Why your brand tone of voice is important and 5 brands that nail it
22 January 2018 | By Brooke Geller
Building a great brand is about more than the product or service you offer. It even goes beyond what your brand looks like.
What truly sets you apart is how you sound.
Every brand has a voice, intentional or not. The words you use in any external communications, how you interact with your audience on social media, and even what you print on your packaging all speak volumes about your brand’s identity.
This is why it’s crucial that you consider how intentional you’re being with your brand’s tone of voice.
The importance of establishing a solid tone of voice
Having a solid tone of voice doesn’t just give your brand credibility. It gives you a serious competitive advantage in even the most crowded markets.
A great tone of voice will:
- Give your brand personality
- Set you apart from your competitors
- Make your brand name memorable
- Humanise your brand
- Build customer trust
- Encourage your audience to engage with you
- Keep your external communications consistent
On the flip side, having a tone of voice that’s inconsistent, mediocre or doesn’t quite hit the mark can do serious damage to your brand’s reputation.
Want to tap into this powerful tool for yourself? We’ve put together a list of some of the very best examples of tone of voice done right.
1. Frank Body
Every brand has an identity, but what if that identity was an actual persona? This is the idea behind cult beauty brand Frank Body. Just take a look at the story behind Frank:
“Five years ago in a coffee shop, five friends had a drink and an idea: a humble coffee scrub. Their mission was to remove the hyperbole that saturates the skincare industry and make natural skincare fun. So they called me frank and I’ve been getting babes dirty ever since.”
Frank is the imaginary spokesperson, ambassador and boyfriend-you-never-had behind the product, and this shines through in every aspect of their branding.
Nowhere is this more obvious than on their packaging. With claims like, “Unlike your ex, I’m non-toxic”, it’s no wonder Frank has earned his rightful place in the hearts (and showers) of consumers across the globe.
2. Card Against Humanity
When your product is rooted in controversial dark humour, it’s essential that your tone of voice is just as subversive. There’s no doubt this infamous brand has this concept mastered.
Cards Against Humanity is “a party game for horrible people”. Every single aspect of their brand communications is rooted in their classic devil-may-care attitude.
As an example, if you try to access an expired job listing on their website you’ll be met with this very blunt message: “You missed your chance. Submissions are closed. Find a new dream.”
This isn’t a free pass for you to be a jerk to your own customers. But it is an (albeit extreme) example of a tone of voice that’s consistently and unapologetically on-brand.
3. Murder Burger
How do you deal with protestors who disagree with your product? Steal their slogan, of course.
New Zealand burger restaurant Murder Burger have done exactly that. The business made headlines after their staff began proudly sporting “Meat is Murder” shirts as they served up beef burgers to their Auckland customers.
Everything from their website and social media to their job ads are loaded with similar pro-meat sentiments. It’s a perfect example of taking something that can be used against you and making it a central focus of your brand identity— and tone of voice allows Murder Burger to do this in the most badass way possible.
4. Go-To Skin Care
A little dorky and incredibly cute, Zoe Foster-Blake’s skincare brand Go-To is as down to earth as it is effective.
Amazing products aside, Go-To’s tone is as far from corporate cliché as you could expect. It’s self-deprecating and relatable, which not only makes their branding memorable but builds trust in the customer.
They even have a line just for men: Bro-To, which was invented “so that manly male men could clean their handsome, brutal faces”.
5. Who Gives a Crap
Who Gives a Crap are a charitable paper product brand. They manufacture products — mostly toilet paper — from recycled and sustainable materials and donate 50% of their profits to charity initiatives in developing countries.
Their brand name is a clever play on both the brand’s cause (giving back) and the product’s purpose (no explanation needed there). Their tone of voice reinforces this notion of toilet humour for the greater good, enlisting puns and toilet jokes to keep their audience engaged as they create awareness of the causes they support.
Your brand voice matters, so make it count. Contact the branding experts at Bellman to make sure your business gets heard.
Feature image credit @erikaxchan