Blog Post

Brand Voice and Tone: Guidelines for effective communication

by | Sep 7, 2023 | Branding | 0 comments

The way you communicate with consumers plays a massive role in how people perceive your brand.


If you want to brand your company in a certain way, you need to know how to communicate effectively. Don’t worry, we’ll break everything down for you in this guide. By the end, you’ll know how to come up with the ideal voice and tone for your company, how to implement this in your marketing efforts and how to improve your overall branding strategy.


So, let’s get started!


Establish Your Brand Persona

What do you want your brand to be?


It’s a funny question, but it determines everything in the branding world. Your brand can be any of the following:


  • Professional
  • Playful
  • Authoritative
  • Relaxed
  • Excitable
  • Empathetic
  • Passionate


The list goes on and on, and you’re basically coming up with a brand personality. According to HubSpot, your brand personality is a set of human characteristics you attribute to your specific brand.


Think about it this way: how would you describe your brand if it was a person?


This is what makes your branding unique and helps you stand out from the crowd. It also has a heavy influence on the tone and voice you use throughout your marketing efforts. For example, a professional brand will communicate differently from one that’s more relaxed or playful.


We can see some fantastic examples of a brand personality in action by looking at the RyanAir Twitter/X feed. This budget airline has made a name for itself on social media with its super relaxed and jovial approach to communication. As you can see from the Tweet (or is it X-post these days) below, the branding is all about having fun and almost mocking people online:


Now, let’s compare this to British Airways – another airline, but this shows how two brands in the same industry can take on completely different tones. Just look at how they reply to a customer below:

It’s way more professional and to the point, which aligns with the BA branding.


So, before you do anything else, decide on your brand personality. What tone do you want to bring to the table? It’s up to you, but this is a huge decision as it changes how you run your entire marketing strategy!

Keep Your Target Audience In Mind

Who is the target audience for your brand?


When defining a brand persona, you must keep your customers at the heart of everything. What are their main needs or preferences? How old are they? What are their typical backgrounds going to be?


Imagine a brand that targets a very upmarket clientele who are big earners and could be considered middle to upper-class. The age demographic is in the 30-50 range. Compare this to a brand with a target audience between the age of 16-25, mainly students, some people in full-time work but without hugely high-paying jobs.


The communication style and the brand tone will be drastically different. You can’t talk to the same group in the same way you’d talk to the second one.


With that in mind, your brand personality should match your target audience. You must present yourself in a way that aligns with their expectations.

Develop A Set Of Voice & Tone Guidelines

Voice and tone are critical when you want to create a solid branding strategy. They are how you sound when you speak or write. As mentioned before, different tones and voices will make a brand come across in certain ways.


So, when you establish your brand personality, you need to work out what tone and voice to use across all of your marketing materials.


This is where voice & tone guidelines come into play.


In essence, this is a set of guidelines telling people how your brand’s tone and voice should be spoken, written or expressed. It gets your whole company on board with the brand persona, informing employees of how they need to communicate when representing your brand.


There are some fantastic examples of voice & tone guidelines from many brands that are well worth reading. While each brand may have a different tone of voice, you can see the guidelines follow a similar structure:


  • Include examples of how people should communicate
  • Mention the ideal tone of voice you’re aiming for, referencing the core brand personality
  • List some key dos and don’ts


From here, everyone in your company will be on the same page, leading to better consistency in your marketing. The last thing you want is for your social media feed to read one way while your email marketing has a completely different tone of voice.


Consistency is key as it establishes your brand in the marketplace. It allows users to understand the tone you’re going for, which can help them connect with you on a deeper level. When connections form, consumers are more likely to move through the sales pipeline. In fact, Sprout Social reports that 76% of consumers would buy from a brand they feel connected to over a competitor!

Brand Voice and Tone: Guidelines for effective communication 2

Implement Your Voice & Tone

At this point, you will have a clear brand persona that correlates with your target audience. You’ll also have some tone & voice guidelines that establish how you will communicate effectively with consumers.


All that’s left to do is implement this!


Start with your business website. This is the starting point many consumers find themselves in when discovering your brand. It helps you create a compelling visual identity, so the site has to match your brand personality. At the same time, the language used and the tone across the site needs to align with this as well. For example, if you present your brand as very professional or authoritative, you need to use language that helps you come across as an expert in your field. The whole design of your site will also reflect this by being extremely clean and professional.


From here, consider all other marketing channels. Email marketing needs to follow your tone of voice – you can’t send out really strict emails filled with complex writing and jargon if you’re trying to brand yourself as a lighthearted company that makes life easier for the consumer.


Social media is obviously a massive one – as you’ve already seen from the screenshots earlier. This is where you will directly communicate with consumers, so every message you send has to align with your brand persona. The content you produce must match the tone too – if you want to be a jovial brand, your content needs to be funny and lighthearted!


One other excellent way to implement your tone of voice and establish your brand personality is through promotional products. We make promotional mugs that you can customise to suit your needs. The design of your mug can reflect your brand voice/tone, which does a couple of beneficial things. When used in the office, it helps to remind your staff of the branding and the way they should communicate. When sent out as promo items to consumers, it gets your brand persona into their heads. They should be able to take one look at your mug and realise the tone your business is getting across.


You can apply this idea to other gifts as well – they’re a great way of spreading awareness about your brand while establishing its core personality. As a result, you can make people connect with you more than ever before.

Start Enjoying More Effective Communication With Proper Branding

Ultimately, this entire guide is focused on one main thing. We want you to improve communication in your business, particularly when interacting with consumers. Setting some brand guidelines and creating a brand persona is vital for this. It slowly helps you realise how you should present your business and the right ways to talk to people.


In turn, this makes consumer interactions way more effective than they’ve ever been. If you’ve managed to nail your voice/tone to align with your target audience, it’ll be much easier to connect with them. They’ll feel more in tune with your brand, which draws them even closer.


Remember, your tone of voice shapes the whole marketing strategy. This should be a starting point, from here you can start thinking about the different marketing techniques that’ll help you spread the word and bring in lots of customers.



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