Tone of Voice Copywriting > Tone of Voice Guidelines
Tone of Voice Guidelines
What are tone of voice guidelines?
Tone of voice guidelines sets out how to write for a brand. They combine an explanation of the brand that usually focuses on its values and personality and then instruction on how to write in a way that’s consistent with the brand.
Why are tone of voice guidelines important?
Consistency – with simple rules illustrated with examples that show anyone writing for the brand to do so in the same way, avoiding inconsistencies that might undermine the brand.
Good writing - errors in writing that are customer-facing tarnish a brand. Dull, long-winded writing that is grammatically perfect can do the same. Tone of voice guidelines can encourage writers to do better and give them the advice on how to do so.
Brand identity – a tone of voice guide will help to further define your market position and drive the manner in which your consumer views your brand.
Differentiation – many markets produce similar products - so a clearly defined ToV can be the difference between someone choosing your product over another brand with a less clear voice.
What is important in tone of voice guidelines?
Innovation, not imitation – when creating a tone of voice, it’s easy to fall into sounding like other brands. Identifying what is at the core of your brand is crucial to choosing clear ToV drivers that aren’t vague or samey.
Balance of theory and practical advice – if the guidelines provide too much detail, they can become impractical as most people don’t have the time to read pages of guidelines every time they need to draft something. What’s required is enough background and rationale to explain the tone of voice choices, evoke the brand and motivate the writer. Then there should be easy-to-access, specific, practical guidance and checklists for quick reference.
How we can help with tone of voice guidelines
Brand consultancy experience – we work with many of London’s leading brand consultancies, so we understand what the brand strategists are aiming to achieve.
Differentiation through language - to differentiate a brand through language you need to combine brand consultancy insight with knowledge of the English language and how it works, plus experience of copywriting across different media for a range of audiences.
Brand writing experience - having written extensively for major brands over the last 20 years we are well placed to provide practical advice on how to write for a brand.
Easy to implement - our tone of voice guidelines are always simple to follow and offer practical advice. As a result, anyone can achieve the effects for the brand. You don’t need to be a professional writer.
Media-specific – we provide guidance on the writing requirements of different media (for instance, writing for the web demands a different approach to writing a sales letter).
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"Barnaby Benson worked as an integral part of the team responsible for developing the new tone of voice for Lloyds TSB and implementing that across all key brochures. Having worked with Barnaby Benson on a series of projects over the years I have been consistently impressed with the speed at which he gets beneath the surface of the project, understands the client and their brand."
CF Stokes Consultants