Guide On Finding Your Brand's Tone Of Voice

PR & branding
Previously, brands merely published their news on social media and discreetly communicated with the audience. If you look at the pages of various companies now, the format for presenting information differs in each case. 

Guide On Finding Your Brand's Tone Of Voice

The brand voice helps to make the project special in the eyes of potential customers. This is a universal tool that allows you to anchor certain associations in the consciousness of the target audience and make them sustainable. 

Proper use of the brand voice allows any company to deploy the full potential of Internet marketing. If users respond positively to the content and the coverage grows, you can proceed in the same format. 

1. What Is the Tone of Voice?

The tone of voice (TOV), or brand voice, is a format for presenting information and communicating with the audience through all company channels. It conveys the corporate philosophy and value of goods or services. 

The primary task of TOV consists in making the brand special. It is essential in highly competitive niches, where hundreds of projects offer the same services, and consumers are indecisive in their choices. 

The concept of the tone of voice is elaborated in several ways depending on the sources. So, it is essential for business people and marketers to understand the essence of this notion. There is a difference between the brand voice and the tone of communication because these are different tools. We will discuss this in detail later in the article. 

The main thing to remember for beginners who are just diving into Internet marketing is that it is vital to apply all possible tools to create a good reputation. If you manage to prove your indispensability regularly, the love of the audience will be converted into the growth of financial indicators. 

Many reputable companies known worldwide have long been using a distinctive tone of voice that differs from others in the niche. Thanks to this, they are one step ahead of the competitors.

2. The Significance of Creating a Brand Voice

Some brands are still employing outdated methods of social media promotion and are not monitoring the market at all. They buy ads in bulk and spend a lot of money on graphics but don’t measure user satisfaction. 

Digital marketing is constantly evolving and transforming, but a large percentage of companies do not pay attention to the changes and do not use all features provided by the tools. Because of this, they miss the opportunity to create a loyal community. 

The significance of a quality brand voice is hard to describe in one sentence. For example, with an effective content strategy and situational messages, you can cause customers not to pay attention to some flaws in products or services. 

By using TOV, you can regularly get traffic from various sources, improve CTA performance, and re-engage users. Comprehensive work in this direction can positively affect all defined KPIs.

2.1. Distinguishes Your Brand from Competitors

One of the principal components of a successful brand is authenticity. Apple products are known all over the world not only because of their uniqueness but also because of their marketing promotion strategy. 

For example, if the company did not arrange its presentations, the demand for new devices could be lower. But after Apple’s presentations, fans from various countries are lining up and spending nights at the shops to buy a smartphone or laptop from this company. 

The Apple case is hard to replicate and scale, but you don’t need to do so. The main thing is to succeed in creating a brand’s tone of voice that will distinguish the company from competitors and induce interest among the representatives of the target audience.

2.2. Builds Credibility and Brand Trust 

Every brand wants to gain credibility and win the sympathies of customers, but for this, it needs to clearly define priorities. If a company just broadcasts a stream of news on social networks without a specific goal and feedback from the target audience, it is unlikely to achieve anything. 

Now, imagine the opposite situation: the brand has created a powerful tone of voice, regularly publishes quality content, and quickly responds to negative experiences. It is obvious that customers will like to interact with such a project. 

The easiest thing is to buy ads for better coverage, but this will lead to a temporary effect. But thanks to competent marketing and viral content, there is a chance to get organic reach without any investment. 

Consumers are ready to forgive the mistakes of an authoritative brand, and this is very valuable. To get such a bonus, you need long and hard work in all possible directions of contact with the audience.

2.3. Simulates face-to-face communication 

If you look at the approaches to building customer relationships used 10 years ago and compare them with modern examples, you will see a huge difference. Previously, companies tried to communicate with the entire audience, but today, they manage to create a personalized dialog.

It is not necessary to respond to every like or comment as long as the user experience does not suffer. But if we analyze examples of brand voices that have conveyachieved significant success in the digital space, everything will become clear. Each message refers to the specific audience’s needs. 

