what it is and how to find it (+ examples)

what it is and how to find it (+ examples)

By Riccardo Esposito | Published in

Tone of voice is the way a brand chooses to express itself in public and communicate with potential customers. This happens both through writing, for example, in blog posts, and with the words spoken in speeches or ADV announcements.

The question: How to find the tone of voice? Is there any detail that makes the difference and a strategy to find the tone of voice to include in the copy strategy? The answers may be different because we are facing a pillar of communication.

voice tone

The expressive tonality is important when you decide to do serious marketing. The way you communicate through images, videos, press releases, and online writing can make all the difference. That is why the tone of voice of a brand is essential.

What is tone of voice (TOV): a definition

Illinois voice tone It is the way in which a brand has decided to communicate its personality and the values ​​it wants to convey. Their job is to differentiate the company and position it to create a clear difference from other brands in the industry.

The use of tone of voice (which can be summarized as TOV) includes the choice of words, the style of writing, and the emotional expressiveness that emerges from these conditions. The marks must reach your audience communicate and the tone of voice supports it all.

Must Read: What Are Buyer Personas?

Some examples of corporate tone of voice

A great example of a web page dedicated to one definition type complete with what the company is, what is its mission and obviously what is the chosen tone of voice.

skype tone of voice example

Between possible tones of voice Skype has chosen the one that best reflects its corporate identity. And he clearly defines it by identifying words they love and hate. But how does Skype describe his tone of voice? Here is a translation:

Skype’s tone of voice is unique, simple and human. Our products are explained in the simplest way possible. If your mother fails, she is not the voice of Skype. Humor is a big part of Skype’s TOV.

how can you read this the description of a TOV which immediately gives an idea of ​​the type of company and communication. It could be similar to that of a company like Nutella, certainly not that of a bank or insurance company. Or maybe yes? Depends

We can admire another example of tone of voice at Starbucks. In the company’s brand book you can find a series of references regarding the colors to be used and the typography. But there are also indications compared to TOV chosen for communication.

corporate tone of voice examples
Starbucks’ point of view on TOV.

Here’s a brand with a medium tone of voice: expressive and helpful. So we try to work on being specific and on being useful to the public, but also on the ability to transmit valuesemotions and points of view. Other examples of tone of voice:

Why do you have to take care of the brand’s tone of voice?

You work on this aspect of professional identity to make yourself recognized and have shared values that refer to time. And also to eliminate all that bureaucratic and corporate garbage that surrounds online writing and offline communication.

The TOV is part of your being a brand and of the relative communication of values ​​that you have decided to put into practice. TOV creates difference and personality, stand out from the crowd and make people recognize your stamp from miles away. A good use of this element in copywriting can do wonders for communication.

Operationally, the advantage of having a single tone of voice is that it can be followed by multiple authors. Even if there are multiple web writers working, with the tone of voice documentation at your disposal you can bring them all together under one style.

What is the difference between TOV and brand voice?

It may seem like a detail, but there are big points to make when outlining the differences between the concepts of tone and brand voice. The voice of a brand (or verbal identity) contains the point of view, the deep personality, the founding values.

Your tone of voice is the way you communicate with your audience. Verbal identity is abstract but the TOV is what thethe audience perceives through the choice of words.

What types of tone of voice are there?

It can be friendly, cold, institutional, distant, authoritarian, friendly with the reader. It depends on the goal, it depends on your goal. in the world of web writing The tone of voice is important because it allows you to shape your personality in online texts.

What can be the tone of voice of a brand?

One of the classifications regarding possible TOV for effective communication comes from Jakob Nielsen who identifies 4 types that, more or less, are identified as follows:

  • Fun vs. Serious.
  • formal vs. casual.
  • Respectful vs. irreverent.
  • Enthusiastic Vs. Realistic.

Another useful classification of the types of tone of voice was made by Valentina Falcinelli in the book Testi che parla. The tone of voice in the company texts in which 4 TOV macro-categories are identified to be used for the own companyfor a brand that wants to be noticed.

  • Freddi: bureaucratic and institutional.
  • Neutrals: professional and dreamy.
  • Warm: conversational and friendly.
  • Colorful: ironic and aggressive.

Which solution to choose? It depends on the personality of your brand. Take the case of microcopying and the financial sector. If you write texts for a bank, use an irreverent tone of voice to communicate a Error message entering the PIN may not produce good results. And be misinterpreted or even annoy the user.

So you have to evaluate your users and emotions that revolve around an action. As Nielsen always suggests, if readers are frustrated when they receive a certain error message, a humorous TOV could be irritating and inconvenient.

How to Find the Tone of Voice for Marketing

To find the tone of voice you have to know your audience, competitors and the brand you are selecting. Only then can you optimize communication.

Find the best adjective and you will have the tone of communication. Or at least you have a important clue. You can continue your research by exploring these TOV essentials.

Identify corporate culture and values.

To find the tone of voice you have to target the corporate culture. You have to know the personality, the secrets, the strengths and weaknesses. You have to learn everything.

But above all, you have to take it in values. What does he want, what is his purpose? What do you want to communicate? Impossible to define a communication tone without this point. To address this aspect, I often advise clients to focus on the fundamentals:

  • Mission.
  • Vision.
  • Main business.

Having clear references about who you are and what you do can be useful to achieve also the goal useful for defining the tone of voice for marketing.

Study the community you want to reach

With a tone of voice you will be able to interact in the best possible way with your audience. And if you want to find your expression you have to study people. So the idea to follow is this: you have to listen community firstand value first what people say.

You have to understand who you want to reach and then have data about the needs of your target audience. But not only that, you have to understand what real people say and how they say it. discover the problems and concerns of the individual, learn the language of the niche.

Turn information into conversation

How to carry out this process? As discover all the details of the community and reach the goal without frustrating all your efforts?

With conversation. Not with direct sales, not with propaganda slogans and with big sales: you have to talk to people. Have observed the markyou have observed the community, now you just need to enter the game to find the correct TOV.

voice tone
A useful scheme to find the TOV – Image source

In this diagram you will find a good example to find and outline the tone of voice. you define it in top section and in the three boxes, indicate how it should be, how it should not be, and the reasons why you decided to work this way. Why is it useful?

Consider the communication channel

Each communication channel has a different declension of the corporate tone of voice. Social networks, especially Twitter and Instagram, are more open to accepting tones of voice light and friendly. A business email has different rules.

You don’t have to change the TOV rules you’ve identified: a context-bound declension is needed. Phone, LinkedIn, TikTok, email, and chat require different communications. Know how to use the correct tone of voice on each platform It’s critic.

To read: what is the media kit and what is it for

Tools and tools to create the tone of voice.

We have indicated a number of key steps to determine the tone of voice of a company or a brand. A number of documents I created may help:

In addition, you have the possibility of using a very interesting tool: the tone of voice generator. That is, a tool that allows you to compare different solutions.

If all this is not enough, you can use my template to find the TOV. You can use it by clicking link below: Download it or take it directly to Google Drive.

ricardo esposito

I am a freelance web writer. I have been writing online since 2009, I specialized in writing editorial plans for corporate blogs. I have written 3 books dedicated to the world of blogs and online writing.

Category: Marketing

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