7 mistakes to avoid when defining your brand’s ToV + 3 best practices
Beyond good writing and great content, every brand wants to be recognized, remembered, and take on human traits and tone.
Because? Very simply, people trust other people more than companies.
Therefore, it is necessary to work on the verbal identity of your company.
The point is that in written communications, there is nobody language, there is no intonation, and not even an emotional component.
Or rather, it’s not there until you add all these elements, thanks to the tone of voice.
Voice And Tone Of Voice: How Do They Differ?
The verbal identity of a brand is characterized by:
- Voice (it is always the same and consistent with the values and personality of the brand),
- the tone of voice, ToV (varies by audience and context).
As for people, expressing oneself is the same as character and experience, but being in a particular situation, the tone of voice will modulate to adapt.
For the brand, too, the tone of voice must be modulated according to the context, the target, and the specific situation.
How To Choose The ToV?
Therefore, the tone of voice is an element strictly connected to the essence of a brand.
Particular attention must be paid to authenticity and consistency. Consumers are careful; it must match how the brand is if you take a confident attitude and speak a certain way.
To find the right ToV, you need to rely on:
In short, you have to choose a tone of voice that represents you, fits, and that you can support.
It is forbidden to copy. The risk is that of not being able to keep up with the tone and turning out to be false, unreliable, and, to go back to the previous speech, not authentic.
Also Read: Everything A Website Can Do For A Brand
7 Mistakes To Avoid In The ToV
ToV is not a matter of personal taste; it depends on how you want to win the public’s attention.
Try to think about how many messages surround us every day from different brands. How many do you remember? Often you only remember the usual brands, and the others end up on the back burner.
This is because, even before making ineffective choices in terms of marketing, in all probability, they did not define a proper tone of voice, and maybe they ran into some typical mistakes when it comes to ToV.
Here are 7 practices you should avoid when defining your tone of voice.
Choose A Tone Of Voice That Suits Everyone
Let’s make a premise: communication is strictly connected to perception, to the interpretation of the message received.
Depending on the character, culture, lifestyle, and emotion, each person receives the information and experiences it differently.
This also happens when your brand talks to the audience. This is why an approach that involves wanting to reach out to everyone at any cost doesn’t work.
Before defining your ToV, you must necessarily define your target.
Each type of audience has different habits, language, and ways of doing things, to which you will have to adapt your tone of voice to be sure that what you want to communicate reaches the recipient correctly.
So ask yourself: who am I addressing? It will be the first step to avoiding the mistake of adopting a generic communication that will not win anyone’s attention.
It may seem trivial to you, yet you must first listen to them when you define how you will talk to your customers. The passage is obligatory.
Listening and speaking in a balanced way is the basis for effective interaction. And not only that, but it is also the starting point for your tone of voice.
Paying attention to the requests and needs of your target will prevent you from falling into the trap of choice made more about what you like, without taking into account the people you have to deal with.
If you want your tov to be the right one, helpful in representing you, but also for making you understood, you must be able to accept the information that arrives from the public and process it.
Don’t make assumptions; instead, ask questions . Investigate your interests, learn about who you are in front of, and discover your opinions.
This aspect will be helpful in the phase of defining the tone of voice and getting ideas on content, services, and in general, the proposals of your brand.
Beware Of “Extreme” Tones Of Voice
As we said before, you need to be able to sustain the tone of voice you have chosen.
If you opt for a very cold or hot tone, you risk adopting an attitude that is tiring to manage, which makes you sound less authentic and does not make you reach people.
For example, big words and articulate syntax, a ToV distant from the spoken word, can make communication complicated and make you appear like a cold and detached brand.
The ultimate goal is to bring out the brand’s personality; there is a significant risk.
Follow The Trends
Your tone of voice must reflect you and your brand. Make this concept your mantra.
It’s okay to look around, poke around the competition, and know what’s trending, but that doesn’t mean you have to adapt your nature to what’s popular.
Avoid it if a particular trend is powerful right now but it’s not in line with you.
Irony, excess, and sensuality, for example, are only good if they reflect the values and characteristics of your brand.
If not, don’t choose these paths just because everyone does.
Use A “Negative” Tone Of Voice
The tone of voice is naturally present in communications, which emerges from the choice of words, the construction of sentences, and the fluency of the text. Make sure these aspects are taken care of to attract people.
Therefore avoid negative expressions, words that can be perceived as hostile, or construct messages that refer to unpleasant sensations.
The risk of such an approach is defining a ToV that makes your audience flee.
Don’t Adapt To The Context
Back to the beginning of the article. No, we are not playing a board game; we want to bring you back to the passage: the tone of voice must be modulated according to the context, the target, and the specific situation.
We are within the very essence of the ToV.
When evaluating the tone of voice that is most appropriate for your company, do not remain firm on the idea that this is and always will be.
It is a question of finding a reference ToV, which is the daily routine of your communications, but which also knows how to adapt to what is happening around you.
As we do if we are at a party or a job interview, it’s still us, yet we don’t use the same expressions.
Not having this elasticity could lead you to be out of place in some situations, making you appear distracted or superficial.
Ignore The Problems
We know that managing a crisis or an argument is the last thing you want to do. Yet you must also be ready for emergencies.
An angry customer, negative comments, or just a mistake. Many choose not to face the situation, to ignore it.
Often, however, it is much worse to let the problem go away or “solve itself.”
This attitude could worsen, causing other damage to image, reputation, and brand.
So get ready to manage the crisis too. To do this, you can also define guidelines for the ToV.
What words to avoid? Cool or warm tone? In short, prepare the tone of voice even in unforeseen events to give answers to the height and prevent impulse reactions.
You may find that, at times, what starts as a problem turns out to be an opportunity.
The Tone Of Voice: 3 Practical Tips
Once you have defined the tone of voice, your brand will speak and avoid the traps you can fall into; it’s time to cultivate some good practices to consolidate your voice and communicate better.
Curate The Content
Make sure you have a valuable and meaningful message for the audience. Please pay attention to how you say it and pay attention to what you say.
Not to jumble words to say something. Avoid empty or mundane sentences. Rather than focus on simplicity or innovation, always seek a dialogue with customers.
Grammar, syntax, spelling – everything must be correct. Yes, it is always better to remember it.
And what about words instead? Our lexicon is increasingly contaminated with foreign words.
There is nothing wrong with that, of course, especially in some contexts where use has become so common that it is impossible to find a suitable counterpart.
But be careful not to abuse it. The use of a term must be functional to the context and understanding. Otherwise, our advice is to prefer an Italian word.
This will lead you not to conform with all those brands in line with the fashion of the time of Anglicisms and to emphasize your uniqueness even more.
Experiment With Emojis
Always without exceeding, always in line with the top of your brand, and always in the proper context, you can give yourself some emojis.
They are now increasingly present in communications, both personal and professional. You can use them to enrich some texts, perhaps a social post or a newsletter.
It helps to express even more a message and emotions and be impactful. But never forget not to overdo it.
While some choices may be perfect for another brand, they don’t necessarily have to be for yours.
Define your tone of voice and identify the most in-line strategies to avoid ending up in the fray of brands without personality.
Also Read: What Is Brand Loyalty And How To Build It