Personalization is often the decisive factor in building brand trust. Users evaluate social networks to understand how up-to-date the project is and whether it is suitable for solving their problems.

3. Types of Tone of Voice 

Brand voice is an aggregative concept that can be transformed into hundreds of different concepts. In one case, companies joke with the audience, and in the other, they maintain a strict communication style. 

A tool will be useful if it works in a specific case. To understand this, you need to regularly measure the quality of the user experience and monitor its fluctuations during experiments with content. 

The table below can be used as a navigator for beginners. If a businessman wants to change the approach to communicating with the audience, they will easily understand how diversely monotonous messages can be presented.

Тype of TOV Feature
Funny Jokes are used in messages to help evoke the right emotions in users. This brand voice format is suitable for companies that are not afraid to experiment.
Serious All information in the content and comments is presented rigorously, without manifestations of emotionality. This brand voice format is predominantly used by companies with expensive products or services and a respective audience.
Formal  Content is created in a casual style; it can be read without interrupting the main duties. This brand voice format is universal, but its use is not always rational.
Optimistic There is a strong optimism in communications even in critical situations. This brand voice format is versatile, but it is essential to meet the audience’s expectations.
Motivating The user interaction strategy is built on constant motivation. This brand voice format is suitable for brands that motivate sports, business, or personal achievements.

The tones of voice can be so varied that dozens more rows can easily be added to the table. That is why the task of selecting TOV should not be considered simple. Sometimes, you need to completely modify the approach to communicating with users.

4. Sample Voices of Your Favorite Brands 

When newcomers to the world of Internet marketing ask to explain the essence of the brand voice concept, you can invite them to analyze 2–3 of their favorite companies. Most likely, they will point to their main qualities without any problems. 

For example, the business magazine Forbes adheres to a strict TOV. It’s hard to imagine the company joking around, and the new ranking of multibillionaires is not very different from last year’s. 

It is essential to understand that until a certain image is anchored in the minds of customers, it can be changed. And when they already have stereotypes, it will be difficult to fight them. That is why it is important to properly use valuable time. 

One of the most prominent examples of brand voice is Apple. The company is often included in thematic selections on this subject. TOV broadcasts the premium quality of the brand and bets on futurism. 

Apple is not just trying to be an up-to-date company, but it is shaping the general trends in its market. Only a few companies in the world can even remotely come close to the quality of the products of the Apple giant.

The well-known email marketing platform MailChimp resorts to an informal communication style. It focuses on usefulness and isn’t afraid to joke. The combination of these components may look strange, but in practice, there are no problems. 

One of the main peculiarities of TOV is the use of drawn illustrations. They convey the content with a natural effect as if each image was created manually to solve specific problems.

Another good example of a powerful brand voice type is Old Spice. The company has relied on brutality and has not changed the vector for many years. The style of communication with the audience is playful and a bit harsh. 

The company was one of the first in its niche that was not afraid to create ads with witty jokes that often touch potential customers. Each product is associated with certain emotions, and this is a very valuable effect.

5. Brand Voice and Tone: What’s the Difference?

Various sources define the concept of tone of voice differently. Some say it is the voice of the brand, while others use the word “tone.”

To understand the difference between voice and tone, you must understand the theory. The brand voice is a collective image that reflects the style of communication with the audience and the approach to broadcasting information. 

A tone is a tool for responding to a specific situation. For example, Forbes might respond to an editorial scandal with a longread with facts, figures, and an apology. And if Mailchimp has a minor problem sending emails, the style of the message can be slightly joking, and this won’t be weird.

To make it easier to understand the fundamental difference, imagine that the tone of voice is a specific person with their own style of clothing and manner of communication. But he/she can’t react to different situations in the same way. It is his/her behavior that can be called tonality.

The tonality can change depending on the circumstances, but if the audience reacts negatively to it, it is better not to make mistakes in the future. This is the main indicator of whether the brand is following the right strategy.

