Apple does. And Innocent does. But what about you? Among the thousands of products out there vying for the attention of your target market, is your message distinct enough to differentiate you from your competitors? And do you need a unique tone and voice in the B2B market? The answer to that is a resounding ‘yes’. Having a recognisable brand tone helps you tell a consistent story across a variety of media—and this is important. Marketing isn’t just about selling your product or service. It’s about your customer’s story and where your company fits into it.
The rudiments of communication
Tone and language are everything when it comes to creating compelling copy. According to Professor Albert Mehrabian’s communication model, 55 percent of a message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is derived from the speaker’s facial expression. Naturally, with copy that important element is taken out of the equation. 38 percent of the message is carried paralinguistically—in the pitch, volume and intonation of the voice—while only 7 percent of a message’s effective communication is down to the words that are spoken. But naturally, in written communication your choice of words is everything, so you need to develop the tone you use to make up for what’s missing in body language. Complementing your message with strong images will help, but if the words don’t adequately convey what you need to put across, your content will fail. So you need to understand thoroughly what you’re talking about, who you’re talking to and where their interests lie.
How to define your unique brand voice
As your business grows, so too will the number of employees who need to be able to communicate using a consistent tone of voice for your brand. This makes a tone handbook essential. So how do you describe the tone you want to achieve?
- write like you talk—keep it conversational
- tell a story
- lead with the key benefit for your target audience
- be straightforward and specific—include facts and figures to bolster your case
- avoid jargon
- include clear calls to action
- use an active voice and action verbs, and be positive
- check your work—then check it again
If every communication you put out tells the same story, a single, identifiable personality will emerge for your company and your brand.