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The hallmarks of an effective tone of voice

March 20th 2024

By Emily

If you’ve got a brand, you’ve unavoidably got a brand voice. And if it hasn’t been fine-tuned, chances are it’s not hitting the mark.

But what makes a brand voice not just good, but great? Let’s dive into the essentials…


Nailing your brand voice isn’t just about sounding smart or witty; it’s about consistency. That familiar hum your audience tunes into across all platforms – social media, emails, your website – is the real MVP; the backbone of your identity.

Innocent Drinks is an obvious, but perfect example of this. Their voice is unmistakable. It’s what makes Innocent Drinks instantly recognisable, whether you’re chuckling at their weird tweets or reading the back of a smoothie bottle. Their unwaveringly chummy tone isn’t just consistent; it’s their signature, making customers feel like they’re in on the joke.


Authenticity isn’t about donning a trendy persona; it’s the essence of your brand’s identity. It’s about being true to your core values and expressing them with confidence. Dolly Parton’s wisdom, “Find out who you are and do it on purpose,” encapsulates this perfectly. Your brand’s voice should be a genuine reflection of its spirit and ethos.


A great brand voice doesn’t just speak; it listens and echoes the thoughts, feelings, and language of its audience. Glossier has mastered this, speaking in the intimate vernacular of beauty enthusiasts with a tone that’s both friendly and supportive. It’s about creating a conversation where customers feel seen, heard, and valued.


While consistency forms the backbone of your brand voice, flexibility is its dance. A great brand voice knows when to pivot and adapt its tone to suit different contexts and purposes. It’s about striking the right chord, whether you’re announcing a new product or engaging in light-hearted social banter, without losing the essence of your brand.

Aligning with brand values

Your brand voice should be in perfect harmony with your brand values, enhancing the brand experience by reinforcing what you stand for at every touchpoint. Patagonia‘s dedication to environmental activism is not just a mission; it’s a tone that permeates every message, serious yet inspiring, calling to those who share their commitment.

How do you create a tone of voice?

  • Start with your ‘why?’: Understanding the core purpose of your brand is the first step in defining a voice that truly represents it.
  • Research your audience: Know the language, preferences, and pain points of your audience. Your brand voice should speak to them, not at them.
  • Be clear on dos and don’ts: Establish clear guidelines on what fits within your brand voice and what doesn’t. This ensures consistency across all content.
  • Include examples: Illustrate your tone of voice with examples. Show how it adapts to different types of content and contexts.
  • Train your team: Ensure everyone who communicates on behalf of your brand understands and can apply the tone of voice.

In essence, a great brand voice is your brand’s heart and soul made audible. It’s not just about the words you choose but how you choose to say them. It’s a powerful tool in building a connection with your audience, making every interaction an opportunity to reinforce who you are and what you stand for. So, take a deep breath, find your voice, and shout it from the rooftops.

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