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Don’t Use That Tone With Me, Mister

Moms and school authority figures figured it out a long time ago with the phrase “don’t use that tone”. Tone matters. With web savvy consumers expecting more casual interactions with brands and companies (through personal channels such as Facebook, YouTube, etc.), getting the right message across isn’t just about what you say; it’s how you say it.

Using the right tone with your audience

Too often, we’ve witnessed B2B clients default to a business-professional tone only to find they’re alienating their prospective customers with a “yes, sir” voice. That buttoned-up approach may work in the corporate world, but when it comes to reaching customers, it’s best to let your hair down a bit. We suggest taking a business casual approach to the way you speak.

Voice and tone is an integral part of content strategy, reflecting the brand’s positioning and value proposition — the “secret sauce” of what makes a service or product different; a brand’s essence. Specifically, voice conveys a brand’s overall personality; tone expresses the mood. Since you don’t always get a second chance to make a lasting impression, that friendly tone needs to start with the very first piece of content. Here are two brands that are doing biz casual well:

GE Capital: “We’re not just bankers. We’re builders. Start building.”
Boeing Business Jets: “Get Carried Away in Style.”

Brand messaging is a conversation, not a transaction. When voice and tone are stuffy and boring, brands can face the same fate of the typing pool — irrelevant.

If you are as excited about voice and tone as I am, then you will definitely get a kick out of my post on Style Guides. Contact us today to see how we can help you hone your tone to win more customers.