Tone of Voice, L.B. Foster

Why tone of voice matters

Tone of voice is as important to brand as font, photography, icons and logos – it’s what you say and how you say it that creates lasting impressions. We follw a few simple rules that make your brand and business more human. We believe tone of voice is about being easy to understand, so we don’t over complicate things. Keeping it short is also good. We use easy to understand, yet intelligent English because we want to be inclusive, not exclusive. And sometimes it’s OK to break the rules.

Your tone of voice is an expression of your company’s values and way of thinking. It cannot be plucked from thin air, created on a whim or entirely based on a trend you think is cool. Rather, it must grow out of who you already are as a company; not who you might be tomorrow, but what you look and sound like today.

We pin down your values to act as a kind of background work – before you can think about how you write, you must decide on what you write. This must start with the obvious yet easily forgotten question: what is it you want to tell the world? It is only once you define the core purpose of your communication that you can start to build your tone of voice.

Once we identify your company values, we can start thinking about your personality. (If values are what you say, personality is how you say it.) It’s easy to assume you want a down-to-earth chatty style with the odd bit of humour. But is this really what your customers want? We work out how you feel about language by mulling over these considerations.

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