We all have a voice. It represents who we are as individuals. Your brand has a voice as well, based on its personality and style, and it is important for it to be a consistent voice. But, just like you don’t speak the same to everyone in our daily lives, you don’t want your brand to do so either. And that is where tone comes into play. While your voice is always a consistent one, tone changes based on both the situation and the person you are speaking to.
So let’s talk a little bit about finding your brand’s voice first and then we’ll focus on determining tones.
Your voice represents who you are as an individual. For your brand, it will represent who & what your brand is. What that voice sounds like will depend on what your brand’s personality is, and we’ve already discussed creating a personality for your brand. It represents your style and helps your brand stand out in the sea of competitors. Finding your brand’s voice goes hand in hand with finding your brand’s personality, and so the same questions will come into play again:
- Describe your business or brand with one adjective. Is it luxurious, trendy, hip, upscale, contemporary, etc?
- What is the spirit of your brand? If you had to define the essence of your business in one word, what would you choose?
- If your brand was a person, how would you describe him/her?
- Who is your audience?
- How do you want people to feel about your brand?
Once you’ve defined your brand personality and voice, it’s time to think about tone. Tone is very distinct from voice and probably the most important part of communications with your clients. You would not use the same tone to speak to your three year old as you would to speak to a business leader in your community. And your brand should not be using the same tone for everyone either.
Tone is tailored to the specific situation and individual to whom you are speaking. It is the single most important thing for making your communications not only feel authentic, but also empathic. Hit the right tone with your clients and you will come across as not only relatable, but also like you fully understand not only where they are coming from, but also what they need.
Determining your different demographics is the most effective way to determine what your different tones should be. So take some time to think about the different demographics of your business and the differing situations in which you need to communicate with different groups of clients. Your communications with your VIP clients should sound very different in tone than the communications with your summer Teen Spa clients. But your brand personality and voice should shine through to both groups.
Defining your brand’s voice and tone is the single best way to humanize your brand. This means you can better communicate with your clients (& potential clients) and makes it easier to start and maintain a conversation with them. Nail those two things and you are well on your way to building a relationship with your clients.