Tone of Voice guidelines that actually work

The words a brand uses... The way they sound... Writing has a huge influence on how a brand is perceived. And tone of voice guidelines aim to control that influence.

Specialists like us create a tone of voice from your brand values. Then we set it out in guidelines. Everyone who then writes for you will capture your brand.

That's the theory. In practice, there are a number of challenges that tone of voice agencies often skirt over. We don't.

Challenge 1: not all brands can have a unique tone of voice

Language isn't like colour or other aspects of design. You can't 'own' a tone of voice as easily as you can own a colour and design scheme. When we create a tone of voice, we are realistic about what differentiation can be achieved. Sometimes the differentiation has to come from more from what you say - the messaging.

Challenge 2: people have developed writing habits over a lifetime

These habits are fiendishly hard to change. We write tone of voice guidelines that persuade and are easy to follow. We also develop training programmes to help change habits.  

Challege 3: every organisation is different

One client we worked for had five in-house writers who were burned out describing the same thing, day in day out. They needed stimulation to capture the new brand. Another client had no systematic way of briefing writers. So they never received the information they needed to write well. And another client had very specific sales messages that they needed every writer to convey. We consider all the factors affecting the writing and come up with answers. Then we set these out in a persuasive way so people understand what they need to do.

Challenge 4: your people are busy

Too busy to wade through a huge guide on how to write - especially if they only have an hour to write an important email. Our guidelines are user-friendly. We simplify things and make the guide so helpful people want to refer to it.

Whatever your tone of voice challenge, we've probably met it before. For more details, please get in touch.

Call us on 020 8674 3551

Int: + 44 20 8674 3551

email us at

'As well as developing our Brand Guidelines, Barnaby worked with our in-house copywriting team to facilitate the smooth implementation of the new guidelines, as well as to inject a new level of creativity and personality into our marketing communications. He was great fun to work with and his unique talent for writing and coaching was of real value to our business.'
Karen Williams
Marketing Services Manager
P&O Cruises

'I'm really pleased to hear about the successes that you have notched up here. I have had glowing reports and particular reference to strategic input & turning on a sixpence.'
Jon Turner
Creative Director
The Brand Union

'With the help of Barnaby Benson I have been able to produce concise and professional marketing literature,which promotes the benefits of our company. Barnaby’s step by step assistance helped to build my confidence and ensure that future copy I produce is of a high standard.'
Gavin West
Communications Coordinator
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

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