Branding is equally about promise as it is about positioning — it’s not about what you say, but rather how you say it that connects you to your audience.

You now need more than just a pretty logo and a colourful website: you also need to communicate in ways that engage your ideal customer. Your brand tone of voice is what helps you stand out in this crowded, competitive landscape.  

How exactly do you develop an effective and engaging brand voice and tone? Simple: brand tone of voice guidelines. Specifically, brand tone of voice guidelines that bring a consistent voice and tone to every piece of content you put into the world.

In this article, we cover how your brand voice and tone affects brand communications, some excellent tone of voice examples, and how Say it right’s tone of voice guidelines can help you find one that fits the soul of your brand best.
 


How does tone of voice affect communication? 



Brand voice and tone guidelines get a lot done for your organization. They: 

  • Make your brand easier to recognise
  • Help you connect with your audience
  • Ensure you're communicating consistently with them


If your brand voice and tone is inconsistent, it's going to confuse customers — and lower your brand’s credibility at the same time. Before building your content strategy, you need your brand tonality guidelines in place for good reason: if you don’t know how you want to sound, how are you going to create the content that’s going to go on your company blog or end up being promoted on your channels?

This is why brand voice and tone guidelines include slogans, style guides and common phrases that brands use when describing what they do or engaging with customers. It’s a way of expressing brand personality to the world.

At Say it right, we're all about finding the right brand voice and tone for our clients. Before we start writing for our clients every month, we have our content writing setup month, where we include an in-depth tone of voice workshop and develop tone and style guidelines as the baseline for all content we create moving forward. These guidelines set some base standards for content writing but they're also a living document that we consistently update throughout our working relationship with our clients.

No matter how you’re getting your content written or prefer short form or long form content, developing brand tone and style guidelines is a process we’d recommend to anyone. How often have you turned to a colleague and asked them whether the company name comes in all caps or what font the company prefers using best?

Tone of voice guidelines aren’t just for content writers — they benefit everyone in your organisation interacting with your customers. But enough talk. Here's how using a consistent brand voice and tone works in action. 


Best brand tone of voice examples

Let’s see how brand voice and tone build expertise, authority and trustworthiness in practice. We’ve put together some examples of tech companies who’ve outsourced their content writing to Say it right and exercise brand tonality and messaging differently.

Relaxed, humorous, friendly



Kaleido AI’s general tone and style of communication help them come across as a friendly neighbourhood expert in their niche — maintaining some humour and fun in the process of educating their customers. Their blog posts are usually warm, conversational in tone and use colloquialisms over overly formal language.

Other brands using a similar witty, humorous tone of voice include Mailchimp, Slack and Innocent Drinks.

Here’s an example of a blog post written by Say it right from Kaleido AI’s remove.bg domain, demonstrating their relaxed, friendly tone of voice.


Professional, serious, mature




XUND establishes its credibility through a professional, authoritative tone in all its content.

This brand knows its industry in and out, cites authoritative sources, deals in facts and figures, and shares thought leadership posts, white paper content, case studies and original research to stand out in the competitive B2B tech industry. You’ll find a similar brand voice and tone from management consulting firm McKinsey, fellow AI-powered healthcare company Medicus AI and software company enliteAI.

Here’s an example of an article from XUND’s blog written by Say it right, demonstrating their industry expertise and know-how. 



Relaxed, friendly, mature



Another Say it right client, TRIGO, uses a tone of voice combination that bridges the examples from before. 

This style is great for brands that want to build awareness and simplify complex topics within their industry while coming across as approachable authorities. Their tone of voice tends to be a balance of both friendly without being too relaxed and professional without being uptight. They’re likely to share engaging, informative blog posts, articles, infographics and other forms of content summarising original research with a focus on simplicity and accessibility.

Here’s an example of a Say it right-authored post from TRIGO’s blog, where they discuss a complex topic within their tech niche that they’re clearly experts on — but without sounding like they’re writing a research paper.



How do brand voice and tone affect relationships?

Each brand tone of voice example might be different — but they all aim for the same goals: to reach their ideal customers, speak their language and guide them through the marketing funnel towards making a sale and nurturing the relationship over time.

A great brand tone of voice transforms your customers into brand advocates. We even have the numbers to prove it: a good 62% of surveyed customers revealed that they would use the same brand for four years or more simply because they felt they had a relationship with it and found it trustworthy. 

Brand tone of voice is one aspect of your brand’s overall personality — and at Say it right, one of our core services includes helping our client partners find theirs.

We’ve mentioned how we develop a customisable tone and style guide for all our client partners before we get started with writing their content. Here's an example of a tech company that specifically used Say it right tone of voice guidelines to develop their brand voice and tone and put it into practice.


Say it right tone of voice guidelines: Userbrain


Userbrain is an online tool which provides quick, affordable and simple user tests for product designers, marketers, founders and developers. Here are some pointers from the Say it right tone of voice guidelines which help them develop and practice their brand voice, tone and personality. 
 

 

General tone and style of communication

Here’s how Userbrain defines the general brand tonality they found best represented them to their customers (primarily North American users and testers).
 

  • formal <----------------------------------------------------------------------------x-----------------------> informal
  • professional <----------------------------------------------------------------x----------------------------> relaxed
  • serious <------------------------------------------------------------------x-------------------------------> humorous
  • reserved <------------------------------------------------------------------------------x-----------------------> warm
  • mature <------------------x--------------------------------------------------------------------------------> youthful


And here’s how you can see their relaxed, warm, informal brand voice and tone in practice on their company blog:


Company details

Being able to describe your product in one sentence — or two or three— helps segment your communications across different audiences. With a little help from us at Say it right, here’s how Userbrain expresses its USP in a simple, snappy way the minute you turn up on their website: 



And here’s a more detailed explanation of what their service is about and who can benefit best from it:


Brand story 

Sharing your brand’s origin story is a great way to connect with your audience. Userbrain sums this up neatly on their About page, which elaborates on what inspired them to take action and what problems they’re trying to solve for their customers.


Rather than describing what they do and why they do it over hundreds of pages, Userbrain expresses its brand story in a way that captures attention and interest in just a few seconds. With just a few scrolls, a site visitor immediately gets a feel of Userbrain’s brand voice and personality and the feeling they’re trying to give their customers. Userbrain knows who it’s trying to reach best and positions itself as a solution provider accordingly.

All this — and more — comes from putting some thought into what style of language and communication suits your brand best and practising it consistently.

At Say it right, we can help you develop this together.


Create your own tone of voice guidelines with Say it right



Before you jumpstart your content creation schedule for your website or blog, you need to set your brand tone of voice guidelines. This helps create a consistent tone across all your messaging so that your audience knows exactly what to expect.

At Say it right, we care about how you want to communicate with your ideal customers. As part of our monthly content packages, our tone of voice workshops help us understand how to best support you with your brand communications. We help you to dive deep into the fundamentals of who you’re trying to reach and keep your brand messaging consistent by keeping the needs of this ideal customer in mind. 

When we’re writing long-form content for our clients, these guidelines help us keep in mind how they want to sound, especially when describing product benefits and their positive impact. A consistent brand tone of voice helps customers feel more connected to your brand and more likely to think of you as a credible, reliable solution provider.

If you think our tone of voice guidelines might be helpful for your brand, you could purchase a template from the Say it right website — or better yet, partner with us. Let's work on it together to find a tone of voice that fits the soul of your brand best.