Just as Brand guidelines are important for ensuring the visual consistency of your brand, so are Tone of Voice guidelines for your brand’s written content and for connecting with your audience.
Used as a reference, they can help you write clear and consistent content across all your communication channels, irrespective of who is writing it, and help set you apart from the competition.
The first thing to consider is the difference between your Tone and your Voice.
Your Voice expresses your core values and brand’s personality. It remains the same across all your content/writing. Think of it like you would if you were describing someone’s personality – are they Experienced? Approachable? Trustworthy?
Whereas your Tone changes to fit the context of where it is being used. For example your press releases will take a more formal tone than your social media posts, but the same values apply.
Things to consider and include in your tone of voice guidelines:
- Consider your audience – who is your audience(s) and what do they want to hear from you?
- Include examples of how to use your tone of voice across different communication channels.
- Grammar rules e.g rules around the use of acronyms and abbreviations.
- Language e.g do you allow the use of jargon or buzz words?
- Vocabulary to use and to avoid – are there words that as a brand you wouldn’t use e.g Awesome or are there words that really express your brand values e.g Delighted.
- Key messages
Here is a snapshot of some we produced for industrial packaging specialists, Greif, recently. Looking for help with your guidelines? Please drop us a line.