Why is Tone of Voice important?


A German Philosopher (Friedrich Nietzsche) once said ‘We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us’. It is not only the ‘what is said’ but also ‘how it is said’ that matters to us. Tone of Voice for a ‘brand’ is no different. It is an expression which tries to appeal to the Benefit Group, which thereby helps in creating an emotional connect with them.

Tone of Voice is the purest Verbal Expression of a brand. It helps in portraying a Brand’s Personality. Though it is an integral part of Brand Identity, it is the one of the most underrated aspect of it. The Tone of Voice for a brand not only defines what and how a brand should speak but it also defines what things it should ‘not’ speak. The choice of words, sentence length, humour or sarcasm, witty or outright clever - all of these form part of Tone of Voice.

Consistency in the tone helps in creating right image of the brand that is aligned with the Brand’s Personality. Well, if you doubted, how important is consistency, why just one philosopher, there was another German who iterated the importance of it. 'If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.' An entire German (Nazi) empire was built on this. Coming back to brands, consistency can only be achieved if their tone sticks to their Personality. While most efforts go toward visually manifesting the Brand Values through design, the Verbal Expression is as important and must not be ignored. As Simon Sinek says, ‘Trust is not an instruction, it’s a feeling’; only a consistent Tone of Voice helps in creating this feeling of trust amongst the Benefit Group.

Thus, Tone of Voice helps in creating an association in the minds of the Benefit Group regarding the personality of the brand; An association which they can empathize towards. The one that can help in creating lasting emotional connect with the brand.

- Article contributed by Aditya Deole, Marketing Team, Yellow Fishes