Please leave a message after the tone … how tone of voice affects your branding

13 December 2022

In branding we trust.

“Communication is key!”, “Consistency is key!” We hear these shouted from the rooftops. They feel like a broken record at this point don’t they? But it’s the truth, plain and simple. People value reliability in all aspects of life, enjoying what can be categorised. A congruent brand is one of them.

The digital market is saturated. The way you talk to customers is not only their first impression of you, but also gives them a comparison to competitors, a personality to reckon with, and helps build trust. 

Why would you want that? 

Because becoming a familiar voice makes your brand is easier to process. The mere exposure and familiarity principles suggest we find comfort in the familiar. Evolutionarily speaking we find them safer options, and it increases our attraction to them. Brands aren’t any different, so yes, consistency really is key.

Photo by Jason Leung
Photo by Carl Heyerdahl
Photo by Maksym Ostrozhynskyy

What you say or how you say it?

Both. Brand voice and tone are not one in the same. 

Your voice should be an identifiable set of messaging for consumers to recognise you by, and is about what you say. The brand tone reflects how you say it, and is often adjustable across channels. Why? Because you probably wouldn’t email your boss the same way you’d message a friend (unless you're best friends with your boss?). 

Tone is also not brand guidelines (which is your image), however, all three need to work harmoniously to create a seamless personality. Brand tone + brand voice + brand guidelines = where you need to be.

Tone-y stark vs Tone-y fun

Making sure your brand voice and personality match your values is kind of a big deal. 

There are some really great characters out there (Innocent Smoothies, are everyone's goto example, we know, they're great) but a little more in our wheelhouse are brands like Ryan Air, who know how to keep their marketing sassy and fun. That same voice probably wouldn’t work for someone like The Wave, for instance, who have nailed the surfy, ocean friend vibe. 

Whilst you can change your tone to the channel you interact through, having an overall tone everyone in the office understands will speed up the all-important material and resource making process. 

Singing off-key

Uniting your brand’s functions into a harmonious and coherent singular message, eliminates a lot of overwhelm for consumers and employees. Professional communication reflects a professional company. Not only is what you say important but it can show you’re socially aware, which can spell the difference between hitting that high note and falling flat. 

People will remember associating you with positive feeling, regardless of whether they remember the words you said. The way you’re spoken to in everyday life has a massive impact on how you feel, and this is relationship building after all. 

So, if your clients or customers feel like they need to crack out the Oxford dictionary to understand your latest offering, that’s probably not the best approach either. Keep it neat, keep it on trend and keep it directed at your audience. 


  • Become a trustworthy voice by being consistent and constant.
  • Make sure your tone, voice, guidelines and values are harmoniously in-touch.
  • Make sure your resulting brand personality is representative of who you want to be.
  • Keep in-touch with your audience and what’s important to them, because this is how you’ll really communicate with them.
  • And then you’re onto a winner!

Photo by Green Chameleon
Photo by Ian Schneider