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Is it possible to talk about tone of voice without mentioning the big three?

 

Have you ever decided that you wanted to speak with the voice of, say, Brian Blessed? It’d be fun to have such a distinctive, booming sound for a while – but eventually, you’d probably get sick of people mistaking you for the man himself. Sounding exactly like someone else doesn’t always work in your favour, so why do brands do it?

When we ask our clients the question “How do you want to sound?” during our Blueprint workshops, the most typical answers we get include one, two or all of what we’ve termed ‘The Big Three’. That’s Innocent, Apple and John Lewis. “We want to sound like them.”

It’s true that these three companies have all mastered tone of voice, and that they’re instantly recognisable. More than that, the brands are all respected and trusted by consumers thanks to a consistent and honest image. It’s not that surprising that you’d want your own brand to sound like them – the problem is that, to truly stand out from the competition, you need to sound like YOU.

Once we get past that initial answer of “We want to sound like…” and start asking why that is, something interesting happens. The next answer the client gives is something along the lines of “We want to sound honest/friendly/likeable/informal.” While those may be traits you’ve recognised that you share with The Big Three, to get those ideas across you don’t need to mention those brands at all. It’s possible to have a tone of voice that includes all of those characteristics and still ends up unique.

By taking a journey through your brand identity with a tailored Blueprint, we’ll help you to work out who you really are and what you stand for. It’s worked for plenty of our clients in the past – so why not join them?  Get in touch today to arrange a workshop.

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