The Tone of Voice premium

Hitting the right note.

Here’s a thought…agencies actually sell a form of insurance to their clients

This insurance is tone of voice.

We develop (or apply) a specific tone of voice for each client, then use it across all the work we create for them. By doing this we create a consistency of language that continually echoes the brand personality. This is reassuring for customers and prevents any confusion about what the brand stands for.

To my mind the tone of voice embodies the brand far more than the visual style – which is why the latter can change, and does, with no great consequence, while the tone of voice simply can’t. Imagine, for example, an Audi ad where that classic cold and deadpan delivery was replaced with the decidedly more upbeat and bubbly tone of voice of a Citroen ad. See what I mean? A change in tone of voice is a much bigger deal. It’s like a shift in personality. Putting on a new jacket doesn’t change the man inside, but if he starts talking with a different voice, then eyebrows get raised. A brand can look adrift, and if it’s inconsistent or too big a leap, is going to look schizophrenic. This is why tone of voice is so critical and demands so much care and attention. As soon as it slips, the whole brand promise can be compromised. Everything achieved to build the brand persona can be undermined.