Tone of voice
We work with brand consultancies to create tone of voice guidelines for brands. The aim is to manage that part of the brand experience influenced by language.
For more about what tone of voice guidelines can do and what they typically contain, see our tone of voice guide content suggestions.
To find out how to write tone of voice guidelines that actually work, read this article.
Our aim, when preparing tone of voice guidelines for a brand is to:
- See if there are ways language can be used to achieve a distinctive tone which conveys the brand's essence
- Offer practical advice to in-house writers on how to write well so their writing doesn't undermine the brand
- Provide guidance on the writing requirements of different media (writing for the web demands a completely different approach to writing a sales letter, for instance)
- Set this advice out clearly and briefly so it is useful for an employee in a hurry who needs some prompts to improve their writing.
The need for training
Many companies are starting to recognise that language is a key part of the brand experience. Tone of voice guidelines are getting larger and more prominent in brand books. But how do you help in-house employee writers change ingrained off-brand habits?
We believe it requires more than asking them to read a few pages in a guide: you need a structured training programme. This must be designed for writers' particular levels of skill and the media they're writing for. Applying insights from his professional postgraduate teaching qualification Barnaby Benson has designed such programmes for clients. They really do improve the writing for the brand and sales effectiveness.
Tone of voice development clientsP&O Cruises
'As well as developing our Brand Guidelines, Barnaby Benson worked with our in-house copywriting team to facilitate the smooth implementation of the new guidelines. They injected a new level of creativity and personality into our marketing communications and were great fun to work with. Their unique talent for writing and coaching was of real value to our business.'
Marketing Services Manager
Wrote a guide to writing well for this business-to-business brand who wanted to make their writing more benefit-led.Unilever Corporate
Developed a new tone of voice, defining it and expressing it by creating an example of best practice.GAM
Advised on the development of a tone of voice system for this asset management company.Lloyds TSB
Created the first materials using the new tone of voice: over 30 product branch booklets.NatWest Offshore
Created the first materials that also defined a tone of voice for the brand