6. How to Find a Voice for Your Brand?

The path to finding the perfect version of the brand voice can be very complicated. Often, you need to look over through different intonations of the voice and conduct experiments on small segments of the audience. You can get the desired result only through an integrated approach. 

You will require several components for the creation of the perfect TOV: 

  • clear company philosophy; 
  • highlighting key values; 
  • understanding the audience’s needs;
  • niche competitor analysis.

It happens that brands change the style of communication in the public space over time and get a negative reaction. There are cases when the previous image can be erased after a while, but this is a challenging task. That is why it is essential to develop the right concept at the start of the company’s development. 

In this case, A/B testing based on intermediate assessments may not give the desired result. Some brands find their way into digital marketing only years later and by sheer luck.

6.1. Study Your Audience

The key to effective communication with potential customers is understanding their needs. People buy smartphones that cost $1,000 not to make calls but to have a cool camera, fast performance, and the perfect user experience. 

For example, if Apple publishes a blog post about iPhones dialing 1 second faster than other devices, it will look weird. It is because the factor affects the user experience. 

It happens that a company does not see the deep needs of the audience even after 3–5 years from the moment of active entry into the market. It is never too late to engage in determining the tone of voice that will match a particular case. There will be more harm if the company does not pay attention to this issue at all.

6.2. Define Core Brand Values

After identifying the basic needs of the brand audience, you need to highlight the main values of the company. They should also be broadcast in content and shown to the audience. 

For example, Apple is trying to make perfect every smartphone and laptop that enters the market. They do not just repair devices if necessary but immediately give new items to customers and transfer data in a few hours. This is an example of perfect service. 

Brand values should not be crafted artificially. Users instantly feel false, and in this case, you should not expect anything but a negative reaction. A bad experience is hard to rehabilitate with something positive. 

6.3. Determine the Tone of Your Brand

Defining the format of communication with the audience and broadcasting news is the final step toward creating an effective marketing strategy. It may differ depending on the features of the social platform, but the basic model will be the same. 

The tone of voice can transform over time, but it’s essential to back up these changes with real needs. Experiments in the digital sphere are useful only in cases when there is a clear understanding of why they are carried out. 

After the final brand definition, it is necessary to create concepts for each platform and focus on fruitful work with different traffic sources. It also makes sense to monitor how the marketing strategy affects ROI and other indicators.

6.3.1. Formal vs. Casual

The main difference between a formal and casual tone of voice for communication is the way you look at interaction with your audience. If a brand decides to stick to a formal style, it can sometimes play a joke, but in its own way. 

You can come across the opinion that the formal tone of voice should be left in the past, but it does not reflect the real situation. If you entrust the development of a communication strategy to a qualified specialist, even a formal style can transform into something new.

6.3.2. Funny vs. Serious

Jokes can be inappropriate in some cases, but it is important to realize that on social networks, users are accustomed to consuming primarily entertaining content. They may be interested in serious materials if presented accordingly.

If a brand uses a restrained style of communication, it still can play a joke in the framework of its concept. It is significant that the jokes look appropriate and do not cause negative emotions.

6.3.3. Respectful vs. Irreverent 

Respect is manifested in the creation of a friendly, family atmosphere. For example, Coca-Cola content regularly uses images of happy people with product placement. And it seems appropriate, although the drink cannot be called healthy. 

An irreverent style of communication does not necessarily manifest itself in a rude attitude toward customers. It is rather associated with broadcasting a cruel reality. For example, the Dollar Shave Club says that shaving is not only beautiful legs but also hard work, and it often results in skin irritation and injury.

6.3.4. Enthusiastic vs. Matter-of-Fact

Communication strategies may be based on different frameworks, but an extra dose of enthusiasm never hampers clients. Such a voice and intonation of the brand can inspire users to new achievements and purchases. 

Enthusiasm can be combined with respectfulness. This creates a powerful cocktail of emotions that will be broadcast in every message. If you manage to regularly charge the audience, this will definitely be useful.

