How to Pick a Tone for your Business 

Jan 2021

A brand voice is what you say in your communications to your customers (think: your blogs, social media posts, newsletters, and what’s written on your website), but your brand tone is how you say it. It is something that is unique to each company in existence. It’s the main way you communicate with your customers, and it’s a huge differentiating factor between your company and a competitor’s company. 


When deciding on the tone of your company, you need to take into consideration several factors. The brand tone you decide on should help attract your target audiences and lead to developing genuine relationships with them. There are a few things to ask yourself that will help you hone in on your tone. 

A woman holds a pen as she crafts her brand tone in a notebook with a coffee mug nearby.
Choosing the write brand tone for your business can take time and editing, but it is an essential step in creating a consistent brand that attracts your target audience.

Where will it appear? 

Depending on the piece of content and where it will be appearing, your company’s tone can slightly change. For example, your social media posts on Facebook or Instagram can have more light-hearted captions versus the tone of posts that appear on LinkedIn. And both of these should be less formal than how your customer service employees’ emails are to a client or customer. 


It is important to note that your company’s tone should never do a full 180. If you are a lawyer that deals with very serious case matters, your social media posts should never lean light-hearted, and you may be better off selecting a knowledgeable and direct tone across all communications. 

What does my target audience want to hear?

Selecting the wrong brand tone will come across as weird and inauthentic to your target audience. 


For example, even if you are a lawyer conveying important legal terms and information to your client via email, it may come across as too formal and tacky since your audience will have no clue what that legal jargon means. Even though technically you’re conveying correct information, the tone is wrong. 


Putting yourself in your audience’s shoes and asking how you’d like to hear your business talk to them if you were them can give you a good starting point. 

Establish Firm Standards

Establishing standards about your brand tone will help you know what to say in all situations, even those that are tough to navigate. These standards should address point of view, use of technical jargon and or trending slang, and preferred offering terms (i.e., if you sell skincare products, do you call them skincare products, skin goodies, or something else entirely?).  


Once your brand has these standards outlined, crafting content that fits the overall brand tone is easier to work in. 


Establishing a brand tone, and a brand voice for that matter, can seem daunting, but nailing these down before you produce front-facing content is the key to coming across as an authentic brand. 


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