Tone of Voice

Working on marketing ideas with creative people is great, and when there’s an established team of you it’s even better.

Working on marketing ideas with creative people is great, and when there’s an established team of you it’s even better.

Loads of ideas spring up and bloom for your clients, fertilised and refined by everyone who’s involved in the creative process. Give it time and fresh ideas start to spread into every area of your business – from the way you try to win new customers, down to the way you say ‘thank you’ to your existing ones.

When this happens, the rush of excitement and optimism is quite heady. The ‘Why don’t we do this…?’ questions start to come thick and fast – and it takes a strong will (or a flash of anxiety) to pause and look at the bigger picture.

Every idea has a voice – or more accurately a tone of voice. More people having more ideas means it’s sometimes possible to create conflicting tones – and often the ‘impact’ of being different is favoured over the effectiveness of being consistent.

If you play in a football team it’s easy. You all wear the same kit, you all play in the same direction, you all accept the same rules, and there’s only one goal you try to put the ball in. While there can be individual players who stand out because of their ability, it’s still a team game – and all the manager has to do is pick the right players and make sure they’re all working to the same game-plan. It only falls apart if the players don’t know what the plan is, and/or they start making their own.

So, how do we get a common tone of voice in the corporate world, without stifling the people who have great ideas?

It’s simple really. We create a brief.

Who are you targeting? What do you want them to feel? and Why should they? We characterise your company based on the people you want to influence, what you think they should learn about you, and the very genuine values that underpin everything you do.

Is your company’s desired tone of voice Playful, Confident, Solemn, Brash, Caring? What are you doing to make sure it’s consistent in your marketing AND your behaviour?

Even if people don’t always remember the facts, they will remember the way you delivered them.


Paul Carter