6.4. Creating and Implementing Tone of Voice Recommendations 

The tone of voice should not just be created but also be followed in all channels of communication. For example, if a company states on social media that it immensely cares about its customers, but it seems fake, the experience will be ruined. 

Large brands with numerous divisions often have conflicts due to the lack of specific recommendations. If each employee acts on their own, the audience will feel dissonance.

7. Best Practices for Branding Tone of Voice 

The best way to create the perfect brand voice is to adhere to a consistent action plan that takes into account the needs of the audience, the values of the company, and the current situation in the niche. Also, you should realize that a complete image can only be formed with the help of experiments.

It is necessary to analyze not only successful examples of a branded tone of voice but also negative cases. It is better to learn from others’ mistakes than to waste the trust of your audience.

7.1. Be Consistent

Consistency is manifested in the systematic approach. For example, if a company jokes in a weird style today and posts irrelevant content tomorrow, users might unsubscribe. 

The voice of the brand must be consistent. If the form isn’t perfect enough, it can be adjusted to the audience’s standards over time. But this is only possible with the creation of an appropriate foundation.

7.2. Make Sure the Tone of Voice Reflects the Brand Personality

Individuality is one of the main components of a successful promotion in the digital space. You can simply copy the content strategy of competitors, but users will recognize it very quickly and stop respecting the company. 

There is no need to go to extremes in this matter. Individuality is manifested in the fact that the communication style of the brand is different from competitors. Companies shouldn’t experiment with the audience and publish provocative messages.

7.3. Make Sure It’s Relevant

If you look at the list of the tones of voice in any source, it will contain at least several dozen different options. If you manage to find the optimal solution since the first trial, that’s cool, but this is not always the case. 

You can study the reaction of users to make sure that the brand voice corresponds to the company’s philosophy and the values of the audience. If the reach has increased and there are no negative comments after the update of the strategy, you can continue working in the same format.

8. The Typical Problems You Should Be Ready for 

It is impossible to protect yourself from problems 100%. There will always be dissatisfied users with negative experiences. If you reply to such comments competently, you can eventually turn customers into brand advocates. 

The most common tone of voice problems are: 

  • discrepancy between communication style and company philosophy; 
  • insufficient attention to the needs of the audience; 
  • difficulties with creating a unique image; 
  • big dissimilarity between brand positioning on different platforms. 

The company must be interested in removing any barriers as soon as possible to retain the audience. If a project can admit its mistakes and promise to fix them promptly, it’s worth a lot.

There are no magic words of the perfect brand voice that will make the audience keep an eye on each new message. You can win the love of followers only through constant work and care for their needs. 

One of the effective tools for improving the communication strategy is competitor analysis. You should make a list of leaders in your niche and related markets. Then, it remains to trace all the interesting details and use them to solve your problems. 

On the PRPosting exchange, you can find hundreds of top media, resources about business, and other content projects. Even a superficial analysis will allow you to collect useful information and understand which tone of voice is beneficial in each particular case.

9. Conclusions

You can easily understand what tone of voice is. But it is difficult to achieve the desired effect from this tool in a particular case. We recommend you rely on the needs of the audience and do not forget about the significance of finding a unique image. 


What is a brand voice? 

This is a particular style of communication with the audience, which is broadcast in publications on all sites on the Internet or other sources. 

Why is developing a brand’s tone of voice important? 

Because it allows you to anchor the necessary associations in the minds of customers. For example, Apple is identified as the main trendsetter in the world of technology.

What are the types of brand’s tone of voice? 

The brand voice can be formal, casual, enthusiastic, funny, and serious. It all depends on the chosen strategy. 

How to find your tone of voice? 

To do this, it is necessary to analyze the features of the company, the needs of the target audience, and the properties of the goods. After that, you need to conduct a series of experiments and determine the optimal strategy according to their results.

Kyryk Oleksandr
SEO Consultant

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