3 questions to ask before you start a tone of voice project

If you’re thinking about a starting a tone of voice project then it’s important to prepare properly. You want something that really sticks and changes the way people see your brand. When we start working on a tone of voice project we ask LOTS of questions to help you get to the heart of how you should sound. Here are the top three we think you should think about.

Are the right people involved?

If you’re going to make change stick in your organisation then you need the right people involved from the beginning. If you just throw a manual at people then it’s not likely they’ll change. You need everyone involved – from top level board members who can show everyone how important changing your language is to day-to-day customer service agents who’ll be using your new language on the front line. We know tone of voice really works when there are people who are passionate about it in the organisation – who can see its power and convince other people it’s worth getting behind.

Do you know who you are?

Your tone of voice should always stem from who you are (not what you are). You need to be clear about your personality, your values. We sometimes get called in to work on tone of voice and when we start digging into what an organisation stands for it throws up more questions. So if you haven’t already got this clear then that’s the step you need to take first.

Are you ready for change?

It’s just some words isn’t it? A bit of a polish on our grammar? Good tone of voice isn’t just a veneer. To really get the most from your tone of voice project you’ve got to be ready and willing to change, because changing your language will change your organisation. And that change can be even more effective if you treat tone of voice as a strategic tool alongside other change elements.

Language is incredibly powerful and can change your customers experience for the better. Think about your own experiences. You call your bank. Do you speak to a nice, friendly, helpful person using day-to-day language you understand? Or do you get someone who’s clearly reading from a script and chucks jargon at you that makes no sense? Most people would rather have the first experience. And that just shows how language has the power to bring new customers to your door and keep them loyal.

Read more: How do you know you need tone of voice?