the voice and tone you’ll use when communicating. This’ll help you ensure consistency on all content that goes out; create a more cohesive persona to use online and off; and train others to create content that sounds “on brand.” 

Recap 

  • Clarified the difference between voice and tone and how voice stays the same, while tone changes.

  • Identified your brand’s voice and tone.

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