Find the right tone to use in your marketing material to create and consistently maintain the desired brand image for your company. The tone of voice the way you speak to your target customer base has a significant impact on how people perceive your business.
Why Tone is Important
The tone of voice you use, whether in a small business blog on your company website or in advertising campaigns, is a major factor in establishing the brand identity of your company. The tone you choose, be it authoritative or folksy-friendly, goes a long way in creating a certain public perception of who your company is, beyond just whatever it sells.
Selecting the right tone for your business, and then maintaining it throughout all your marketing efforts, creates a marketplace identity for your company, so it can be a major help in building customer relationships. Familiarity breeds trust; as customers become familiar with your company’s voice, it lends credibility to your business.
Creating the Right Tone of Voice
The ideal tone of voice for your business communicates the values and attitude of your company, striking an emotional chord that establishes a connection with your target audience. A tone that is distinctive enough to be instantly recognized will strengthen your brand identity. For example, consider Motel 6 and its familiar voice in television commercials saying, “We’ll leave the light on for you.” That’s an example of a company that successfully branded its motel chain as friendly. In contrast, a company that offers financial services may want to go with a more authoritative-sounding tone of voice. The first step in choosing a tone is thinking about what makes your company unique, what it represents and how you want it to be perceived.
Once you have an idea of the brand image you want to create in the marketplace, the next step is deciding what specific elements of how you communicate with your customers will best help establish that brand image. Using formal language may give your business a more authoritative image, but it may also be perceived as somewhat remote. Going with a friendly voice may increase how comfortable your customers feel doing business with you, but it may also come across as sounding slightly amateurish.
One key to selecting the right tone is knowing your target customer base, and taking into consideration their usual tone of voice, the way they commonly speak with each other. For example, if your business is aimed at marketing to millennials, then a hip, funny tone may work best in making a connection with them. If your business is aimed at retirees, then hip and funny is probably not your best choice.
Look at the tone adopted by your competitors, and then craft a company voice that makes you stand out from the crowd.
Having selected your tone, strive to reflect it in all your marketing material consistently. Have someone specifically assigned to review all material for consistent representation of your desired brand identity.