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Top 5 Best Types of Brand Voice & Tone

Brand voice and tone may sound like jargon used by marketers and content creators, but they’re more important than you might expect. The way your brand communicates with a target audience requires more than a cool tagline or choosing the right celebrity to endorse your stuff. A right tone can natively embed a brand in our mind. So, it would be a gigantic mistake to overlook voice and tone when thinking about how to brand your business.

But let’s start from the beginning, what is brand voice and tone after all? When we think about branding, we automatically think about logos and colors — usually the first link between a brand and an audience. But visual designs alone won’t assure a sale. A properly developed brand also needs a particular style of writing and speaking to guide the market’s perception of your products and services.

Let me give you an example. We adapt our speech and use different words depending on whether we’re speaking to an adult or a child. We want to make sure the message is received and understood well. The same goes for brands. Different narratives resonate with different people. That’s what tone of voice is all about!

Here are 5 classic examples of brand tone you’ll see in the market:

1. The Happy Tone

Example: Coca-Cola

Even if you don’t enjoy drinking soda, there aren’t many brands more recognizable worldwide than Coca-Cola. Their ads and commercials are always cool, with a positive energy and fairly age-neutral, making them accessible and attractive to youth and families. Their cheerful and feel-good approach is easy to tweak: beachy and fun in the summer and warm and family-friendly during the Christmas season. Smiling, cheery people combined with simple wording and direct catchphrases are the bread and butter of Coca-Cola’s tone that matches their brand and audience.

2. The Gender-Stereotyped Tone

Example: William Lawson’s

Unlike the Coca-Cola example, William Lawson’s audience is far from broad and generic. Instead of a one-size-fits-all type of tone and shooting in as many directions as possible, there is a valid reason for targeting a specific gender and going for it. Known for their authentic scotch whisky, William Lawson’s typical buyer is predominantly male. Their brand tone makes this clear — rugged, gritty, and full-on masculine. Their messaging oozes testosterone, strong jawlines, and a natural connection to the rough Scottish wilderness. Their voice is confident and strong, appealing to the inner brute of each potential (male) buyer.

3. The Funny Tone

Example: Geico

Typically, insurance-related products come across as dull and uninteresting, a monotonous prospect for a creative marketer. Besides, insurance is one of those products we spend money on because we need to, not because we want to. Despite that, Geico turned the tables and shifted the paradigm, using irony and clever humor to sell their services. It is a brilliant example, from a marketing perspective, of out-of-the-box thinking with a light-hearted, casual, and comedic approach to sell an otherwise boring service.

4. The Bold Tone

Example: Apple

Apple is the undisputed juggernaut of consumer electronics. As a brand, they have routinely adapted to the evolving tech world, setting the industry standard that others seek to follow. Apple uses bold, simple, and expressive messaging to give its brand a functional tone. Apple’s brand voice is all about conveying quality while making us feel empowered and “whole”. A classic example of how branding combined with the right tone can elevate commodity items to must-have status symbols.

5. The Family Tone

Example: IKEA

IKEA’s furniture might be inexpensive, but their branding is top notch. The simplicity of the logo extends to their narrative’s style and tone, consistently crafted to make us feel “at home”. They combine simple, borderline cheesy, language with environmental consciousness, creating a family-oriented wording style. Ikea’s branding and narratives know exactly how to make us feel warm and cozy, dreaming of relaxing in a SVEN recliner while sipping hot cocoa, wrapped in a Scandinavian patterned blanket and watching the northern lights.

The Final Word

In sum, your tone of voice should align seamlessly with your brand’s visual presence. When crafting your narrative, choosing the right tone isn’t solely about WHAT you’re trying to convey — it’s also about HOW to say it.

Want to find the right tone for your business? To tweak it so it connects your brand to your audience? Drop us a line. We’ll create a compelling marketing plan to grab your target audience and never let them go.

Top 5 Best Types of Brand Voice & Tone
Emanuel Henriques
June 01, 2020


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